Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Using WiZiQ

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…

Catherine  and Heather  attended the meeting at different times.
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


  1. Hi Herve,

    Thanks for organising last nights WIZIQ session. I agree the interface is nice and simple, I was still more impressed with DimDim on first impression though, but I will give it another go next week in the online tutorial next Wednesday 28th at 9.30am at Connecting Online CO10. Registration is necessary so you will proberly need to join CO10 - I think I posted the link to FOC09 googlegroups forum? but will invite you as a friend just in case :)

    The speech functionality is certainly a lot more straighforward on Elluminate, epecially as you have the mic icon to control when you want yourself to be heard, and other participants are alerted also because of the highlight that appears next to your name. In WIZIQ I felt as though I was on the 'phone' the entire time - so yes I agree it would be rather chaotic with greater numbers of participants!

  2. Hello Catherine and Herve, thanks so much for the comparison of the two conferencing tools. What I find so exciting is that they are free-that we don't have to rely on tools like Elluminate that cost. However, I am still not sure how people with dial-up would get on with these tools.