Friday, April 6, 2007

Yugma: Work smart, impress clients

Lisa McCue over at Yugma gave me a guided tour of the company's screen-sharing service yesterday. I was checking it out for a Selling Power story on web-based sales meetings, but quickly realized that it's a perfect enabler of one of my own eccentric goals -- to never leave my home for business purposes.

Yugma's a great service -- fast to learn and easy to use. You go to the company's site, schedule a meeting, everybody signs in via the web and phones in on a conference line at the appointed time (you pay your own phone company for the long distance phone call as usual), and you can share whatever is on your desktop with everyone there. So, say I've drafted a chapter in a book and want to review it with a co-author, we can work thru the document line by line, I can revise as we go and we can both see the changes as I make them, or I can turn the screen over to my writing partner and he or she can use my mouse and keyboard.

The service works with Windows and Mac (Linux is coming soon). Yugma is also working on a videoconferencing option, so one of these days, I'll be able to pop up on the screen, too.

The tour Lisa gave me was a PowerPoint presentation delivered using the service, which seemed seamless from my end. Karel Lukas, Yugma's COO, says that the service works best if you and the people you meet with have fast Internet connections and if what you are sharing does not demand a huge amount of bandwidth -- movies and animation sequences will be choppy. But, they are working on that, too.

Meanwhile, there are applications galore for writers and anyone else who wants to share documents, give software or web demos, make and give PowerPoint presentations, etc. Even better, it's free! You can sign up for different levels of service ranging from zero, zip, zilch to $9.95 to $99.95 per month. You can demo it here.

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