Recently I discovered 3 freeware software that allows you to remotely do live screencasting, sometimes with web conferencing. The idea of such software is generally to be able to allow people from diverse remote locations to be able to look at what is on your screen “live” and comment.
Of these three, Lotus Sametime Unyte Share (or at least the free version) is the most limited as it allows you only to share with one other person. The paid versions gives you more features including the ability to remotely control desktops, share only specific applications. Yuuguu ( the free version) allows you to connect to up to 5 people, and also allows you to share control of your desktop.
Of course, in terms of sharing with a group (say a tutorial), both are quite limited. DimDim (the free version) is the most generous, allows you to invite up to 20 users. Like the other mentioned tools, people who you invite to view your presentation, don’t have to install anything, all they need is to click on the link you send them. But unlike Lotus Sametime Unyte Share or DimDim even the presenter doesn’t need to install anything (technically for some systems you may need to install a component for sharing of webpages)!
You can of course stream using camera and/or microphone, but it works perfectly fine withotu either, as they is a nice chat screen for all viewers. You can also chat privately with specific people.
Once you connect, there are 4 modes, you can then share either your whole desktop, a online whiteboard, documents or webpages. Of course by sharing your desktop you can automatically share the desktop, documents or webpages but chances are you might not want to share everything on your desktop
What DimDim doesn’t do is to allow users to remotely control/share the mouse but personally that’s pretty dangerous and I don’t really see myself doing that anyway.
After ending the session, you will be emailed a link to the whole presentation which is automatically recorded.
All in all DimDim is pretty cool. I can think of several ideas in which it can be used in libraries…