A List of Lists: Webinar Platforms

by Shelley Ryan on January 7, 2011 · 9 comments

Looking for a webinar tool... ugh.

I’ve used several web conferencing platforms, but I don’t have the time to evaluate everything available in this market.  At last count, there were 117 out there! Good thing someone else is keeping an eye on the webinar space for me (and you).

These websites [sort of] evaluate webinar tools. I put the most useful site at the top***, and the least useful at the bottom. If you know other good resources, please leave a comment!  Thanks.

Online Meeting Tools Review

This site is run by Publicare, a German marketing communications agency. It states, “We have tested numerous web conferencing solutions in an independent software comparison and are continually evaluating new software.” Although I don’t agree with their top five choices, it’s nice that they briefly review each one… and they explain how they arrived at that ranked order.

26 Webinar Tools for Small Business Owners

TJ McCue wrote this article in April 2010.  He includes a short description and pricing of the different apps, singling out five as the “heavy hitters.”

Web Conferencing Review

[Added Jan 21, 2011, thanks to Ken Molay.] This is David Woolley’s “independent guide to software and services enabling real-time communication.”  There’s a huge list of tools with brief, not terribly enlightening descriptions; some of those have a link to another page listing product reviews that were written 3-6 years ago.  David says he tries to update the site when new products appear, but “it’s hard to keep up with which apps have dropped out of the market.”  If you want an expert’s advice on choosing an app, you could hire David. (Or me, for that matter!)

Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies – Live Learning Tools

Jane Hart’s website has thirteen different lists of learning tools, with about 60 web conferencing apps lumped under 85 “Live Tools.” I’m not sure who put them there or categorized them – Jane, her visitors, or the vendors! There are no evaluations, but you’ll notice five that are starred as a “Top 100 Tool” based on votes from learning professionals worldwide.

Web Conferencing Reviews

This list of “top web conferencing solutions” covers 16 vendors. Each review sounds more like marketing copy than an unbiased evaluation, with no indication of the date it was written. The “compare vendors” feature was a great idea, poorly executed. On the plus side?  The list is not overwhelmingly long.

Webinar Software Companies

[Added Jan. 21, 2011.] People are always asking Rachel Levy at WebinarListings.com to recommend an app.  Someday she might review them, she says, but for now she’s created this list, with each product linking to its vendor.  Like David Woolley, she’s relying on visitor input to keep the list updated.

Capterra

Capterra’s site is of questionable value. There are 108 products, but only five have reviews – all by self-proclaimed customers. I see vendors on it that are no longer in business. The ability to “filter” the list by selected features only works if the vendor has filled out the product profile. Since top providers like Adobe, Webex and Cisco haven’t participated, well…

UPDATE, January 11th:

***Wait a second… how could I forget Ken Molay??  As a bonafide webinar industry expert, he frequently reports on what vendors are doing.  If you search for a (not too obscure) product name on The Webinar Blog, you can bet you’ll find his informative, experienced two cents on it.  It’s not exactly a LIST, but his site deserves a spot here.

UPDATE, August 9th:

I just spotted website Comparz.com, which has both editorial reviews and user reviews.  Two blemishes:  There are only five platforms reviewed in the web conferencing category, and the user reviews trump the editorial reviews.  I don’t understand their ranking strategy here, because some user reviews say “love this!” but only award one star out of five.  I’ll keep an eye on them…

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken Molay January 11, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Thanks for the mention, Shelley! I’ve thought about trying to do more formal rankings and comparisons, but the vendors and products change so often that it would be a never-ending full time job. So I’ll just keep making comments about individual products when I see something interesting.

In the meantime, you might want to add David Wooley’s Guide to Real Time Web Conferencing – http://www.thinkofit.com/webconf/realtime.htm

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Shelley Ryan January 11, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Excellent, Ken! Will add that to the list, thanks!

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Johny February 7, 2011 at 12:15 am

RHUB is an alternative to hosted solutions like GoToMeeting, WebEx etc. This appliance is internally-hosted. http://www.rhubcom.com

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Chris – Online Meeting Tools Review July 26, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thanks for listing us as the most useful site. It really is a vast market with many providers and it does take a lot of time to review the most promising tools. But as Ken states there is a lot going on constantly so it really never gets boring!

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Ed July 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

I have had the worst customer service experience with Citrix and GoToWebinar. Run like hell away from their webinar system….it is cumbersome, the sales team is pushy and has very shady sales tactics, and they are trying to hold me to a one year contract.

I have found Meeting Burner the ideal folks to work with in every way!

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Rob April 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Thanks for the write up. I find the same thing. I’ve been using the GoTo product line for years. I’m about ready to dump it because I don’t use it enough (4-5 X month) to justify paying that much for it. The support tool I’ve been using for a couple years, http://www.screenconnect.com/, built out their software to include a meeting functionality and I’ve tried pairing that with Skype. It does the job and I no longer have to pay for something I don’t feel like I use on a regular enough basis.

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Danny Mittleman July 9, 2013 at 9:28 pm

I maintained a list of collaboration products about five years ago. It was very difficult to keep it current and relevant. Several of the wikipedia lists are decent (and I used to have my students go in and update them from time to time.

I published an article about four years ago listing several sites that cataloged collaboration products; I just checked the URLs and none of those lists remains active except David Woolley’s.

David Woolley’s list is the Mother-of-All-Groupware-Lists. It has been around forever, and somehow he keeps it current. He calls it a “Web Conferencing” list, but he has much more on it than just web conferencing. Last time I tried counting the size of his list, he was over 2,000 products and tools–and that was six years ago.

The other very very good list you don’t mention is Robin Good’s list of Collaboration Tools (built in MindMeister). See http://www.mindmeister.com/12213323/best-online-collaboration-tools-2012-robin-good-s-collaborative-map

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Danny Mittleman July 9, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Here are some more lists (since I am out gathering them up right now):

http://www.opensourcecms.com/ It calls itself a CMS list, but if you look at what is there, it includes a lot of software tools as well. The list is limited to LAMP software, though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_collaborative_software This is an example of one of the very good Wikipedia lists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_software (points to several of them).

http://ricoslist.com/?page_id=790 I don’t know anything about this list; I just stumbled on to it.

http://www.december.com/net/tools/index.html Also just found this list and don’t know anything about it, but it looks interesting.

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Shelley Ryan July 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

You rock, Danny! I am adding your posts even though I haven’t checked out your sources yet… later I will update my own post after reviewing what you’ve contributed here.

This is hard work, isn’t it? Let’s set up a Tip Jar so folks can show their appreciation by filling it with dimes and quarters. :)

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