Technology

Lunchtime Links: Google’s Dead-Simple Videoconferencing Approach

The new Chromebox for Meetings device aims to take the guesswork out of videoconferences. Also: Klout doesn't just want quantify your social presence—it wants to help you share better content.

A couple of weeks ago, we posted this hilarious video showing what teleconferencing would be like if everyone were in the same room.

Videoconferencing is much the same way, except it often has a few more issues—additional costs, technology imperfections, and a sort of complication that’s never really gone away as the technology has improved.

But Google says it’s working on something to end the headaches. Read all about it in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Google’s videoconferencing reboot: Trying to hold a videoconference often can be a giant pain, can’t it? Too many moving parts, needing to keep the IT department on standby in case something goes wrong, the whole bit. Wouldn’t it be nice if a device existed that just did videoconferencing really, really well without all the downsides? That’s the idea behind Google’s new Chromebox for Meetings, which relies on the same platform that drives the company’s Chromebook devices but offers a dead-simple solution for videoconferencing—one that starts at $999 per room. If you do a bunch of virtual meetings, this technology might be worth keeping an eye on.

Klout, now with content: If you’re like me, you’ve probably looked at your Klout score a handful of times, wondered what you were doing wrong, and just ignored it. But, with a simplified redesign focused on helping users curate content that’s relevant to their followers, Klout has a message for people like us: We can help you stay relevant! Or, as The Next Web‘s Ken Yeung puts it: “The emphasis is no longer on your score, but about how you can create and share informative and relevant content in order to keep your audience engaged and influenced.” The result is kind of a midpoint between Percolate and Buffer—it recommends content it thinks you’ll share and allows you to schedule it. (By the way, Buffer added a feature somewhat similar to this recently.) Klout is one of those things you either find useful or can’t stand. If you fall in the latter camp, do you think these changes make it worth a second look?

The brilliance of “Facebook movies”: As a marketing campaign to remind the public of the lives they’ve lived on Facebook, the company’s “Facebook movies” feature that launched this week in honor of the site’s 10th anniversary can’t be beat. It’s a strategy that nonprofits can borrow from, Network for Good’s Caryn Stein explains in a blog post on the NonProfit Marketing Blog. The best thing about the feature, according to Stein? The fact that it isn’t focused on Facebook itself. “The folks at Facebook could have created something more focused on their platform and their accomplishments,” she writes, “but they knew that the real way to make us care about their birthday is by talking to us about, well, us.”

Have you created a Facebook movie about yourself? Share it in the comments below.

(Google press photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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