Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Hate conferencing apps? There's a better way.

If like me, you've had Skype for several years, but you rarely use it because, well, it's a bit of a pain, then there is a better free way that you can communicate. If you use a team networking app, such as Slack, then perhaps this solution will also usurp it in another way.
Many years ago, Charles Dunstone predicted the end of traditional mobile phone calls. Mobile phone companies charging people for how many minutes they'd been on the phone would cease, and all calls would be routed via VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).
It hasn't happened yet, but Whats App voice calling, Skype, Facetime calls are all doing their best to make it a reality. To be honest, I don't think I'm alone when I say I loathe video calls. For one, I can see my own ugly mug all of the time, reminding me how old I'm getting and how many extra chins I have, who wants that eh?
Not only that, but it's prohibitively intensive on your hardware and it requires fast and stable internet connection. Bothersome, to put it another way.
So today, inspired by gamers, I've been asked to test another solution, and the great thing is, I was only asked 15 minutes ago and I can already tell you.... It's simple, and it works.
Unlike most other solutions, you run your own server. Now before you think that sounds complicated, it really isn't. It's like having an open office door. Imagine you're sat in a conference room at the end of a long table, waiting for people to arrive. It's kind of like that.
To invite other people into your conference room, you send them a link.
Click Invite people and copy and paste the link to them.
Once they have the invite, they follow the link and join your room, either on their mobile, computer or even in a web browser. When they join, they take a seat too. And you can see that someone else has joined your room. When they say something, their icon flashes green. Everyone that joins the room, can see that they're talking. It works out of the box, with the microphone in your device.
You can (fortunately) mute your mic (*You need to mute your mic.... otherwise, you'll be broadcasting all the time), so that you're only connected to rooms with text chat, did I mention? No it seems I didn't, the 'room's you can set up (yes, you can set up multiple rooms in your office complex).
Best of all it's low latency and low demand, so you can always stay connected. So you're kind of, always available in your office.
So what is this platform? It's called Discord and can be downloaded for free from here.
Give it a go and let me know your thoughts, could a gamer's communication tool be used as a business solution?

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