It's been a crazy couple of weeks, as we've been jamming new features into the iotum FREE Conference Call application for Facebook. We've reached an inflection point where usage is really starting to ramp, and feature requests are beginning to pour in. That's meant lots of work, especially in support of teleseminars, where a number of seminar leaders are now starting to use the FREE Conference Call application.
Last night I demo'd our latest release for the Ottawa DemoCamp crowd. It went live just a few hours before the event, and it was chock full of new features and enhancements that people had been asking for. Here are just a few.
The live wall. In real time, the information you type into the wall is displayed on the screen. This is particularly useful as a back channel for conversations that are occurring during the call. Participants can put questions on the wall, or add URL’s or other information that might be talked about during the call. We knew this was going to be big, and it's already getting rave reviews. This feels like a Facebook first.
A waiting to talk queue. We've had the ability for participants to "raise hands" for a while, but it's been difficult to know who raised their hand first. Now, as participants raise hands, they are automatically moved to the front of the list of people who are on the call. This allows a host to know exactly which participants want to talk, and in what order they requested. As more and more people start to use the FREE Conference Call application for multi-party podcasts (we call them con-casts), this feature will allow people to run talk-radio style call-in shows and more. For an example of how this works, tune into the SquawkBox at 11 AM this morning.
In addition, all of the elements on the page are now collapsible, so that you can get unwanted items like invite information out of the way during the live call. All of the non-attending participants are now located at the bottom of the page also, so that anyone who has RSVP’d, but doesn’t show up, doesn’t clutter the call window.
There are numerous other minor enhancements as well, such as the way that the application rearranges windows depending on whether it's before, during or after the call; or the new layout of the windows that allow you to more easily find the recordings and get help on the application.
All in all, Howard and I are very proud of what the iotum team has accomplished. Go check out the application and let us know what you think.