I’ve been having a little look at Adobe Connect 8 as a possible way to stream an event I’m involved with.
Adobe Connect is marketed as “an enterprise web conferencing solution for online meetings, eLearning, and webinars used by leading corporations and government agencies“. It’s based on Adobe Flash technology so there is a lot of ‘rich interaction’. Adobe Connect has had a fairly chequered past and was originally developed by Presedia. Macromedia acquired Presedia and it became Breeze meeting, one part of Macromedia Breeze. When Adobe acquired Macromedia it became Adobe Connect and many of the other Breeze products have been added in. While Adobe has been pushing other products Connect has sat on the sidelines, but it seems like they’ve now realised its potential.
Initially on using Adobe Connect I found that I couldn’t help but compare it with Elluminate and BigBlueButton but after actually using it for a while the differences become quite clear. Here are the biggest two I noticed:
- It’s slicker – it just looks more professional and is a lot more intuitive than some of the other solutions.
- Pods are great – Each meeting rooms has a selection of pods which each perform a specific role: Share, notes, attendees, video, chat, files, web links, poll, Q&A, Twitter feeds. These pods can be moved around, hidden, shown to only certain people (moderators) and laid out how ever you chose. As the organiser of a meeting you can use the selection of templates to have the desktop customised in which ever way you like. It’s clear that there is a lot of customisation and extensibility available. You could have also have a lot of control over a meeting.
Over the next month or two I hope to take a better look at Adobe Connect so I’ll be asking a lot more questions and hopefully finding out a few answers.
Of course one of the big stumbling blocks with Adobe Connect is that you need Adobe Flash to get it to work. I’m not fully sure of the implications of this, I guess that this will cause problems for many mobile users. I know the battle between Flash and html5 continues, I don’t really have any answers here…
I have no idea about cost but as Adobe Connect would be likely to implemented at an institutional level and I’m assuming it’s a highly competitive field I’d say that the price would be worth it providing it can be rolled out to fill many niches. I can see it having great e-learning potential, huge remote working potential and lots more uses inbetween.
At the moment I’m a novice at using Adobe Connect, no doubt as I become more experienced I’ll start to see the limitations a little more but I definitely got a warm feeling the first time I had a go.