Start videoconferencing

by David Spark on September 1, 2006

The phone became a useful tool once everyone had a phone. Email also became valuable once everyone had an email address.

Now it’s time to start videoconferencing.

And that requires four things: a high bandwidth connection, a computer with a fast processor, a sub-$100 webcam, and a cheap-to-free videoconferencing program.

If you’re a Skype user, you’re already equipped for 1-on-1 videoconferencing. Want to invite more people to the video party? Install Festoon, a Skype and Google Talk add-on that delivers a free multipoint solution for videoconferences of up to 200 people.

If you don’t have a webcam, SightSpeed a free videoconference program for 1-on-1 calls, has a deal where they’ll give you a free Creative webcam for a one year subscription. The paid subscription enables you to make simultaneous video calls with up to four people.

Videoconferencing requires full attention. While you can get away with multi-tasking on an audio conference call, in a videoconference it’s hard to hide and considered rude.

Most importantly our faces and our eyes can convey a lot of meaning especially when we’re communicating with someone who is not a native English speaker.

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