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Monday, February 16, 2009

Introducing Presentation Mode

"How many people can be in a single meeting?"

We get that question a lot when talking about Twiddla. Here's the answer we tend to give:

"How many people can use a single blackboard?"

The idea here is that it's really more of a social issue than a technical one. We've had 200 people in a single meeting, and the server handled it just fine. It was a complete mess though.

I guess another way of looking at it is: "How many people can you get onto a single conference call?" And that's where it starts to get interesting. The answer to that one is "As many as you like, provided that everybody is polite about it." And there's certainly evidence to support that view. I've seen conference calls with a couple hundred people listening that worked just great.

Twiddla, however, works a bit different. It's FUN. So much fun that people sometimes forget to be polite. When you land in a meeting, the first thing you notice is that your cursor turns into a pencil. So naturally, the first thing you do is scribble something. We've seen this happen often enough, and it makes for fun demos when the audience discovers that they can simply type in the URL they see on the screen and hop in. Of course, this is why we've learned to make our point in the first 15 seconds of any demo, since it will immediately turn into a scribble-fest as soon as people start piling in.

That's probably not the best thing to have happen if you're trying to use Twiddla for a training call, so today we're releasing "Presentation Mode", in all of its boring glory. Try it out when you get a chance. You can now declare yourself Benevolent Dictator For Life, and give yourself the sole power to change pages and mark things up. The other participants in your meeting will get Chat and Voice, and that's about it. Hopefully they'll behave themselves so that you can get some work done.