dimdim : Great Yet Free Web Collaboration Software
The unusual name dimdim attracted my attention when I was searching on the web for free web collaboration alternatives to webex.
dimdim is the world´s first free web meeting service based on the open source platform. dimdim is a browser-based web 2.0 service that allows anybody to share their desktop, show slides, as well as talk, listen, chat, and broadcast via webcam. dimdim´s hosted service is available for free and can be easily used for small gatherings, to seminars with hundreds of attendees. With absolutely no software to download for attendees, dimdim gives everyone the opportunity to hold Web meetings and to customize and brand these meetings.
I finally found dimdim on moodle discussion group. I looked it up and visited the dimdim web site and watched a demo and wanted to try out but little disappointed when I saw limited beta only by invitation.
Then I saw Open Source Community edition that I can download and install on my own server to host the application. Again I was disappointed to see that installation requires 'root' access and I am currently on shared hosting server that doesn't give root access.
I registered for invitation and was waiting for one.
This morning I was configuring a few things on my moodle site and I hit discussion groups to answer a question on themes. I found out that DimDim has been integrated with moodle. Live again. I went to dimdim site and downloaded moodle integration kit and installed it in a minute. In the next minute, I could host a web meeting.
The application is wonderful and is beyond my expectations.
Few lovely features
First of all, the application works wonderful. I had little difficulty in sharing an application. But everything else works beautifully.
- Hosted Application. So we really don't have to worry about infrastructure. If needed, there is always an option of installing on our own servers.
- No installation other than a browser Add-on is required for both Presenter and Attendees. I tried with Fire fox browser.
- If your Internet connection allows, you can in fact use both Audio and Video of the presenter in the meeting. No additional conference bridge is required or need to start another special application. (Take Yugma, you need to pay for their conference bridge or use skype for audio and video. That would mean your attendees have to have a skype account)
- You can allow your attendees to use their microphone to make the meeting interactive.
- Unlike Zoho and Yugma where the video quality suffer a lot while sharing your desktop, DimDim did almost 100 times better in terms of quality of video.
- The latency between presenter and attendees is very low and not noticeable. Particularly if you use PDF or PPT to present, you don't notice any latency at all.
- Whiteboard is simple and yet elegant. You can in fact have multiple pages of white board and you can move between those pages. Excellent. You don't have to erase to make room for next dabble. Just move to next page.
- Integration with Moodle. Few simple steps, I could get it working with Moodle.
Few things I couldn't do (Not possible or I don't know yet)
- Ability to save whiteboard drawings to a file.
- It would be excellent if we can record the web meetings like webex. There are other alternatives to record, but they may interfere with performance of dimdim if started.
- I couldn't share a specific application yet. I could share a PPT and desktop itself. But not a specific application. There is an option, but couldn't get it working.
Great application. Thanks a ton DimDim team.