Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
I dread working and collaborating on a group project in which the team members insist on mainly using physical face-to-face meetings, paper handouts, and countless email exchanges. There are so many online resources that can make team collaboration easier and more productive, especially when a group or committee needs to create and agree upon scheduled meetings, share documents, and make important decisions.
Holding meetings using Google Hangouts and Google Drive are two increasingly popular tools that savvy Internet users are familiar with, but another online collaboration site called Wiggio, in which the name, W.I.G, in part stands for “working in groups”, may also be powerfully useful. The site is a great collaboration service for clubs, schools and classrooms, businesses, or family members organizing, say, a family reunion.
How It Works
Wiggio contains useful features any group needs to plan projects, organize events, or to even run a online business. The platform includes tools for group text messaging, a Wiggio group calendar and to-do list, an online poll taker, a space for uploading and sharing documents, and the ability to hold virtual video and audio conferences and chatrooms.
The biggest challenge to using a site like Wiggio is getting group members on board and encouraging them to use the tools instead of emails as the basic form of communication. One way to introduce Wiggio to your group is to direct them to the site’s collection of short, to the point, video tutorials which provide an overview of Wiggio’s tools and services.
If your group holds physical meetings, it may be a good idea to show them a few of the videos during a meeting, and then get group members to sign onto a group you set up on Wiggio.
Starting & Managing Groups
You can literally start a group on Wiggio before you register on the site. All you have to do is provide a group name, a password, and select how you want members to be notified, for example email or SMS. After you create a group, you will be prompted to register an account with the site.
Wiggio contains over a dozen different tools, but essentially all your groups and their respective documents, calendar, chats, group feed, and other resources can be accessed in a single place. The right side of a group consist of tools for uploading files, adding web links, scheduling in-person events, conference calls, virtual meetings, and online chats.
Group pages also include tools for creating polls and surveys, and to-do lists, as well as sending text messages, and posting voice and video notes. You can even text group members from within the site, but each group member must first provide their own cell phone number, in addition to their cellular carrier.
If all team members are on board with Wiggio, a group workspace could reduce the amount of email exchanges to share documents or make group decisions. Additionally, all communication between group members can be viewed in one place, rather than being scattered through email replies and computer folders.
If your group is fairly large and contains say sub-committees, a separate group can be created for each committee, but all the groups can be accessed from the same account page.
Virtual meetings can be huge time savers for groups whose members don’t regularly meet in a single location, or whom are spread apart geographically. Wiggio’s virtual meeting feature may not be as robust as say Skype and Google Hangouts, but it definitely serves the purposes of groups needing to hold meetings, and provide training sessions and presentations via the web.
Up to ten group members can participate in a video conference at one time. To schedule and hold a conference call or video conference, group members simply need to be sent an invitation via email, or when they sign into their Wiggio account they will be alerted to a scheduled meeting or call.
Members who are not in front of a computer at the time of the online virtual meeting, can still call into the meeting using the assigned phone number. The host of the meeting will get access to all the participants of the meetings, and the virtual tool also allows for desktop screen sharing, and private chats between participants. Chats can be archived for later review.
Wiggio users can also download a free iPhone app that contains nearly all the tools of the site’s online application, including the ability to create groups, schedule meetings and conduct polls, and send email blasts. You can’t however participate in video chats using the mobile app.
Unlike Google+, Wiggio doesn’t promote public groups and communities. It’s not a public social networking site. Thus, the best way to see if Wiggio is a useful solution for you and your group is to give it a test drive. All its services are free, and its premium options include custom group URLs, non-third-party advertisements, private branding of applications and emails, and administrative portal access to group analytics.
Let us know what you think of Wiggio and what additional Wiggio group services or features you would like to see included.