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.
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.
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.”
[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!)
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.
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.
[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’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…