Archive for July, 2010

Yuuguu: Now part of Powwownow

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Now that the ink has finally dried in various lawyers’ offices, we have some proper news to report today. So much so that I feel like donning a mac and trilby, and standing outside in the Manchester rain with a stick mic to say it. That’s probably just me being a dramatic wannabee reporter. Or Columbo. I’m not sure which.


The news: we have some new owners

We all think this is actually rather splendid news. From a strategic, CEO viewpoint our top-man Anish Kapoor says it like this:


We’re excited to be joining the PowWowNow team. Both companies want the same thing, which is to turn the idea of working together without travel into a practical reality. During our talks, it was clear that we could build on each other’s strengths – and create a truly ‘first choice’ service for web conferencing, collaboration and unified communications. We’re already pretty excited about our initial ideas, and really looking forward to the future.

Which about sums it up. Although I have to say Anish doesn’t normally talk quite as formally when he’s not being badgered into doing Press Releases. He’s from Manchester, and would much rather just get stuff done than flannel the press. But I digress.

As a development team, we had a great night out with Powwownow’s management team in Manchester recently. True enough, we all seem to see things in a pretty similar light. Powwownow have been working hard to make teleconferencing something that becomes a ‘no brainer’ – professional, cheap, no barriers to setting up. And to make it like this for the one person company or multinational alike. Similarly, we’ve spent our time at Yuuguu doing the exact same thing. We want to make it a ‘no brainer’ for people to get their hands dirty on each others’ computers from anywhere across the globe.

Amongst other benefits, Powwownow will certainly bring a talented team of marketers to what we do. That really excited us as developers. Yes, you read that right ‘developers excited by marketing’. But we’ve thought for a while that whilst we work hard to make Yuuguu great, and our word-of-mouth marketing has been a tremendous success, it wouldn’t harm us to blow our own trumpet a little more.

So, a great ending to this week for all of us here at Yuuguu. I think we’ll be seeing some interesting innovations in the product pretty soon.

What would you like to see? Let us know at @yuuguu (or @almellor) on twitter, or on our forums

Good overview of Social Media tools

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

This will be a useful tool for many of you, courtesy of Overdrive Interactive. Click the link to download two pdf files, which help to untangle the maze of Social Media tools on the web today.

Each pdf contains clickable links to all the sites for Social Media and Search Marketing that the authors felt were the most useful.

With an enormous number of tools out there, all with slightly different audiences, uses and – if you like – local customs, it can be difficult to get past the super-popular ones. We all know that we should tweet and facebook in business these days. But looking further afield has its advantages. Your specific business might well have ready-made groups of prospects, partners or co-workers elsewhere. It would be wise to introduce yourself!

Tip of the week: Break up long messages

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Yuuguu’s Instant Messages are most often used for fast, frequent communication between a team. These messages tend be short and to the point. But each message can actually be very long indeed, making Instant Messages ideal to hold in-depth meetings.

The key to using long messages effectively is to keep them readable. And that means breaking them up into paragraphs. This simple video shows you how.

Video will appear here.

What we mean by ‘like being in the office over the web’

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

I came across a nice review of Yuuguu the other day on a site discussing tools for teamwork. I commented on it partly as a thank you, and partly as I think there’s much more to Yuuguu for collaboration than the review picked up on. Yuuguu is far more useful for teamwork than simply a screen sharing facility.

The thing is, when we started yuuguu we were clear that we were building a team collaboration app. It’s grown a little since then, so it is also good at other things. But back in the day, we had a metaphor of ‘just like being in the office’. So, I took the time to explain how yuuguu features came about as a response to the question ‘What would you do in an office – and how would you do it over the internet?’

This is what I said. Hope it helps you get more from yuuguu!

We designed Yuuguu ground-up as a collaboration tool. It gets used for all sorts of stuff like web conferencing, sales calls, demos and what have you where it works very well. But it really is best at the remote teamwork application you talk of.

We started with the idea of ‘what do you do when you are in an office?’. We realised that the value of being in an office is that you can look up from your desk and see who is in, who is busy, and who looks free to help. So we added presence indicators to yuuguu – green and red lights by the side of everyone’s name which say ‘available/busy/do not disturb’.

You would then next perhaps shout or walk over to a colleague you thought you could work with. So, on yuuguu, we added instant message chat. You can send a quick ‘got a sec?’ kind of message by clicking your colleague’s name, typing the message in the drop down box and hitting enter.

You would then give them some context about why you wanted their advice. In the office, you walk over to your desk and start pointing at work on your computer screen. This is where the screen sharing and remote control features came in. We made sure that you could show your screen to up to 30 people, so you can do group-work with yuuguu. We later added ‘web share’ which is where people can view your screen share with just a web browser, without downloading the yuuguu app itself.

Of course you need to talk whilst you’re doing this, so we added low-cost, no-set-up voice conferencing using real telephones. We later added Skype integration, as a lot of people were wanting to work that way.

About the way in which you share your screen and the other person can accept/decline, we made it that way as a privacy control. Nobody can just ‘log in’ to your computer and see what you are doing unless you explicitly allow them to, and are fully aware of it. We saw that as much more appropriate to professional teamwork. That said, we’ve been asked to change it a few times, so currently we support a button ‘Please show me your screen’ which turns things round a bit. We might well make a more remote login style thing in the future.