Note: This post was originally published, in a slightly different form, here.
These days, if you’re a freelance technical communicator then you might be working offsite with clients and maybe collaborators who are across town, in another part of the country, or even elsewhere in the world.
In that case, you’ll need to regularly keep in touch with those clients or collaborators. That could be for planning sessions, catch-up sessions, or project updates.
Sure, you can do that using email, instant messaging (IM), or over the phone. But email and IM really break down when more than a two or three people are involved. It gets hard to keep track of who said what, and about what. As for the phone, that can get expensive if your clients or collaborators are in a different city or country than you.
The way to go is with a video conference. You don’t need to have a lot of expensive gear or use a costly service to do video conferencing. If you have a computer, a webcam, and a headset you’ve got everything that you need.
Let’s take a look at some free and inexpensive video conferencing tools that can help you conference with clients and collaborators.