I love cool free stuff. There are tons of new applications hitting the market because everyone wants to be the next Facebook–or at least a wannabe that gets bought up by a Microsoft so they can get back to work on the next cool thing.
But free is often a misnomer–some apps may be free for a week or special 30-day trial period. Or free for one or two users, which is okay for a micro company, but doesn’t do a damn thing to help even a very small company. Sometimes the free level product is too basic to be functional, and to have the expanded capability that you really need, you’ve got to dig into your pockets.
But I discovered something that is great fun and virtually free. It’s called Mingleverse. It’s a snappy little webinar application that is simple, easy to use and is still just in beta version. I can’t wait to see what this app does when it grows up. http://mingleverse.com/
Here’s what you do: Create an account and profile with some info about yourself, upload a picture, create an avatar (great fun– so give yourself some time to play with this!). You can schedule a mingle, invite your friends and upload a presentation.
We got carried away with this and imported a Powerpoint into YouTube (3 hours–yikes), then uploaded it into Mingleverse. It looked great; unfortunately, we couldn’t control the speed, and it looked like we were on speed as we did the presentation. We did a last minute end-run and imported a PowerPoint and it worked perfectly. The application features audio, but because we didn’t know whether or not our minglers would have microphones on their computers, we provided a call-in number with a passcode.
Mingleverse is free for a handful of users. We were optimistic that we would get more participants, so we sprung for the upgraded version for which we had to shell out $10 for up to 25 minglers. There were a few tense moments as we figured out how to use this, but a learning curve is to be expected. All in all, an unqualified success, and I can’t wait for my next mingle–I love this application!