OK, By request I looked at some options for an online "party":
- 6 way video conferencing +6 more audio patched in via phone. Probably not what we want. 30days free, 39.95/month for the business plan that includes all that (20 bucks or so just for 6 way but again you can get everything free for the first 30 days). Doesn't look like they have a linux client but they do have the web based access for anyone other then the host.
- is probably not a bad option. Voice only for up to 25 people for free it appears (last time I did a conference with skype was forever ago and it was a smaller limit but everything I've read says that it's 25 now). Linux/Mac/US
and then there is the one that I didn't actually think would be that good when I looked:
- may end up being the best plan (video is looking tough if you want more then a couple people). Clients are available (free) for Windows/Mac/US Usually you would need to rent a server from a reseller or buy a 1 time license yourself for a server. Reseller prices aren't horrible and I can get those if needed but I think I found a better option :). Our best bet, especially if we may want to use it later (or even have it up regularly for contributers which could be VERY nice in my opinion) is the fact that they have a non-profit licence (free). The licence they give right now for their newest server type (Teamspeak3) is a 10vs (virtual server)/512 slot one (as it says allow you to have up to 10 virtual "servers" and 512 total clients logged in). They also offer a license for their old server version with 10vs's and 1000 slots. They have a non-registration 1vs/32 slot program which may be ok if we want to just do a run off set up from someone's house or something but probably not for something more permanent.
To be honest I'm thinking that if we want to do something then team-speak (or mumble, see below) may be the best option ESPECIALLY if the wmf is willing to install one of the larger servers on their side. Reading more into it I actually think it would be amazing if we could have something like this up more permanently for communication within the community (though I can imagine some people worried about the issue of going around those not on, similar to concerns about irc).
There is alsoand it's server murmur. Which appears to be intended to be an open source version of Teamspeak/Ventrilo. I have NOT tried this out yet but it is always nice to use open source especially if it is just as good. If people want to I'm happy to install murmur and try it out especially if we have people willing to test out the other side :)
I also looked around at a couple other options (webex for example) but they all seemed to be more money then it was worth at least for what we would probably want. Webex looked great and would probably be ideal for things like demonstrations where we are trying to show a live presentation to people but for just hanging out and conferencing expensive and overkill. So what does everyone else thing!!
Hmm... I'm fairly certain the WMF has a webex account - let me check with Jeff, if that's the best option technologically. I'll see if I'm correct on that and see if we can appropriate it for this use if so. :)
if it's already available then why not ;) especially if you want to give a presentation or something.
James, thanks for doing all of this research!
Philippe and I talked this over, and we don't think this is viable next week at Wikimania 2010, at least not as the main celebration. We would love to get Sue, Jimmy, and Michael to participate, but we're afraid we won't have a reliable Internet connection while we're there.
Nevertheless, if others want to organize something, we can do our best to be on. It's probably worth picking a time that aligns with next week's Wikimania schedule.