New Collaboration App Opens Service to Public

Yesterday we received a press release announcing the public release of Dimdim, a new
open-source tool for online meetings. We’ve been testing some similar products
of late so this caught our eye.

In a move that will give you some idea of how disruptive this technology may
turn out to be, the company scheduled a press conference for the announcement—to
be transmitted using the product itself—and invited all interested parties to
attend, which we did.

Unlike any other IP-based video conferencing and/or desktop-and-document
sharing application, Dimdim does not require that users download and install a
software client. You just drop a URL to a “meeting room” into your browser, and
you’re in the meeting.

Dimdim logo

We got to the web page a couple of minutes before the scheduled conference
start time, and signed up—became a registered user—and was comfortably ready
when the conference got under way.

According to Dimdim cofounder and CEO DD Ganguly, since Dimdim was launched
as a private beta offering at DEMO Fall, last September, it has been adopted—or
at least tried out—by about 375,000 people all over the world. He attributes
this rapid uptake to the simplicity (it works on any computer), reliability, and
low cost of the service.

In fact, we viewed the audio/video/instant messaging/screen-sharing event
using Dimdim Free, which, as the name suggests, costs nothing at all, while
supporting up to 20 participants.

The audio quality was excellent in terms of quality and continuity, but audio
volume balance between Mr. Ganguly (in Boston) and Chief Marketing Officer Steve
Chazin, who chaired the session in San Francisco, was way out of whack. Video of
Ganguly was crisp and almost real-time. The whiteboarding worked flawlessly, as
we got Ganguly’s basic marketing slide show.

After the formal presentation, visitors were invited to IM questions to Mr.
Chazin in SF, who relayed them, vocally, to Mr. Ganguly on the East Coast.
Public and private IM are usually available to all participants during sessions.

The United Nations and Amnesty International are among the global
organizations now using Dimdim, as is a major U.S. university, which has made
the service available to the entire faculty and student body. There has also
been extensive uptake in the distance learning community, including

Ganguly stressed two special deployments during the press conference. One, in
Texas, involves lengthy (five-hour) online seminars in Christian homemaking,
attended by what Ganguly characterized as “soccer moms” sitting in their living
rooms. In the other, a financial services company has embedded Dimdim’s chat
screen on their website, so customers can get direct, live input from tax

Dimdim Free is available for signup here. It
provides desktop sharing, document sharing, video broadcasting, multi-way VoIP
audio conferencing, instant messaging, and shared whiteboards with annotation
tools. Dimdim pro is a more robust version of the service and can scale up to
100 participants per session. Pricing starts at $99 per year. Dimdim Enterprise
can support up to 1,000 participants per session and enables multiple
simultaneous meetings.

In addition to making the source code available to the open-source community, Dimdim is providing open APIs to encourage development of additional functionality and integration.

Adapted from

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