I thought I’d look into Tinychat.com because we’ve had several requests at the NMC for students/lecturers who need to hold a video interview with a hiring company/college/university that is not within driving distance.
I’ve suggested using MSN Messenger, AIM or even Skype. It seemed some requestors did not feel comfortable installing new software onto their systems. I had heard of Tinychat and suggested it once. Let’s get testing.
You can use Twitter or Facebook account to login after creating a video chatroom.
If you prefer not to have Tiny Chat access your information on Twitter/Facebook, you can create a free account on the site (you’ll see later this isn’t completely true).
Once you’ve created an account, the site presents you with other Tinychat users that you can “follow”, or you can skip that step.
On to the “profile” creation: You can change your display name to something other than your userid. Add a brief biography, description w/links, pictures and more. Add a picture to your profile, set your location (this is not required), provide a URL to your website. They have “gender” as non-optional radio button I find rather silly. I don’t think it should be there at all.
It will force you to upload a picture. How about my cat?
Set Design, Privacy settings, but now looks like it’s FORCING me to “Link with Twitter or Facebook”.
The Directory shows images/stills of current users. Most of them appear to be bored teenagers. We’ll stay away from that.
Moderator controls in
clude: Play Youtube video, Show your desktop, share a whiteboard, share a group document.
Show my desktop takes a series of what seemed like still images ~ it ran a bit slow as I was using my small Mac laptop (only because it has a built-in camera).
The share a whiteboard is just that ~ it opens a new window with rudimentary tools, type/text tool, drawing tools, color selection, line selection.
Share a group document allows several people to type at once. Upload a text file, html, word or rtf and work on that together. Export options are: html, plain text, bookmark file, Word, PDF and OpenDocument.
So why not use the University approved iLinc? Well, if the user needs it for a personal interview, they can’t provide a departmental account number. Even though there are no fees for iLinc I doubt any graduate student (or staff / faculty member) would be comfortable asking for one for personal use.