How to upgrade your subscription on TokBox

Now you can take advantage of all the features our premium products, Video Meeting and Video Conference, offer by simply upgrading your existing account. You’ll be able to schedule meetings in advance, share presentations and have larger video calls. Best of all you get to try all of these features free for 30 days. Check out which product is right for you by looking at our Features & Pricing page.

If you need help upgrading your account, here is a step-by-step guide on upgrading your Video Chat account to Video Meeting.

1. Login to your TokBox account and select “Account” in the top menu bar, then “Upgrade account”.

2. If you’re registered for a Video Chat account, “Current plan” will appear beneath it.

3. Select the button beneath Video Meeting and click “Upgrade plan”.

4. You’ll be redirected to a billing page which will prompt you to enter your credit card information and billing address. Once you agree to our terms and click “submit”, you’ll be redirected back to your TokBox account. You’ll now have access to all the features offered in Video Meeting.

If you’re already subscribed to Video Meeting, and would like to upgrade to Video Conference, you won’t be prompted to re-enter your billing information. Simply select the Video Conference subscription level you’d like and click “Upgrade plan”. If your needs change, and you’d like to downgrade your subscription, select your preferred plan and click “Downgrade plan”.

As always, please send us an email with any questions or feedback to feedback@tokbox.com.

Lauren

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Apple embracing video chat – it’s about (face) time

The announcement of the iPhone 4 with front facing camera has been long awaited by those in the video chat and video conferencing space, even before the leak a couple of months ago.  For us at TokBox, its something we have been hoping to see launched for some time. Here at TokBox, we’re huge believers in the power of face-to-face communication to create more engaged and engaging conversation between people in different places.  Our mission is to make it so easy for groups to video chat that those kinds of conversations and interactions happen everyday at home, in the office, or wherever you are. Mobile is a key part of that mission.

Until now every time a user has asked me if they can use TokBox on their cell phone, I have had to say no.  In the North American market, there just aren’t a lot of smart phones with front-facing cameras.  On top of that, carriers haven’t exactly been competing to be first in line to carry two-way video traffic.

Today’s announcement from Apple is clearly a step in the right direction.  Person-to-person video chat on the new iPhone will introduce more people to the power of face-to-face video communication and hopefully it will encourage other manufacturer to add front-facing high-resolution video cameras to their list of smartphone capabilities.

As front-facing cameras become commonplace and carriers step up to carrying two-way video traffic, we are looking forward to the possibilities of taking TokBox’s group video communication truly mobile – moving it out of the office and off the desktop.  We’re working hard on making that happen, but for the moment our engineers are under strict instructions not to leave anything lying around in a bar…

In short, we’re excited to see that Apple has finally realized what we knew all along – that face time is the future of communications. It’s personal, it’s engaging and it has huge potential.

Micky

National Small Business Week: Social Media and Small Businesses

National Small Business Week kicked off in Washington, DC this week and it looks like the next few days will be jam-packed for those attending.  Discussions range from the impact of Small Businesses on America’s economy to Innovation and Social Media, and of course they will be announcing the winner of National Small Business Person of the Year.

I for one am particularly interested to hear what they have to say about Social Media and Small Businesses.  Recently I have been talking to businesses of all sizes about how they are leveraging Social Media in more and more innovative ways.  One trend I see emerging is the use of new Social Media tools to build deeper relationships with customers, one that goes beyond 140 characters and one that drives true engagement with the brand.

I thought that in the spirit of National Small Business Week I would share some of the innovative ways in which TokBox is being used to do that with you.

Real Life Plus is a virtual world that is actively engaging with their community to build their product.  They haven’t launched yet, but they regularly get their community together on TokBox, using Broadcast Video Chat, to get feedback on features, to generate new ideas and keep their ears (and eyes) to the ground on what is happening in the gaming world.  They simply circulate the chat URL and everyone hops on!

Long-time TokBox user, Scott Jordan from Scottevest, uses TokBox video messaging a lot to send video messages to his users rather than just emails. Whether he is trying to introduce a new product or answer a customer question, it helps to put a face to the brand and makes him stand out from the crowd.   We were also interested to see self-confessed Marketing “geek” Lorraine Ball talk about using TokBox in the same way on the Marketing Tech Blog only last week.

The Marketing “geek” in me thinks that one of the most powerful ways to use TokBox to engage with customers is for customer service.  My own personal belief is that customer service is one of the most powerful tools that any marketer has.  If you receive high-quality service you not only form a positive opinion of that brand, but you’re also more likely to tell your friends about it.  Couple high-quality service with being able to offer that service face-to-face, rather than via ‘phone or email, and I think you’re on to a winner.

We have been experimenting with doing this ourselves, hosting Broadcast Video Chats on TokBox for anyone to join with their questions, comments or ideas.  We’ll be doing another one of those this Friday at 11am PST, so feel free to join us to talk about innovative ways in which you use Social Media tools, including TokBox, or simply to share your ideas with us! Just click on this link to join the call  http://www.tokbox.com/Micky/TokBox-Community-Call

I look forward to talking to you then.

