Skype offers users high-quality voice and/or video chat to any other Skype user in the world, free of charge. Let me put that another way: Free international voice/video conversations in a professional, high quality application. The only fees associated with Skype are for calls made to traditional land lines or cell phones, but then again, isn’t that what a normal telephone is for? Skype is one of the most popular online communications tools, and it should be a staple for anyone who makes a living through the internet.
Digsby is ideal for social networking aficionados seeking a single interface to manage communications across multiple platforms, including personal email accounts, social networking sites such as Facebook, and popular chat programs like Yahoo Messenger, all with a single login. Users can also respond to individual sites through Digsby, or issue a general posting to all sites under the Digsby umbrella. And since Digsby is free to use, it could be the most convenient piece of communications software you never had to buy.
Cisco’s WebEx is the only item on this list that actually costs money to use, but it’s also arguably the best web-based meeting software available. It features a relatively simple interface that allows users to set up virtual meetings complete with voice chat and video conferencing, secure connections, file hosting, desktop sharing, and real-time file corrections for anyone participating in the meeting. If your workweek consists of daily brainstorming sessions or regular project updates, shelling out $59 per month for WebEx isn’t such a bad deal.
These are but a few of the tools available to both buyers and providers in the quest to keep the lines of communication open. Have you any other offerings to add? Tell us about the must-have communications suites you use to keep in touch with your associates!