Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 .

#techplantssf-uberconference#techplantssf-treeplanting-sanfrancisco-tech

UberConference is proud to announce our partnership with Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) for #TechPlantsSF. The goal of this effort is to involve members of the Bay Area tech community in improving San Francisco greenery. SF has only 13.7% tree canopy coverage, ranking 17th among the 20 most populous U.S. cities. Trees are a vital part of what makes the urban ecosystem work, and UberConference is committed to improving the community in which we live and work. We carry this passion into our partnership with FUF.

Friends of the Urban Forest has cared for San Francisco’s trees since 1981. Their mission is to promote a larger, healthier urban forest as part of San Francisco’s green infrastructure through community planting, tree care, education, and advocacy. Since 1981, FUF has planted more than 47,000 trees, totaling 43% of San Francisco’s street tree canopy.

The team at UberConference first became involved with FUF this April at a neighborhood tree planting. Joined by partners at Google, Twitter, Dropbox, YouTube, and Yammer, employees from our team are inspired to help the non-profit raise money and awareness for their mission. If you are interested in participating in this great program, visit the official #TechPlantsSF website to donate and learn more about the initiative.

There will be a welcoming reception on September 3rd hosted by our friends at Twitter. (RSVP by August 26th if you are interested in attending.)

Friday, December 21st, 2012 .

UberCast with UberConference’s own Creative Director, Alex Cornell

How does one overcome creative block? Our Creative Director and cofounder here at UberConference, Alex Cornell went and asked the most creative and inspiring people he knew and wrote a book about it called Breakthrough!: Proven Strategies to Overcome Creative Block and Spark Your Imagination.

On top of being a new author, this Duke grad is also a musician, aridiculously talented videographer, maker of the Plancast penguin, and many other beautiful things on the web. Alex is a creative force! He’s also responsible for pretty much everything you see out of UberConference from our website design, logo, recently launched iPhone and Android apps and too many other things to list here. All from his creative mind! So he definitely knows a bit about creativity and block and how to overcome it. Here are a few tips he’s pocketed along the way:

1. Working in a fast-paced environment helps you eliminate unnecessary distractions or hurdles. We’re on fire over here at UberConference and this dude does quality work fast!

2. Make the stakes high. Alex recommends going somewhere, getting an expensive hotel and holing up for the weekend to just push through and do the work. You’ll be spending some money so you’re going to make it count.

3. If you find yourself stuck, let it go and come back to it later. Sometimes hurdles resolve themselves after a while.

4. Take a break. Walk around and clear your mind. It’s important to just step back a bit when needed.

5. Putting random sentences together in a book can help you come up with creative visualizations for campaigns or writing. Very effective at reworking the mind (there’s an example of how one does this exactly in the podcast).

Links mentioned:

ISO50 Blog

Get Alex’s new book “Breakthrough” on Amazon

*Also available at Barnes and Noble, Urban Outfitters and various independent bookstores.

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 .

We do our best to listen to feedback from our customers, and we’ve been hearing quite a few requests to give UberConference organizers the ability to choose who receives the summary emails sent after each conference call.

We originally implemented this feature to give meetings more context. The summary emails contain links to any shared documents or recordings, correlating with meeting notes for reference. They also include interesting stats, like who was there and who talked the most and the least.

If UberConference Pro and Business organizers would rather not have the email summaries sent to every participant after the conference ends, they now have the ability to manage that in their settings.

To specify who should receive the conference summaries, go to uberconference.com/settings (when logged in), and scroll all the way down to the “Notification Preferences” section. Under “Call Summary,” you will see the option to disable or enable the conference call summary for participants or for yourself. Don’t forget to click on the “Save Changes” button on the bottom of the page.

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 1.59.14 PM

 

We’re continuously trying to make Business features more robust for our customers, and disabling call summary emails is just one of the many ways you can customize your conference calls with UberConference Business. Business users also get advanced features like custom hold music, up to 100 callers, dial out to add guests to call, local conference phone numbers, and more.

UberConference Free users still maintain control over the summary emails for themselves.

Follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop on all things UberConference! @uberconference

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012 .

Conference calls usually are a pain. One of the things I hate the most is having to enter a long PIN followed by a pound sign to join a call. It’s nearly impossible when you’re driving or dialing in from your mobile phone to go back and forth from your email or calendar app to the phone dialer to enter them. They’re painful, and we think there’s a better way.

