Screen sharing is one of the most, if not the most, important features of online meetings and something we continue to improve upon. We are excited to share with you the following ConnectNow screen sharing enhancements we’ve made based on your feedback.
Faster Screen Sharing. Some of you told us you were experiencing screen sharing delays when sharing with lower bandwidth or slow Internet connections. To improve the performance of screen sharing in these circumstances, we tuned our screen sharing algorithm so it transmits data more efficiently. The first time you enter your meeting room you will be asked to download the new add-in with improved screen sharing. You now have the option to optimize screen sharing for faster performance or for higher quality, with the default set to faster performance. You can change your screen sharing setting to higher quality by going to the meeting menu, selecting preferences, then screen share, then enable “high fidelity”.
With the arrival of Adobe Creative Suite 4, there has been a lot of buzz in the press about Adobe services generally, and no small number of references to ConnectNow. CS4 applications now have a menu item inviting users to connect – now! – online with remote collaborators.
This is understandably an exciting prospect for creative professionals, who often work collaboratively with a few others who aren’t always in the same location. So the convenience and immediacy of screen sharing an Illustrator graphic, an InDesign layout, a Photoshop image is obvious.
We’re pleased to report that the newly announced Creative Suite will add collaboration capabilities offered by Acrobat.com.
Creative professionals will be able to work with others in real time using ConnectNow without leaving the Creative Suite 4 workspace and with no need for IT support or a company-wide web conferencing solution.
You can now access your ConnectNow meeting room directly from within CS4 applications to meet live over the web to share your screen, present creative concepts and ideas, and brainstorm with up to two online guests for no additional service charge. To share your screen with colleagues and clients from within most Creative Suite 4 products, choose File > Share My Screen. Guests can then see your desktop on their screens as you work. You can exchange ideas using the chat pod, add a live video or audio feed, or use the Whiteboard feature to enable guests to comment on content. You can even temporarily hand over control of the screen to a guest to collaborate on a file.
As an added convenience, Acrobat.com on Adobe AIR will be included with most of the Creative Suites, so you can launch ConnectNow from your desktop and use other Acrobat.com services including convenient file upload, storage and sharing of large files.
Have you tried the remote control feature in ConnectNow yet? This useful functionality enables you to control another computer from your own desktop. You can be sitting at your desk in Chicago, logged in to your ConnectNow meeting room with your colleague from Tokyo, and, with permission, take control of your colleague’s computer.
Here’s a real example. I have a friend named David who works at a startup software company. OK, he IS the company: chief software architect, QA manager, documentation writer, and technical support engineer. David has created a good piece of software for retail businesses and he takes pride in being available to his customers around the clock for technical support. The problem is, his phone does ring and he spends too much time trying to walk people through troubleshooting procedures. I told him there is a better way.
The second Acrobat.com podcast again features a discussion with David Coletta, and includes the following topics:
Buzzword design process
• Feedback email as source for new features
• Visual design and functional specifications
• Designer-developer interaction: how to interpret static designs
• The value of a good spec
• Buzzword excellent for writing specs
New feature discussion
• Focus on reducing speed bumps, improving the invitation process
• New language dictionaries
Vignette about ConnectNow:
• Remote tech support
You can listen to or download the MP3 file here.
We’ve also added the ability to subscribe to the podcasts, either by your RSS feed reader or iTunes.
Yesterday Karen Tomlinson, our ConnectNow product manager, wrote an excellent post on the functionality and value of our new web conferencing application.
Today, Karen followed up by delivering our weekly seminar – again, focused on ConnectNow. For those interested who couldn’t make it, we recorded the session using ConnectPro. You can view the seminar by going to the recorded session here. It’s 43 minutes long, and definitely worth the time. Everyone who has seen ConnectNow in action has been really impressed; Karen’s session will show you what everyone’s been so excited about.
We’re holding these seminars weekly all summer, every Tuesday at 11:30 EDT, 8:30 PDT. Next week, we’ll be focusing on a more technical subject: Fang Chang, product manager for our developer tools and document APIs, will provide an in-depth view at the ways that developers can make use of our platform to build rich collaboration capabilities into their own applications.
For more information on the seminars, including the schedule and the logisitics for these seminars, follow this link to the posting on our forum.
Today’s Workplace Challenges
These days it’s becoming much more common for people to work with other people who aren’t in the same location. There are many challenges that come with this. You no longer have the luxury of walking over to someone’s office or cube and having a face-to-face conversation. You no longer have team meetings in the same room where you can gauge people’s reactions to what you are saying, see if they are following along, or brainstorm new ideas on a white board. You can’t help feeling one step removed from the people you are meeting with when all you hear is their voice and try to follow along with what people are talking about.
So what can you do to improve the quality of your day-to-day interactions and meetings? That’s where using web conferencing comes in. It can dramatically improve your meetings and ad hoc collaboration by providing a visual representation of what you are talking about, bring the physical presence of the people to the meeting with web cams, and provide a place to capture meeting notes, share files and brainstorm ideas. With ConnectNow, web conferencing is now accessible to anyone. It’s free, sign up now!
For a hands-on look at ConnectNow, join me tomorrow for a live seminar at 11:30 EDT, 8:30 PDT. See our forum for session details.
Here are a few ideas on how you can make the most of your real-time collaboration sessions using ConnectNow.
If you’ve been following the Acrobat.com press, or reading our marketing materials, or checking our blog and forum, you’ve seen that we are very focused on enabling collaboration – especially when documents are involved. Here’s a quick look at the ways we enable collaboration.
Collaboration in Authoring
The story begins with document authoring, and in Buzzword we’ve heard countless people indicate that Buzzword is the finest online writing experience currently available. Many have told us they’ve even abandoned Word – some use the expression “liberated” – in favor of Buzzword as their primary writing environment.
Buzzword is indeed a simple and elegant word processor, but it really differentiates from Word and other desktop applications when you want to collaborate with others in the writing process. Instead of pushing documents out to others via email, you simply invite your collaborators to the only instance of the document, online, where they can contribute content or just add comments.
With everyone working on the same document, rather than multiple, disparate copies of the document, then collaboration is smoother and you can keep track of everyone’s involvement. The image below shows the Buzzword collaborator bar, which displays who has read the document, when they read it and which version they read. Now that’s getting everyone on the same page!