This has been a busy week for DimDim. They announced the launch of DimDim Webinar and pushed out a “viral video” associated with the offering that seems to be having the desired effect of causing controversy and getting press. Conferencing News was not overly enthusiastic in their coverage of the promotional campaign.
The video makes for fun water cooler conversation, but I want to dig in a bit more to the meat of DimDim (rather than the cheese). I have long been aware of it as a low cost / no cost web conferencing option, but after a brief look some time ago, I decided that it wasn’t appropriate for the types of large structured web events I prefer to concentrate on. So I’ve stayed out of the fray. Now of course, DimDim has boldly thrown their hat into the webinar ring and it’s time for me to take a closer look at the product to see if it meets our needs for this niche of the market.
I’m going to do this as a multi-post series. I’ll start with some general overview impressions and observations and then move in to more of the details.
Let’s start with the price. This is simple… You can’t beat it. DimDim has actually managed to undercut GoToWebinar for the big audience market, which took some doing. $75 a month lets you schedule and hold as many sessions as you want, for any duration, with up to 1000 participants. I don’t know of anybody offering better capacity at a lower cost than that.
Diving in a bit more, I spent some time rummaging around the DimDim website, trying to glean information as presented to the public. I have to say, I’m a little disappointed. I think the product team wanted to get their offering out to market before the marketing/documentation/web team was completely ready (not an uncommon occurrence – trust me… I worked in software development and marketing!).
DimDim already came in a variety of flavors, ranging from a free version for meetings of up to 20 people, to a professional fee-based version handling larger meetings, to an open-source version running a bit behind the hosted release but open to developers for developing mashups and integrations. If you try to get a clear understanding of the new or unique features in DimDim Webinar, all you can see is a not very helpful summary grid:
Notice that the maximum attendees for DimDim Webinar is shown as 100, even though you can find web page copy above it that says 1000. And showing the feature difference as “Advanced Webinar Tools” doesn’t tell us much. But we can always click the indicated hyperlink to see more details. Unfortunately, that is currently mis-linked to the new user account signup page. So it’s a bit mysterious what you get for the extra cash outlay.
They do offer links to PDF documentation on the page:
But the User’s Guide turns out to be for version 3.5 from May of 2008 and doesn’t address any of the Webinar features. The Pro Features document is a shorter glossy and is of more recent vintage – April of 2009. Unfortunately it doesn’t mention Webinars either and so we have no indication of what is truly new and different about this offering.
Tomorrow I’ll cover the two Webinar features that are emphasized in DimDim’s press release and website… EventBrite partnership and the Webinar Widget. Keep reading for looks at DimDim’s monetization aids and internal product features in use.