Affordable Online Meetings


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GotoMeetingGoToMeeting is an intriguing, relatively cheap way to conduct online meetings.

The service allows users to do more than just conduct online videoconferences, users can see the moderator’s computer screen. The moderator can also allow other users to control their computer, making the online meeting more interactive than just a video conference.

With the click of a button, the moderator can switch allow another participant to become the moderator, and display the desktop of their screen. Theoretically, this allows for more collaborative online meetings.

There are two pricing plans, monthly plans for $49.00 a month, or a yearly plan for $468. The service allows up to 15 participants per meeting, and participants do not have to pay to join the meeting. Users are allowed to host an unlimited number of meetings per year.

The downside? For one, there is a one month free trial, but that requires a credit card—meaning if you do not cancel in 30 days, you will be charged. Two, without being able to test run the application, it is impossible to review how various computers and operating systems run the application. The website says the program works on both Macs and PCs…but lots of programs run into problems when Macs and PCs interact. Three, Skype is a lot cheaper than $49 a month. At the same time, Skype is only useful if everyone has Skype on their computer.

If you are willing to provide a credit card number, GoToMeeting seems promising enough to warrant a 30 day trial.


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  • We’ve used WebEx ( at the MSBA with great success. It’s a bit more in price ($69.00 per month on a monthly plan, $54 per month on its current 13 month lump sum ‘deal’) but up to 25 participants, integrated VoIP, and Cisco behind the whole thing, obviously putting some capital behind the product. I am particularly impressed with its iPhone App, which is extremely easy to use, allows me to schedule or change details on the fly, and provides great sound and picture. Plus, y’know, it’s just cool. Oh, and it has a free 14 day trial, no credit card required. I’d give it a try, though admittedly it’s more expensive and may be overkill for a solo or small firm lawyer.

  • Noah Nordrum

    I use WebEx extensively at work, but for home stuff, I’ve found that DimDim ( works pretty much just as good. It lacks some of the desktop control features of WebEx, but if you’re just sharing PowerPoint decks, DimDim is more than sufficient. Their free version supports conferences up to 20 participants, and their Pro version is $25/mo and supports up to 50! I can validate it works on Mac and Windows (for the record, WebEx works great on Mac + Windows as well).

    Highly recommended.

  • Noah Nordrum

    hey, in that last comment, that link is a comparison matrix–if it’s not obvious from the URL…

  • I’m a fan of Mikogo. Very smooth software. May not be as feature rich as GoToMeeting, although you do not lose much, plus, it is free.