MeetingBurner Web Conferencing Service Enters Public Beta

MeetingBurner, an online meeting software startup, recently announced a public beta for its new web conferencing service which will compete with the established players of this industry–GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, and Cisco WebEx. The service will be free during the beta and available for groups up to 100. According to the company, the software is up to 3 times faster than other solutions and has a simple, easy to use interface with robust functionality.

Intriguing, Let me Know More

One intriguing feature is the Meeting Temperature Report, which allows participants in an online meeting to note their level of interest throughout a presentation. It’s a cool feature that could have a good deal of benefits for those conducting meetings. It would help people understand when meetings are dragging on to the detriment of everyone else or presenters could use interest level to guide their presentation of information–what to focus on and what to skim. MeetingBurner says their software lets presenters view the 30 seconds with the most or least interest, allowing them to fine tune their presentations.

The Meeting Temperature Report helps bring online meetings closer to a real life interaction level. You could liken it to what presenters do when they scan the faces and postures of their audience. However, one has to wonder whether all participants will be truthful with their digital faces when they can choose what interest level they portray.

The company likes to talk up changing the online meeting space by improving the user experience. In their company blog they ask:

“…have you ever spent the first 10 minutes of your meeting answering technical questions from guests that are still trying to figure out how to log in?”

It’s a question that rings true for anyone who’s ever tried running an online presentation or meeting. One of the ways the company is doing things differently is by using a browser based platform that doesn’t require software downloads. Flash is still required though–seems like there’s no way getting around some bloatware.  Users can connect, schedule, view, setup, or share meetings with others from the online dashboard. As a nod to Web 2.0, segments or meetings are easily shareable through record buttons that allow you to post recordings to YouTube and all the standard social sites. The service also integrates with Skype, allowing connections through Skype.

MeetingBurner has also paid some attention to the mobile aspect, with automated text message reminders for meetings and the ability to view meetings from Android smartphones. iPhone and iPad functionality is still in development.

The company’s beta has been running since February. It has seen a good deal of feedback and improvement since then. MeetingBurner plans to monetize the platform through a ‘freemium’ model. Many basic features will be free while more advanced features will be charged as premium services.

What do you think about MeetingBurner’s attempts to streamline and sexy-fy the online meeting market? Will it succeed in uprooting the established players? What can the other companies learn from MeetingBurner’s web-conferencing service? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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