OT Webinar Software

I am trying to help a very small charity who want to be able to do webinars. (Hate the term with a vengeance, but not worth getting up tight about it!)
Very simply - one person at charity does presentation to camera. Many watch - where many probably means a few tens but could be more in future.
Feedback via chat-like facility.
Must be extremely easy to set up and use. They do use Windows 7 so that defines the platform for them - but ideally would also work for viewers on Linux-based and OSX, maybe even Android?
Must be extremely inexpensive - ideally without any charges at all.
Suggestions very much wanted. I am getting very tired of visiting product after product and then realising what is wrong or not understanding some aspect. So real-world experience counts.
My personal experience has been with Skype - adequate though not brilliant.
--
Rod

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On 16/10/12 13:28, polygonum wrote:

There's a Skype-like product developed in the UK by a team with experience of working with charities. I worked with them while at RNID. If any of your users require BSL then this place is a good starting point.
http://www.myfriendcentral.com /
I assume that you've considered Youtube? Were there any specific problems with it? Do you need interactivity?
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Bernard Peek
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On 16/10/2012 13:41, Bernard Peek wrote:

That myFriend is really interesting - I suspect it does not quite answer what we need - largely due to all users having to install something. I think that we really want it to be accessible directly by browser. But maybe I am wrong?
Yes - I think interactivity is the crux. The charity already has links with another video service provider and that works fine for static video presentation.
Many thanks.
--
Rod

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On 16/10/12 16:07, polygonum wrote:

Another past employer of mine has some suitable software. Steljes sells conferencing software called Bridgit. You would need to buy a license for the central system, remote users would just need web browsers. LogMeIn is a similar product.
If I were you I wouldn't commit to buying anything until it is clear what elements of the requirements can be met by Microsoft's Office 2013. The reviews I've read suggest that it can do a lot of what you want. How you would pay for it is not yet clear. Microsoft has various schemes for supplying charities with cheap or free software.
Everything that you want is probably possible with a bog-standard web-site, if you have people who can do the development work.
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Bernard Peek
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For webinars which don't need anything extra installed, and work on other platforms than only Windows, we use webex.com I've no idea on the costs, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's not cheap. If you are going to present slides (in spite of what I said earlier;-), you can do it from your desktop, but much better is that you can upload them to webex before, and then they appear as much better quality. It can do integrated audio too, although the majority of webexs I end up on actually use a separate conference call for the audio.
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Andrew Gabriel
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My number one gripe with webinars - don't use a webinar to present powerpoint (or similar) slides. Distribute a PDF and hold a phone conference instead. That way you don't get the presentor change each slide when you're halfway through reading it, and you can go back and refer to an earlier slide anytime you like, and you can make notes on them during the presentation and keep them for future reference. If you are not interested in the topics covered in the rest of the slides, you can drop off the call and do something more useful instead.
The amount of time wasted by webinars which should have been done some other way is enormous IME. And that's not even counting the technology screwups where you waste half the time trying to get all the participants connected in.
There are cases where webinars are appropriate; some live demos, for example.
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Andrew Gabriel
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On 16/10/2012 13:49, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I absolutely agree with your points. But your haing made them makes me think even more that those wishing to hold them probably don't understand that - and I shall make it clearer to them. Thanks.
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在 2012年10月16日星期二UTC+8下午8时28分52秒,polygonum写道:

http://www.uggsaustraliaoutlet.co.uk /
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I'd go with some kind of streaming broadcast software like Ustream (it's free, Google it) for the speaker to use. It's not a conferencing solution, but if I understand correctly, you're looking to broadcast video of one person to many people.
If the charity has a web site then it's a simple job to embed the video onto a page of the site, and point the "watchers" to it. The advantage being that when not broadcasting, the page could tell visitors exactly when the *next* presentation would be, maybe along with links to archived previous broadcasts - there will always be people who can't watch it "live" and will want to watch later. The other advantage of using HTML pages for the broadcast is that it is cross-platform, so accessible for Windows, Linux, Android, I-phones etc without the user needing any special software. Very simple to set up, and in my experience Google will answer any technical issues you may have setting it up or running it. There are also sites (see justin.tv for example) which host your broadcast for you and also have a live chat facility, although most are full of adverts which is why I'd look for alternative solutions.
As for chat-like facility, there are lots of free chat scripts out there that you could incorporate into your page:
www.hotscripts.com
but have you thought about using something like Facebook? You can combine Facebook and Ustream :
http://www.ustream.tv/facebook
and of course the standard Facebook "comments" section would fulfil your audience feedback needs. It's ideal for those with limited technical knowledge, it's free, you don't need any software or hosting and it'll do all the work for you.
With any of the solutions above, number of watchers is irrelevant, you can broadcast to one or one million.
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YouTube.

You won't get that.
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