Thursday, March 21, 2019

My favorite feature of Sametime Meetings

Call me a dinosaur, but I love Sametime Meetings. Here's why. It has the best chat functionality of any meeting software I've seen. What I like about it in particular are two things:

  • You can categorize entries in the chat window according to five predefined categories.
  • When the meeting ends, Sametime generates a meeting report that organizes the chat entries by category.
The five categories are:

  • Group Chat
  • Minutes
  • Action Item
  • Question
  • Starred Item

If you just enter text in the chat window, your entry defaults to Group Chat. But you can select another category before you hit Enter. That entry and all following entries are under the category you selected until you select another one.

Sametime Meetings chat category pop-up list

When you end the meeting you see the dialog below, where you can choose to generate a meeting report or not, and where to store it. I have a subscription to Sametime Meetings in IBM Connections Cloud, where I also have subscriptions to IBM Notes Mail and IBM Connections. So the dialog defaults to saving the report to "My Files", my cloud-based file storage area.

Sametime End Meeting dialog

I don't go around testing the features of meeting products. So it may be that other meeting software has these features too; but I haven't seen them in WebEx, GoToMeeting, or Zoom.

And I really don't in my life have much call to conduct meetings. But were I, say, the Chair of a regularly scheduled meeting I might designate someone in the meeting to take meeting minutes by entering them in the meeting chat window. And I would put all action items and unresolved questions there too.

By entering that information right in the chat stream for all to see, the meeting attendees could act as proofreaders, flagging errors as they occur. Then, after the meeting ends I would use the meeting report to follow up on action items, unresolved questions, and important ("Starred") items, perhaps distributing parts of the report to the people assigned to carry out each item.

What's not to like about this? (Now, if only the process of installing the screen-sharing browser plug-in were a little easier and faster...)

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