For the past two years, I have been occasionally beta testing Tungle, a hosted meeting scheduler platform that now supports a range of popular Calendaring applications across Windows and Mac OSX PC’s as well as all the popular browsers, including Google Chrome. Tungle’s primary goal is to make scheduling meetings a simple process for both the meeting organizer and the invited participants.
Last Tuesday Tungle was launched to the general public; at the time I published a Web Worker Daily post: Tungle: Schedule Meetings “Your Way” where I covered in some detail the various business and user experience issues the Tungle team had uncovered and addressed leading up to this launch.
The Tungle browser interface provides availability information (for both yourself and any of your contacts who have authorized sharing of their availability information). Once participants have responded to narrow down to an appropriate time, either the organizer or last responding participant can set the time. This time is then automatically entered back into each participant’s individual PIM calendar. The full feature set can be found here.
Most important was their focus on the user experience, both for setting up the meeting and responding to invitations. In this regard the Tungle team:
- made the service entirely browser-based; there are no downloads required. Tungle will synchronize to your address book contacts and your PIM’s calendar; however, there is no trace left on your local PC.
- the invitation email sent out to meeting participants was worded to ensure a “no brainer” response to the invitation. Most importantly there is no need to sign up for the service when responding to the invitation
- made Tungle smartphone adaptable. Should an invitation be read on an iPhone, BlackBerry or other smartphone, it is reformatted in a manner appropriate to the underlying smartphone browser. Once again it is easy for an invitee to respond from their smartphone.
- established three calendar sharing options: detailed, busy/available and no sharing.
- set up automatic adjustment to the meeting participants’ time zone; most useful when scheduling international calls via Skype
- made it easier for participants to respond via a browser. For invitations received via a PC platform, the invitee is sent to a browser page where there are “bubble’s to guide the invitee through the response process.
- developed a simple “Meet With Me” service that one can put on a website or enter into an email signature to trigger a meeting request with the originator of the MeetWithMe URL.
Tungle, in some sense, could almost be considered the ultimate mashup:
- cross platform: works with both Windows and Mac OSX
- browser support: Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome
- calendars supported: Outlook, MS Exchange, iCal, Google Calendar, Entourage, Lotus Live (Notes)
- Google Maps – this is a most impressive mashup: select the “Find a Location” link adjacent to the (optional) Location field, enter appropriate search terms and get results to select your meeting location.
Going forward Tungle is looking at integration with web conferencing services and social networking applications. But in the meantime I find it most useful for scheduling international Skype calls where time zone differences are not readily obvious.
Bottom line: give Tungle a try; simply register for the service and use it in your favorite browser; no downloads required. The best part: it’s free. There are plans to launch premium services later this year but at the moment Tungle’s goal is simply to make the service addictive.
Give Tungle a try and report on your experience in the Comments.
- Financial Times (free registration): Seats at the virtual table
- Web Worker Daily: Tungle: Schedule Meetings Your Way (also syndicated via GigaOm to New York Times and CNN Money)
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