I’m officially a big fan of ÜberConference. Their blog sums up the service, “A free audio conferencing service with a visual interface, ÜberConference solves the most common problems faced in teleconferencing including making a conference easy to join, knowing who is participating, knowing who is speaking, and making advanced features easy to use.”
I had to request an invitation, but got one fairly quickly. Once I had an account set up, I was assigned a conference number, an organizer pin, and an open pin. I can set up a conference call using that number and send the open pin to anyone I want to conference with. With the organizer pin, I can log in from any phone. I need no pin if I am calling in from my phone.
There is also a web component which works pretty slickly. I added contacts for my committee to the system and set up a test call with one of them. She and I both received an email to let us know the call was set up and to remind us 5 minutes before. We called in using the phone number, then also clicked on the ‘See Conference’ button in the email. With that, we were able to see who was in the call and determine exactly who was talking. High on my list are 2 functions – chat and recording. I recorded our call and chatted enough to see that it worked.
After the call was over, I saw a statistics screen which told me who was there, who talked the most (me, big surprise) and gave me options for downloading the chat transcript and the recording. I didn’t need to, though, because ÜberConference followed my call with an email that had those items included.
Important to note – I still have to pay for the cost of the call. A different service, Meeting.io, works great as well (better in the videoconferencing department) but limits me to 5 participants and doesn’t have recording yet. With ÜberConference, I essentially sold my privacy on LinkedIn to get space for 2 more people. I hope my committee recognizes the sacrifices I am making for them.
I would recommend this tool particularly to my journalism students and friends. It would be great for distance interviewing and recording.