Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

11 Mar 2020, 12:04 p.m.

Videocall, Group Chat, and Information Tools

As large groups rapidly adapt to online learning/working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom/Google Meet and Slack are turning into unexamined defaults. I recommend these useful alternative online collaboration tools for groups:

  • Indie groupchat (special cheap/free hosted plans available for open source projects, nonprofits, groups of friends, & other noncommercial entities): Zulip. [Disclaimer: I have worked (paid) for Kandra Labs on Zulip.]
  • Indie-ish videocalling (works in the browser, no need to install new software, guests don't need a login): Whereby.
  • Not-the-big-companies-as-far-as-I-know phone/web conference calling: Uberconference (not related to the ridehailing company Uber).

Also: right now, I am appreciating the women who wrote and maintain:

  1. "Flatten the Curve", a go-to resource on why and how we need to slow down the epidemic, by Dr. Julie McMurry (Twitter, GitHub), an academic researcher/technologist (who works on genetics analysis software and wrote about identifiers in life science data)
  2. A list of events/competitions/conferences being cancelled/postponed, maintained by Sarah Evans, a public relations consultant
  3. A list of academic conferences being cancelled/postponed, maintained by Anne Marie Gruber, an academic librarian