My work network blocked me from accessing WiZiQ with the rest of the group last week. So following Sarah's suggestion, I did organise another meeting which took place tonight.
Already I was not not impressed from the start, as the registration process requested me to hand over a lot of personal information, unlike for DimDim. This rang alarm bells: at best I am at risk to be spammed heavily .At worse my data could be stolen from their database for ID theft purpose. Mind you, apart from the email address, there is nothing to force you to tell the truth…
I did find the interface itself nice and simple.
As the meeting coordinator, you control the ability for the participants to speak on interact with the white board. It would be better to have a system such as Elluminate where the participant can take turn to speak by clicking a button, without having the coordinator identifying first who wants to talk, then click on a button.
The problem with enabling the speech permanently (full duplex) is that you can end up with 2 people talking at the same time, as the delay for the speech to arrive to destination was about two seconds. This created a problem with two participants. What would happen with 10 or 20? Chaos!
I have tried to upload documents from the PC to the whiteboard with limited success. I was able to load one PDF file, one PowerPoint file, one Excel file . A few files got stuck at 50% upload. The Excel file was only displaying the print area, and you could not navigate between the sheets. The .pps file suddenly appeared after I had lost all hope of seeing it. The delay from to time between the system indicated that the file was loaded and its appearance on screen was of about two or three minutes. This did not seem to have anything to do with my system or my internet connection.
The only way to share videos seems to be through You Tube. I also had the option to use as source the Camptasia plugin (?), but this came to nothing at the end. I attempted to upload video files directly. WiZiQ only seemed to be able to only identify the .swf video file on my laptop, but any attempt to load the files came to nothing.
It does not appear to be any facilities for desktop sharing.
You can annotate the uploaded documents, but when attempting to erase the annotations, the text on the document disappeared. This is not an issue if you are aware of it.
The bandwidth used was acceptable on my modest DSL line, but it looks like a bit more than DimDim or Webex.
I am having another go at DimDim on Monday with some of my students (I know: labour day - I must be stupid!), and will feed back on the experience.
So to summarise my experience, the interface is nice and easy to use, but:
- delays gets in the way of communication and file sharing
-limited video sharing facilities
-no desktop sharing facilities
-concerns about privacy