DimDim is a web conferencing tool which has a free version that anyone can use. I was very impressed with it last year when I used it in the course 'Facilitating Online'. Up until now I have recommended it to people who work for non-profit organisations or businesses who cannot afford to pay for propitiatory tools.
Unfortunately, I have had to change my mind. Now...it may be that I have got things totally wrong and I am being very unfair to DimDim...in which case, I am very happy to be corrected. However, last week I was told by one of the DimDim support team (who I have to say have been extremely responsive and helpful) that the free version only allows the person who set up the meeting to have audio capability. This means if you set up the meeting, you are the only one who can talk. This is in contrast to last year when up to three people could speak at a time.
When I ran a test of DimDim with the students of FO2010, we found it very disconcerting that I was the only one who could talk. So we ended up moving over to Skype for our group conversation. You could use Skype for audio and keep DimDim for showing documents, but that gets quite complicated when you are working with people who are new to online technology. I think it would be easier to do your document work on Google Documents using Skype for audio.
Have you had experience of the free DimDim platform recently...if so, how have you got on?
Image: 'Misty Park'