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Real Time Online Collaboration
updated by rck, 2008-03-08

Sometimes, a forum or even a chat is not enough. You want direct communication with someone across the world, with voice and visual support. For quite some time now Skype is one of the leading Voice-over-IP solutions, even having support for connecting to the outside world (=regular phones) and creating phone conferences (=phoning with multiple people).

Add a nice screen-sharing program to that, maybe even a collection of web-based productivity applications and you should be able to discuss and write down your ideas pretty quickly.
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The images used here (the ones not being screen-shots) have been downloaded from stock.xchng, which I love using for free stock art. They have a lot of nice pictures here.
  • Working together 3. Used for the teaser-image. By robinsonma.
  • Girl with Headphones. Used as illustration for the Skype-Page. By juliaf.
Differences between the linked images and the ones I'm displaying can be explained by heavy usage of Photoshop.


  • Collaborative Software. On Wikipedia. Focus of this article was synchronous conferencing, but of course there's also Mail, Chats, Wikis, Web Portals, Online Communities (like, Forums, Social Software, etc.
  • Google Calendar. Useful for sharing your schedule. Now also able to synchronize with Outlook (yay!), tough I haven't tested this yet.
  • Google Documents. An (almost) full-fledged Office-Solution with a couple of nice collaboration features, included chat and ability to for example connect the Spreadsheet with realtime-data.
  • NetMeeting. Apparently, currently being replaced by SharedView. A nice tool to share your screen, a white-board, chat and exchange files. Slightly dated, but powerful never the less.
  • Skype. Do voice- and video chat, world-wide, without paying for it. The screen-sharing features available as plug-ins for Skype did not work for me.
  • Virtual Network Computing (short VNC). Not exactly as nice as NetMeeting (you'll lose the ability to control your mouse on your PC if you share your screen), you also need a server-part running. But multi-platform.
  • World Clock. See on one single page the current time of a lot of the worlds' cities. Mine would be "Vienna".


Have something to note on this? Have a question? Please leave a comment.

Please consider the commenting feature here as being a "user to user" feature, meaning that I might not answer due to time-constraints. I read most of the stuff here, never the less.
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