Recently, I had a chance to test out iMeet, a new online videoconferencing service that is fun and easy to use, but has serious features for business users. To attend a meeting during my test, I simply clicked on a link to the iMeet room in an e-mail invitation and hit 'call my phone." The service called me at my desk and connected me to the meeting, a refreshing change from the usual dial-in confusion. The meeting rooms, which can accommodate up to 15 video participants at a time, are designed to be cheerful and interactive. You can name your room and decorate it using several tasteful templates, including a skyline and a castle (my favorite), or customize it with a company logo. Guests can upload a profile photo or create an avatar, and you can click on each person's cube to see a bio, photos, and links to their Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Another neat feature: Each time someone speaks, their cube glows green. Other business-friendly features include the ability upload files to meeting rooms and collaborate in real time. The service also integrates with Microsoft Outlook to make scheduling meetings easier. Cost: iMeet is currently in free beta testing through the end of the year. After that, it will cost about $69 a month per user, though guests can attend meetings at no charge.
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