There’s three of us in the office and we’re all sitting within swinging distance of each other day in, day out. If we’re getting into brain storming sessions, we fire everything down on paper but after a while these important sessions can get lost. So, I spent a bit of time looking for some handy groupware software (free / open source) but couldn’t find anything to my liking that could be hosted on our local server. That in turn lead to a suggestion to try Campfire. All I needed was something that would work in real time, without the need for everyone involved to keep refreshing their screens or all saving in turns to the one document.
GoogleTalk is used in the office between the three of us but it doesn’t allow for group chat. Skype was an option but wasn’t too easily accessible from every location. Campfire on the other hand allowed the three of us to “chat” away for the afternoon. By “chat” of course we were simply using it to fire down ideas. The transcripts of each session are then saved to your Campfire account and accessible by whoever you grant permission to (namely the three of us). Since there are only three of us using it as well we fall into their free user category which suits us down to the ground.
I log in tonight and there’s been some new additions by Aidan to the transcripts, which is perfect. Someone gets an idea, fires it into the room and its there for everyone to see when they log back in. You can post away to the room on your own and everything you post is saved and archived. Not only that but images are shared and used in real time, files can be uploaded and shared (up to a 10mb limit) also.
It is the real-time aspect of it though that impresses most. Having only gotten into it today (bar having a previous familiarity with Grouphub through another project) I can certainly see it becoming a very handy tool in the office and would suggest it to anyone looking for something similar.