If your team is spread out over a wide geographic region, online collaboration tools are key to getting everyone on the same page. Something that dispersed teams haven't had much opportunity to use use are whiteboards, which can be really useful in brainstorming sessions. But now, with Twiddla, this year's winner of the Technical Achievement award at SXSW, comes a team whiteboarding service that offers a no-setup, online meeting web site for team collaboration.
Twiddla can be used to mark up web sites, graphics, photos, or even start brainstorming on a blank canvas. Users can either sign up for the service by creating an account, or can just start using it in "guest mode." A public sandbox is also available if you just want to check it out to see if it would work for you.
If you do decide to use it to set up your own meetings, you can set them as either "public" or "private" and email invitations to your intended participants. Meeting participants are displayed in Twiddla's sidebar and with just a click, you can start chatting with them using an audio chat feature that utilizes your computer's microphone and speakers to take the brainstorming session from a chat session to a live conference call.
Image from the Twiddla blog
The whiteboard tool in Twiddla lets you draw freehand, insert shapes, insert text, and insert media. You can use Twiddla's built-in shapes or upload files from your own computer. Text can be entered in directly or can be placed in a text bubble or on a post-it note. A box at the top of the screen lets you enter in a URL of your choosing to pull up any web site on the internet. You can then overlay your drawings on top of the web site that is displayed.
But I think the Twiddla team sums it up the best. When I clicked over to their "features" page, only two items were mentioned: "Kicks A**, Doesn't Cost Anything."
I'd like to add to that list: Works.
Twiddla is now in public beta.