New Version of DimDim Released

At Lake Superior College, we have our own licensed rooms (tech plan update) for using the DimDim webcast service. This is the first semester we’ve made it available to the college community and quite a few faculty and some staff members have expressed an interest in using it, and a few have already started using it during the first week of the semester.

DimDim released a new version over the past weekend with lots of changes and several additions to the features and functions. The four minute screencast below (click it to open in a new window) shows some of these new features.

Some of the new features include:

  • Application and/or region screen sharing – which means that you can share your entire desktop, or a portion of the desktop, or a single application running on your desktop.
  • They did away with the rather lame feature of “Share a URL” which could be used to share a webpage, but only one at a time. I much preferred screen sharing where I could easily click through different tabs on the browser, which is still the recommended way for using websites in your webcast.
  • Document library – finally the ability to upload documents into a library where they will be available the next time you hold a webcast without uploading again. You can upload up to 2GBs of docs before, during, and after your meetings.
  • Document file types: the “Share Presentation” app (should be called Share Documents) previously was limited to only PowerPoint (PPT and PPTX) and PDF files. The new version adds to that list with the following: .doc,  .docx,  .docm,  .dotx,  .dotm,  .xls,  .xlsx,  .xlsm,  .xltw,  .xlsb  (or virtually all versions of Word docs and Excel spreadsheets).
  • Instant polls. Although limited to a single type of poll question (multiple choice with single select), this could still be useful in a pinch.
  • Web mashups – you can paste any YouTube URL, and Picasa URL (really? Picasa? Huh?). or any embed code for any web app that you might like – such as SlideShare, Vimeo, Blip.tv, a Twitter widget, a music player, photo slideshow, screencast video, Google map, or whatever as long as it has an embed code.
  • Four-way video chat – allowing you to see more people with webcams with a  new fullscreen mode for video.

Unfortunately, there appears to be no improvement in the recording functionality of DimDim after the update. Most of the sessions that I have recorded for future playback result in corrupted or empty files. This has been an ongoing problem. Sometimes you get lucky, but overall I have found that you CANNOT rely on the recording function to work properly.

Other than the recording issue, our experience thus far with DimDim has been positive. More to come.

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