Inviting people to join your TokBox call

One of the key parts of organizing or hosting any event, is inviting people.  When it comes to inviting people to your Video Chat, Video Meeting or Video Conference we wanted to make it really simple.  So, here are things that we did that we hope will make it easier to invite people to your call, particularly a group of people.

Now, when you start a call by clicking on “Call now”, you will see one of two invite screens.

The first screen (click to enlarge the image below) is what you will see if you have added contacts to your TokBox contact list (which we recommend you do).

Simply click on people in your contact list and they will be added to the call.  If there is someone else you want to invite, but they are not in your contact list, you can simply type in their email address.  Click “Invite contacts” and if they are an IM contact it will call them immediately and if they are only an email contact we will send them an email with the link for your call and any message you have added.

You can still copy the call URL and send it round, or even post it directly to Twitter and Facebook too by clicking on those icons in the invite screen.

If you don’t have any contacts in your TokBox contact list, you will see a different screen (below).  This simply allows you to add email addresses and once you click “Invite Contacts” we will send them an email with your call URL and any message you have added. As simple as that.

As always, let us know if you have any questions by sending an email to feedback@tokbox.com.

Micky and the TokBox Team

A new way to add contacts to your TokBox contact list

One of the questions we most often hear at TokBox is “How do I add contacts to my TokBox contact list?”, so the whole TokBox team really wanted to make that simpler.  We think we’ve made the first steps with the new contact list.

There are three ways to add contacts, all accessible directly via your contact list:

  1. Connect to an existing IM or Facebook account
  2. Add people you know from TokBox
  3. Invite individuals to join TokBox

1. Connecting IM or Facebook accounts

Click on one of the logos in the contact list and the click on “Add” and you will be asked to enter the user name and password for the account you want to add.  Your contacts from that account will be added to your TokBox contact list.

2. Add people you know from TokBox

If you are looking for an existing TokBox user, enter their name or email address in our search box.  Once you have your results, you can add them as a contact.


3. Invite individuals to TokBox

If someone you know is not a TokBox user, then you can click on “Invite” in the contact list.  Enter their email address and they will be invited to join TokBox.  Once they do, they will appear in your contact list.

We hope this helps and as with all the other changes we have made, feel free to send us your thoughts and ideas to feedback@tokbox.com.

Micky

New ways to invite people to join a call

Our quest at TokBox is to be the simplest group video conferencing service on the web. So, over the course of the last few weeks we have been spent a lot of time talking to TokBox users, both new and old, to find out what we could do to make things simpler.  We have already launched some of the things that they suggested and over the course of the next month or so we will be rolling out more.

Today we launched one of the first major changes, which we hope will make it easier to invite people to your call, particularly a group of people. Now, when you start a call by clicking on the “Start a video chat” button, you will see one of two invite screens.

The first screen (click to enlarge the image below) is what you will see if you have added contacts to your TokBox contact list (which we recommend you do).  Simply click on people in your contact list and they will be added to the call.  If there is someone else you want to invite, but they are not in your contact list, you can simply type in their email address.  Click “Invite contacts” and if they are an IM contact it will call them immediately and if they are only an email contact we will send them an email with the link for your call and any message you have added. You can still copy the call URL and send it round, or even post it directly to Twitter and Facebook too by clicking on those icons in the invite screen.

If you don’t have any contacts in your TokBox contact list, you will see a different screen (below).  This simply allows you to add email addresses and once you click “Invite Contacts” we will send them an email with your call URL and any message you have added. As simple as that.

We’re still testing these changes, so not everyone will see them, but if you do see them, we’d love to hear what you think so that we can continue to test and improve.  Send us an email to feedback@tokbox.com or join us this Friday at 11am PST in a Broadcast Video Chat to ask your questions and give us your point of view.  Simply click on this call URL http://www.tokbox.com/Micky/Discuss-changes-to-TokBox

We look forward to chatting with you then.

Micky and the TokBox Team

Adding contacts to your TokBox contact list

One of the questions we often get from existing TokBox-ers is “How do I add contacts to my TokBox contact list?”, so I thought it would be worthwhile sharing the basics here.  In short, there are two ways you can add contacts 1) one at a time 2) entire contact lists.

Starting with adding individuals one at a time, here are the steps.

If you are looking for an existing TokBox user, enter their name or email address in our search box.  Once you have your results, you can add them as a contact.

If they are not a TokBox user, then you can click on “Add account” at the bottom of the contact list and choose “Add contact”.  Enter their email address and they will be invited to join TokBox.  Once they do, they will appear in your contact list.

Next, if you would like to add an entire contact list, you can add lists from Gmail/Gtalk, Yahoo, AIM or MSN Messenger.

Simply click on “Add” at the bottom of your contact list and choose “Add account”.  You will be asked to enter your user name and password for the account you are adding.  Once you do that, all the contacts from that account will appear in your contact list.  You will then be able to see when they are on or offline and be able to easily call them or send them an instant message.


We hope this helps and as always, feel free to send us an email at help@tokbox.com if we can give you any other pointers.

Micky

Now you can dial-into your Tokbox video chat!

Often at TokBox we’re trying to have a meeting with the team or some of our Partners and someone says “Oh, I’ll be in the car at 2pm” or “My only time to meet today is 12noon, but I can’t be online”.  We’re left combining a TokBox video chat with a phone conversation via Polycom.  Frustrating.  It’s also something we’ve been hearing from our users.

So, we’ve done something about it.  This week we launched the ability to dial-in to TokBox video chats.

For every video chat that you start we provide a phone number and chat code for you to give to anyone you want to take part.  All they have to do is dial the number, enter the chat code and they’re in the chat.

Dial-in is a premium feature and the owner of the chat is charged 11 cents per minute for every phone participant.  So if 2 people join your video chat by phone and talk for 10 minutes, you will be charged for 20 phone minutes, $2.20.

If you’re itching to get started, here’s how:

1. Start or scheduled a video chat.
2. Give the dial-in phone number (1-877-6TOKBOX) and chat code (shown in picture below) to anyone you want to join. If you have scheduled your chat, it is automatically sent out with the email invitation.

3. When a phone user dials-in using the given phone number, they will be prompted to type in their chat code and say their name.
4. You will be prompted to allow the phone participant into the call (see picture below).
5. If you’re not sure who it is, you can listen to the name of the person dialing in by clicking “Hear name” button
6. To accept the phone participant in to the chat you have agree to our terms and conditions by clicking check box and allow the user in by clicking allow button. You will be charged 11 cents per minute for every phone participant.
7. Hey presto! you can hear them.
If you’ve subscribed to moderation and scheduling, or if your chat is a broadcast video chat, you’ll get the same controls to remove or silence the participant as you would with a video chat participant in a moderated or broadcast call. (shown in picture below).

Let us know what you think about this new feature and we would be happy to answer any questions. You can reach us at help@tokbox.com.

-Gaurav

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