How many times have you been talking to a patron on the phone and as hard as you try to explain a database function, the patron isn’t able to follow along? You could whip up a quick Jing video to email to the person on the other end of the line, but wouldn’t it be quicker if you could instantly share your screen!? Join.Me is the answer! As opposed to some commercial screen sharing conference tools such as WebEx or GoToMeeting, Join.Me is available for free and is extremely easy to use. There is no downloading or accounts required on either end, and you can be up and sharing in seconds.
- Librarian goes to http://join.me and clicks on “Share”
- Librarian is asked to “run” an application – this generally does not require any administrative privileges. (This seems to work more smoothly using Internet Explorer.)
- Librarian sees a Join.Me tool box appear at the top of his or her screen with a number code.
- Librarian tells patron to enter that number at the http://join.me web page under “Join.”
- And voila! The patron sees the librarian’s computer!
It’s as easy as that! Once the patron is viewing the librarian’s screen, it’s easy to show step by step directions to navigate a database! An additional feature is that the librarian can even give a patron access to their mouse so that the patron can try their search his or herself! Another bonus feature of Join.Me is that it has a chat function and a free (long distance) phone number for teleconferences. For those looking for additional bells and whistles, Join.Me also has a paid “pro” account which also allows you to set up a custom code in place of the number that is used to connect that patron to the librarian. For example, if I set up my custom code as cooklibrary, the patron would simply enter cooklibrary on the “Join” section of the website. Additionally, the pro account also allows you to schedule meetings in advance. However, Join.Me or Join.Me Pro don’t include many of the tools that other web conferencing programs have such as highlighters, pointers, etc.
While I’m not convinced that Join.Me is the best tool for actual web conferences, it is an excellent way to quickly get sharing and could be extremely useful for any telephone reference you encounter. Try it out and let me know what you think!