Micky

A Conservation Conversation: Black Footed Ferrets on TokBox

Last Friday was Endangered Species Day and to mark the occasion, the US Fish and Wildlife Service hosted a live TokBox Broadcast Video chat between Black Footed Ferret experts and 4th graders from a dozen schools across the US.

Black Footed Ferrets were classified as endangered in 1967 and in 1985 the remaining 18 ferrets were captured in an effort to preserve the population, breed and later reintroduce them in to the wild.

Today, there are about 290 ferrets in captivity and 800-1000 in the wild.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service wanted to take this success story to children across the US and teach them the importance of conservation projects like this and chose to do it using TokBox.

With one expert “in the field”, another at the breeding facility and one in the classroom, the children were able to learn all about Black Footed Ferrets, see both the full grown ferrets and their kits as well as interact with the experts.

It was great to see Broadcast Video Chat being used for the purpose which it was designed – getting a large group of people together to interact face-to-face.  We look forward to seeing more of these in the future and being able to share stories, like that of the Black Footed Ferret with you all.

Micky
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Go Green with TokBox

Grab your canvas shopping bag, eco-friendly coffee cup, and carpool to work because today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s a day to show our appreciation for the environment and to think about how our daily activities make an impact.

In the past week we’ve all been reminded of the power of Mother Nature with the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. With one fail swoop, Europe was at a standstill: no flights, canceled meetings, empty conferences, and thousands of stranded passengers. One fact that I find particularly relevant to Earth Day: the CO2 emissions from the eruption itself are significant, but dwarfed by the savings from mass groundings of flights (see daily emissions comparison below).

A bit frightening, right? The environmental impact of a volcano pales in comparison to our daily travel habits. There are times when traveling is a must, whether for business or pleasure, but there are other times it can be avoided. This Earth Day, we’d like you to think about how you can use technology to reduce your carbon footprint. We’ve got a few ideas to help inspire you:

1) Instead of spending hours driving to a meeting, plan a video conference.
2) Reduce the need to copy and print by sharing your presentation virtually
3) Consider telecommuting once a week

If you’ve got any other suggestions, we’d love for you to post them here. If you’re interested in learning more about Earth Day, visit http://www.earthday.org/.

Best,
Lauren

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* Chart by David McCandless & Ben Bartels @ Information is Beautiful

Ash cloud disrupted your meeting? Here’s the TokBox Meeting Emergency Kit

Over the last week we have been watching the news as the volcano eruption in Iceland has caused major chaos across Europe, leading to cancelled flights, missed meetings and low turn-out at conferences.  While many may be rejoicing in extended vacations and boring meetings they no longer have to attend, we realize that many of you are going to miss crucial meetings.  That’s where our Emergency Meeting Kit comes in to play.  Basically it tells you everything you need to know to organize a video meeting or conference at the last minute.  We thought it would be helpful to publish the contents below.

TokBox Meeting Emergency Kit – A Simple Quick Start Guide to TokBox Video Meetings & Conferences

If something has got in the way of your meeting or conference, don’t worry.  You don’t need to go and find an expensive video conferencing suite, or even invest in any new equipment.  All you and your meeting or conference participants need is an internet connection, a webcam and this handy guide.

There are three different parts to the guide depending on the type of meeting you need to hold. Click on the link to be directed to the right part of the guide for your meeting:

1. Informal group meeting

2. Group meeting with an agenda

3. Larger group meeting with presenters and an audience

We hope this helps keep your meeting or conference on track and remember, if you need any help getting your meeting started, we’re here to help.  Send us an email to help@tokbox.com

Micky

TokBox Brings the Classroom Online

Broadcast chat launched last week to an overwhelmingly positive response from the education world. You can read a post on Social Times (http://bit.ly/9GURt8) regarding recent cuts in school funding across the country and how TokBox can help.  While the free up-to-20 user TokBox experience has always been a compelling offering for educators who want to meet one-on-one with students or among colleagues, the Broadcast offering seems to have hit the spot for those teachers and professors looking for a quick and easy solution for online classes, most of which have many for than 20 students.

What really seems to connect with educators is the new functionality to move participants on and off-screen with ease. Allowing teachers full control of the chat sets the stage for completely fluid conversation, keeping the class entirely focused on speakers or students who have questions and bringing orderly classroom dynamics to the web.

As technology improves and budgets thin, I hope TokBox becomes a valuable and cost-efficient tool for everyone from the Professor allowing his working students an online option to the 6th grade science teacher who hopes a weekend experiment will excite his students for the week ahead.

In the next couple of weeks we hope to continue this momentum tweaking our offerings to even better fill the needs of the education sector. With this goal in mind, we need your help. Monday, April 12th at 2:00pm PST we will be holding a community chat to discuss our current Broadcast release, and any features or improvements you’d like to see. I will update shortly with the URL, but please be sure to mark the calendar.

As always, have a healthy and exciting weekend!

Andrew