Aug 13 2006

Meeting on a phone bridge

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Many communities need to use phone calls and teleconferences to “think together”. For communities that interact primarily using asynchronous technologies, a phone call can be a significant boost.

Calculate the time and let people know when the meeting will occur. Calculating time zones correctly is essential so something like the World Clock is an essential tool: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/fixedform.html

Use a “daisy chain” for small groups: user 1 calls user 2, who conferences user 3 into the call.

Use a phone bridge for larger groups. Inexpensive or free telephone conferencing sources include:

  • http://www.freeconferencecall.com/ has many related services such as WebEx. When you sign-up for the free conferencing, you get a phone number and an access code that’s good for 30 days and does not require further scheduling.
  • http://www.skype.com/home.html allows groups of up to 9 people to meet in a teleconference. Usually includes registered Skype users but the host can connect a regular phone through Skype-out.
  • http://iotum.com/ provides free conference calls and has a nifty interface through Facebook.
  • http://www.highspeedconferencing.com/ allows large groups connecting via Skype or a regular phone. Their premium service has a good web interface, call recording, and very high quality sound, even when a call has a mix of Skype and others.
  • http://www.freeconference.com/ has a range of services including a free dial-in service that you can schedule. It has a very elegant scheduling interface and has “local call” conferencing in several cities in the US. When your call time is over, it tells you and eventually hangs up.

See our other Telephone and Teleconference resources.

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