Let’s get a few things straight around here.

I would say, “You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers.” but someone already has that tag line, so:

I wanted to address seven (6.5, really)  of the questions I see all the time on our social media, in our feedback emails, and even some questions we got at Mass Innovation Night. All here, in one spot.

Is join.me REALLY free?

Yes. Free. Costs nothing. No registration. Free.

OK, so the beta is free. What’s going to happen when it’s out of beta?

We can’t give away all of our marbles –we’ll have none left to play with – but when a product is built by a company famous for its ‘freemium’ model…well, you get the gist.

I use two monitors at work. Can join.me switch between my monitors?

Not yet. But, you’re not the only one that uses two monitors for work. Heck, I do too. We hear you.

Why does it install the .exe every time I start a new meeting?  Why not just save it to my browser?

We’re a little over-the-top with security.  When you exit a session, join.me is completely wiped from your system.  Completely.

McAfee won’t let me run join.me – what’s that about?

We know. We know it’s not fun when you try to use our product and you can’t because of another company. We are working with McAfee to figure it out.

How many people can join my session?

How many friends and colleagues do you have? We encourage you to have meetings as big or as small as you want. As of right now, there is no limit.

There’s five or six features I want. Where are they?

We can do everything but read minds over here, so “talk back” to us on join.me and tell us what you’re looking for.

Need to know something else? Find me at @joinme or on Facebook.

         

Back to the Future: join.me in 2035

AN INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN BARDOS

join.me in 2035

The pilot behind join.me, the free screen-sharing service that rocked online collaboration to the core, looks back on how join.me influenced the past quarter-century

Wow, we can’t believe it’s already been 25 years since join.me was introduced. Did you ever think it would be this big?

join.me was designed to be a better, easier meeting product, you know, on the old World Wide Web. It really wasn’t supposed to support interplanetary connectivity – and teleporting the presenter wasn’t even remotely on our road map. Did we ever envision that it would be the antidote to the overbooked conference room crisis of 2020 or be the beginning of the end for email attachments and the entire online storage market? Of course not. Who could have?

How has online collaboration changed since 2010?

In 2010, simple screen sharing was still a new idea. It was like Justin Beiber – a baby on its way to skyrocketing to fame (can you believe he restored and expanded Neverland Ranch?). Back then, the online meeting was relatively slow and tedious, nothing like the direct brain-to-brain meetings we have today. I mean 22G networks and Apple’s iYou have a lot to do with that, but still, our daydream and inappropriate thought filters were what really made this practical.

What’s happened to your competitors?

The first wave? The meeting guys? Well, they kept packing on features, making things more complicated, which of course is a recipe for a short lifecycle. It probably didn’t help that the GE sales meeting on one of their platforms brought down the entire web in 2013 – no amount of advertising can help bury that fiasco. The other collab guys just kept trying to be the meeting guys. Oops.

What’s your personal wildest use case?

In 2011, we decided to buy a 1950s Ikarus Bus in Budapest – the marketing guys thought it would be really cool to drape it in a join.me wrapper and drive it to Mobile World Congress. I volunteered to drive it from Budapest to Barcelona – I mean talk about a boondoggle! The thing broke down con-stant-ly. So anyway, it dies halfway up the Alps, at night, in the middle of nowhere. I call up one of my Hungarian colleagues, who hooks up with this mechanic in Budapest and loops me in via a join.me session to walk me through the repair. So I’m lying underneath this beast with my iPad, oil splattering everywhere, smoke billowing, getting schooled in Hungarian with some broken English. Hey, if join.me can turn a cultured Canadian into a surly Eastern European mechanic – complete with occasional Hungarian expletives – anything is possible.

Give us one line on what people are saying about join.me today.

They’re not saying it, they’re thinking it, and we’re telecommunicating it for them.

Kick back and give us your parting words on join.me.

Online collaboration is the new group hug. Trust falls, anyone?

         

Join what?

Oh boy.  First post.  No pressure.

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog, you’ve likely come directly from the join.me site or the @joinme Twitter page or the join.me Facebook page.  And what do these three things have in common?  An amazingly sparse explanation of just what the heck IS join.me?!  That’s intentional…but we’ll get to that in a bit.

What is it?

In a nutshell, join.me is pretty much what online meeting products have always, desperately wanted to be – a, and I quote, “ridiculously simple” way of sharing your screen with someone else or a few hundred someone elses.  No registration, no plug-ins, no banging your head on the keyboard.  Oh, and it’s free for now.  Yup, free.   But that should come as little surprise to those familiar with our ‘rents, the good folks at LogMeIn.

Why is it?

Every web conferencing product on the market promotes the ‘ad hoc’ scenario.  Just fire it up, on the fly, while you’re talking to someone, and voila, you’re looking at the same document or image or spreadsheet or presentation, right?  Uh, wrong.  You never do that. Do you?  No, you end up just emailing the file and then walking through it like you’re playing 20 questions…or instructing a perfect stranger to describe and defuse a bomb.  Web conferencing products are just that.  For big, honking, pre-planned events.

Our thought: Strip out all the bloated features people don’t use, make it easy, make it fast, and maybe, just maybe, people will actually use such a service for an impromptu collaboration session…or that informal weekly meeting with your colleagues across the aisle, hall, country or globe.  We like to think of it as the Flip cam model to meeting online.

And the blog?

Remember that part about being fast and easy?  Yeah, well, that also means sparse, light and pithy.  And while we kick ass at haikus and 140-character prose, sometimes you just need to be a bit longer winded when sharing the latest and greatest new feature or offering tips and tricks or just waxing poetic about some cool new iGadget that was intentionally left found on a barroom floor.

So if you like our fun new, light, fast and free product, add this, its verbose sibling, to your favorite RSS Reader.  In return, we promise that you’ll be among the first to hear about new features, special offers, cool giveaways – stuff like that.

And don’t be shy.  This thing is in beta.  So you’re a tester.  Tell us what you like, hate and dream of when it comes to join.me.  We’re listening here…and here…and here.

         

Stay tuned!

The insider’s guide to join.me, LogMeIn’s free screen sharing service, is coming soon!