Review of Webinar Software Platforms: Part 1 of a Series

I’ve been hearing a lot of conversation lately about how to best use the various software platforms that are now available to host meetings of various kinds. Because it’s such a big need – and there are so many different options – I’ve decided to write this blog series to help you navigate your options.

This series will be of interest to you if you host any of the following kinds of meetings:

  • Sales webinars – where you want as many people as possible to attend

  • Content webinars – where attendees have paid to attend, so you don’t want the webinar available to the public

  • Streaming live events – so that people can “attend” your live event over the internet, as well as in person

  • Small-group meetings of various kinds – but that require face to face video, and/or screen sharing

The software options I’ll be discussing include:

  • Google + (or Google Hangouts, or Hangouts on Air)

  • YouTube Live

  • GoToMeeting (or GoToWebinar)

  • Skype

  • WebEx


  • UStream

This first blog post is about a situation I myself encountered very recently. The situation is that I’m creating a bunch of collaborative content with several different people, and I need to be able to:

  • Talk with the other person

  • Share my screen, and the other person share theirs

  • Record the entire session – both the audio and the screenshare video

In this situation, it’s not essential to capture video of mine or my co-presenter’s face; nor do we need to have other people attend the session live with us.

Would you believe, it took the two of us THREE HOURS to finally figure out a software solution that would work? It turns out that the winner for this situation is …

What follows is a comparative analysis of the other software options we tried first, and what the drawbacks of each one were. And if you prefer, you can listen to the audio of us recapping our adventures here:


  • Sharing: To share your screen requires a Premium account (cost: $10/mo)

  • Recording: To record the conversation requires a software program called Call Recorder (cost: $30 one-time)

  • Video quality: The recording of the screen was fuzzy; and didn’t capture the entire screen

  • Audio quality: Excellent (most of the time)

  • Delay: None

  • Privacy: Skype is basically a phone call, so there’s no confusion about any unintended participants having access.

  • RATING: 2/5

Google Hangout:

Launching a Google Hangout is a complex process, that’s far beyond the scope of this article. But here is a very helpful blog post that gives you the steps. Particularly helpful was the 30-minute video toward the end of the post.

  • Sharing: To share the screen, you just mouse over the left-hand edge of the screen and a vertical menu pops up. Select the second icon - the green arrow - and you’re now sharing your screen.

  • Recording: We couldn’t figure out how to record the conversation. We know it can be done … but couldn’t figure it out.

  • Video quality: quite poor.

  • Audio quality: Totally acceptable.

  • Delay: Anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes +

  • Privacy: Only the people you invite have access. However, it’s still out there on Google …

  • RATING: 3/5


  • Sharing: Couldn’t figure out how to share our screen

  • Recording: Couldn’t figure out how to record

  • Video Quality: Excellent

  • Audio Quality: Excellent

  • Delay: None

  • Privacy: Only 3 people can participate

  • RATING: 1/5

  • Sharing: Big obvious button says “Share Screen”

  • Recording: It isn’t obviously clear how to record; but hopefully tech support will get back to us, because it’s obvious that you CAN record your session (but if we have to, we can use Screenflow to record my screen while the session is going on)

  • Video Quality: Very good

  • Audio Quality: Good to excellent - audio is provided by telephone access, so the audio quality is dependent upon your phone or headset, not the service

  • Delay: Less than 1 second

  • Privacy: Every person attending the session shows up in your list of attendees, so you can see who’s on

  • RATING: 4/5

What did you think?