Join.me, a collaborative tool for startups

It is increasingly necessary to use ICTs to stay updated, informed and connected. The rapid advance of the internet has made it possible to shorten distances, and some Web 2.0 tools such as chat and video conferencing allow the optimization of resources and time, facilitating meetings and remote procedures, without the user having to travel. At this point of meetings or virtual sessions, we have a variety of tools we can use to make online seminars, video conferences or remote lessons and classes, internet calls, among others. The drawback with some of these is that the user must correctly configure a number of parameters, some of them complex for an average person, in order to finally set up a session or a virtual meeting.

On this occasion we’ll take a look at a tool called Join.Me, which is characterized by its simplicity, and can be used to make short virtual meetings with members of a startup in order to talk and interact about any topic that needs discussion. The greatest advantage of using this tool is that all the user has to do is go to a website, without the need of having extensive knowledge in IT or ICT, and enter a code to access the scheduled session or virtual meeting. There he or she will benefit from all the services the tool has to offer, such as videoconferencing, chat, internet calls, screen sharing, file transfer, among others.

There are many uses that can be given to Join.Me by startup members, since it offers the possibility to chat, make calls via the internet, sharing screens and sharing control of a computer’s mouse pointer, among other features that can be used to increase and improve their skills as speakers, instructors and trainers. Group sessions can also be organized, and the mouse control feature is quite useful in these situations. We must keep in mind that the trial version of Join.Me -which is free-, supports a maximum of 10 participants and therefore the usage of the free version would be limited to making meetings with small groups given the fact that there is a limitation in the number of participants.

Join.Me_Collaborative service_tools for communication in startups_Donald Burns
Image courtesy of Lucas Velásquez at Flickr.com

How do I use Join.Me?

Join.Me is not an element that substitutes but complements other communication tools that startups and larger companies can use to make their lives and jobs easier. Join.Me supplements asynchronous communication tools such as forums within the platform, so you can pay special attention to those groups of people that need a lot more than just a written answer in a forum. You can schedule video conferences with coworkers who have any number of issues to talk about or simply discuss their concerns regarding the answers contained in the forums, and you can also design special activities using Join.Me for coworkers to actually see how certain procedures or tasks are developed.

The application works on Windows platforms, and Mac OS X. It also has an intuitive interface that facilitates interaction with the application.

Just by sharing the desktop with someone, you enter the site, press the “Share” button where then you’ll be able to download the software on your computer.

Once these steps are finished, you must start a session on the site where it will be necessary to give the security code to the other person so that he or she is able to access the remote computer.

Said code should be entered into the Join.Me website, at the “Join” option.

Once you’re connected with the other party you can talk, share desktop files, edit them, copy them and take control of another computer. The paid version has some additional features.

The professional version of join.me allows you to create online conversations with up to 250 people simultaneously.

During the meeting, you can talk or chat with other users, transfer files and access computers remotely if permissions are set.

The parent company of the application is the well-known LogMein, who promotes the release of this free application for online use.

According to statistics, 4% of people share their screens in their daily work and 50% of respondents say they benefit from this modality.

Their target audience is more oriented to small businesses and people who use social networks.

It’s not necessary to have plugins such as Flash, Java, or others to share your screen and thus proceed to the generation of the 9-digit code, but it does require the downloading of a small application for PC or Mac OS X, which, once installed, lets invited guests view the other computer safely and remotely.

However, the display or web client does need the Flash plugin, so its usage in mobile phones’ browsers and browsers of iOS devices, such as iPhones or iPads, is not possible. To circumvent these limitations, the company offers mobile apps for different operating systems.

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