Meeting Point


May 10, 2011

All of us work in a team at one point or another in life. Teamwork helps in facilitating the task by dividing it into more than one person, each according to his specialisation. But it may increase the complexity of the task if there is no permanent coordination between the members of the team or without using the right tools.

And, of course, the existence of the Internet has greatly facilitated the task, starting with using e-mail to communicate with the various tools such as forums and instant messaging software.

But it is not reasonable to rely completely on e-mail to communicate with the other members and engage yourself in an endless chain of a ‘reply to all’, where conversation gets lost and productivity decreases. So to fill these gaps, there is more than one service created specifically for what the team needs - a place on the Internet dedicated solely for them to discuss the progress of work. And the newest of these services is Meetin.gs (http://meetin.gs) which, in my opinion, is worth trying.

With Meetin.gs you may use e-mail for one purpose only, which is just to send a link of the meeting room to your colleagues. What distinguishes it from other services is the easy login through e-mail or your social network profile without the trouble of remembering the password, filing the registration form or even downloading a particular programme on your computer. Meetin.gs has shortened this task through the availability of the Facebook connect feature, which enables everyone to enter immediately and call the rest in.

The service is currently in beta stage and you have to request an invitation to be able to use it. Therefore, there is a warning that you may encounter some problems because the service is still in beta stage but I did not really encounter any problem and felt that the product is in its final phase.

Accessing service for the first time will show you the setup screen of the meeting immediately to determine the date of the meeting using the provided calendar, time and duration with the appropriate name for it.

But if you are an early user, the splash screen will show you a list of meetings that you created and any updates received during your absence.

While accessing a page to a meeting that you have created earlier you will find the panel consists of everything you would use during the meetings. There is a section for materials, which includes everything you want to share with the rest like documents, pictures or any other file. And there is a space at the bottom of each single material to add your comment.

There is a special addition, too, which makes it possible to send materials to the meeting externally through e-mail using a special address automatically created after setting up any meeting.

The other division is devoted to the invitation to the meeting by people’s e-mails or their names if you have met them through the service before.

The most important section is the meeting’s agenda and the points that should be discussed during the meeting. Its contents could be edited by the embedded rich text editor easily.

The beauty of Meetin.gs is the integration of what is happening during the meeting with the tools you use on a daily basis. For example, you can add the meeting to your calendar the one that is on Outlook or Google Calendar. But if you wanted to add one of the parties of the meeting to your own contact list, you can download their virtual card (vCard).

It is true that registration and entering the meeting in Meetin.gs is easy, but it does not indicate that managing participants is out of control. For example, if you have invited someone to the meeting by sending the link to his e-mail and you would later like to prevent him from accessing the meeting, it is possible.

Meetings offers an effortless solution to a difficult task and doing it in the simplest form. I see it more than enough for small and medium-sized meetings.