Once a week I facilitate a mastermind group. We’ve tried a wide variety of programs, from telephone based to using the Internet only, and sometimes a mix of both. Here are some of our experiences so far:
At first we always used freeconferencecalling.com since it was an easy way to use the telephone and record our calls, but it wasn’t long before we wanted to be able to share our screens as well.
Then we used Skype and had that ability quite easily. But we found that on the free version, you can’t have the video showing the participants if you have more than two people. So it was perfect for a one-on-one, not as good for a group. Plus, we found that with more people, some of us kept getting booted off the call. And we still needed a way to record the session for later use.
This past week, we tried meetingburner.com, supposedly an easy way to have a webinar. Then we could record our sessions as well. The screen recorded easily, but we found that in order to record the audio, we had to use the telephone service too. And I am not good with talking on the phone and using the computer at the same time. No, I don’t have a headset telephone, I guess that would have worked. I didn’t want to use speakerphone because it also picks up background noises.
Bottom line: we gave up on meetingburner and went back to Google+.
Google+ Hangouts (shown in the image at the top of this post) – up to ten people can be involved in a hangout and it’s just a matter of inviting them on your Google+ account. We had four of us on our sessions so far and if you have a webcam, you are seen on the screen as you talk. No webcam and it shows your photo instead. We all had headsets with mics so it was easy to talk to one another. Since this is a brainstorming/mastermind session, we used the Hangouts with extras feature so that we could also share our screens. It was a simple matter of pushing a button to share or stop sharing. I did get booted off the Hangout at one point when I tried screen sharing because I had so many Internet windows open at once. I guess I confused the poor thing.
We still don’t have the ability to record with Google+ Hangouts, so next time I’m going to try the screencast-o-matic.com service and see if I can capture the whole session. I’ll let you know how we progress.
Any experience with this, please comment and tell me about it – the good, the bad, and the pulling out your hair and swearing you’ll never do it again.
To your Online Success,