Robin Good over at Kolabora has published an invaluable Mini-Guide to Screen Sharing Tools and Technology. Robin covers the vast web conferencing market for small and home office users of web conferencing, or those in larger businesses who need less expensive or simpler tools than the big enterprise webinar technologies.
This report concentrates on the issue of showing something on your desktop screen to your audience (and occasionally vice versa). Robin makes a few points in his introductory overview that bear repeating. I always mention these same things to my enterprise clients who seem to want to do everything through screen sharing.
1) Screen sharing uses a lot of bandwidth and requires quality, speedy internet connections.
2) If you can share your content another way, you probably should. Dedicated slide sharing, web touring, and co-browsing tools generally use bandwidth and often have other advantages such as scalability, better picture quality, and quicker response times.
But still, there are plenty of cases where it makes sense to share your screen with the audience. Software companies use this feature all the time to show product demos. Remember that there are special considerations as a presenter when you are showing live applications from your desktop. For a quality audience experience, you have to change the way you normally interact with the software yourself. Things like putting in long pauses when a pop-up menu displays its choice list so the audience has time to see it refresh. Or announcing each click that you make. And not wiggling your cursor as an attention-getter.
Robin's page lists 24 vendors with summary charts on the main features and list price of each one. Don't miss this list if you are in the market for less expensive application sharing or screen sharing technology!
Technorati Tags: application sharing, Kolabora, Robin Good, screen sharing, vendor selection, web conference, web conferencing, web meeting, webcast, webcasting, webinar