With ÜberConference we have a “no PIN” solution. When you create your ÜberConference account, you enter all the phone numbers you might be dialing in from (home, cell, office, etc.). The only time you’ll ever need to enter a PIN to join one of your conferences is if you dial in from any number other than the ones on your profile. This is great for you, but what about the other callers? Basically, we treat all the other callers the same way. If you invite somebody to a conference call, they’ll need no PIN and will be automatically added so long as they dial in from a number that you have for them in your address book. This is a great reason to sign in with your Google account or to upload your address book once you’ve joined ÜberConference (it makes it easy for us to identify your callers based on their caller ID).

Of course some people love entering PINs…otherwise why would they put up with it? I was invited to a conference call through another provider today, and I kid you not, there was a 9 digit PIN to get into the conference…and it was shared with everybody on the call. Were there really 900 million other calls going on at that time that would force me to use a 9 digit PIN? C’mon!

Since we hate PINs so much, you may be asking why we provide them to our users…good question. First, you will need it if you call in from some unknown number to keep your conference secure. Second, you may not know everyone needed for the call, so PINs can be shared with people not invited directly. Hopefully after that first amazing UberConference though, everybody will sign up for their own account and not ever need a PIN again 🙂

We’re working on some other features to make joining calls even easier. Soon you’ll be able to have UberConference dial out to all the people you want on the call at the time of your call. All they’ll have to do is answer the call and press 1 to join the UberConference. Sweet, right?

If you have any other suggestions or thoughts, feel free to shoot us a note at ideas@uberconference.com and we’ll be sure to think about them.

Friday, February 14th, 2014 .

You know how every so often you get roped into dealing with something that you really don’t want to be involved with?  I’m not talking something life-threatening like the Ebola Virus or listening to your uncle from Wisconsin lecture you about religion while you’re stuck in a car with him going to a funeral.

No, I’m talking about the modest little peeves of modern life, the ones that really get under your skin.

For instance, you’re sitting in the cafeteria at work, and a nice conversation is going on about the Academy Awards or the California drought or something interesting like that and then some wisenheimer in the group says this: “Hey, did you see that Justin Bieber got arrested?”

Oh, boy, here we go.  Next thing you know all ten of you are talking about Justin Bieber.  Including you.  You’re stuck.  Everyone has their views and all of a sudden you find yourself  saying you blame his father because you were reading on TMZ.com that he was there in the nightclub that night and also was involved in setting up blocking off the street so that Justin and his friend could have their idiotic drag race and then somebody says, ‘well, that’s not what I heard’ and then you have defend your sources on this topic and bam!  Fifteen minutes have gone by and it’s time to return to your desk.  As you sit down you realize that the fifteen minutes you spent talking about Justin Bieber makes your teeth hurt.

And don’t think you’re alone.  Look what happened to esteemed broadcast journalist Andrea Mitchell during a discussion the other day on the NSA.  There was breaking Justin Bieber news.  Look at the pain on her face.  It’s heartbreaking, and it’s happened to you, too.

This is roughly where I rank teleconference PINs: right up there with a group discussion of Justin Bieber.  They’re both just hellishly painful, unnecessarily pointless, and yet, somehow completely inescapable.

You’re part of a design team that has several remote participants (including you) and it’s time for the weekly teleconference.  You dial into the teleconference system and they give you a PIN number you have to use to participate.  The computer-generated voice rattles off twelve completely random digits.  You’re writing them down:

8-9-5-8-1-3… oh, man, your pen stopped working.

Try it again.

8-9-5-8-1-3-8-9… the woman at the desk next to you just got a delivery of a dozen roses from her new boyfriend and she is squealing with happiness.

All right, let’s give this one more try.

Okay, you write: 8-9-5-8-1-3-8-9-4-9-7-5

Whew.  Got it.  That only took six hours.

Time to key it into your phone.  8-9-5-8-1-… wait, is that a 3 or a 5 I wrote down?  Call back and get the PIN all over again.  Yes, it was a 3.

And on it goes.

That’s why UberConference doesn’t use PINs.  You go to the website, log in, find your conference and click.  Voila.  Everyone’s there, you can see who’s there, and you’re ready to go.  It’s beautiful.  This is gonna go great, you think to yourself.

And then the person running the conference call says: “Hey, everybody, welcome to the call.  Before we get started, did you see that Justin Bieber was arrested?”

ARRRGGHH.