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Sqwiggle makes working remotely awesome again

Sqwiggle makes working remotely awesome again

by Brad MerrillJune 17, 2013

Sqwiggle is browser-based video conferencing with remote workers in mind. It has the office-like immediacy that Skype lacks, without the noise of a Google Hangout. It’s awesome.

As someone who puts words online for a living, I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home. That’s great, to an extent. The flexibility is nice, but the lack of social contact isn’t.

There are things to help, of course. You can use chat services like Campfire or Hipchat with your team to maintain your sanity, but for actually seeing your team, and talking like human beings should, nothing really cuts it.

You could Skype each other when needed, but the whole calling process is slow and inefficient. You could sit in a constant Google Hangout, but then you have to listen to an endless roar of everyone’s background noise.

Sqwiggle finds a happy medium. It’s “always on,” but without the background noise or distractions.

Each company gets their own “Workroom,” with each member getting a spot in a Brady Bunch-style grid of heads. When you’re not actively speaking, you appear as a black-and-white still photo that gets updated a few times a minute.

To speak with anyone else in the room, you just click their face—and bam, you’re connected. No ringing, no answering, just an immediate conversation. It’s like turning to speak with someone in the office, except in your pajamas.

If you want to talk to two or three people, just click each of their photos, and you’ll create a group chat. Others can tell who is already talking to who based on matching colored icons that appear next to your names. If you click on someone who’s already in a conversation, you’ll join that conversation.

Sqwiggle also has a slide-out “Stream” drawer, which functions as a place to share images, videos, links, and text with your team. The Stream drawer shrinks and grows with the scroll of your mouse, with the grid of talking heads scaling accordingly.

Sqwiggle is free for the first month, but costs $9 per month per user thereafter.

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About The Author
Brad Merrill
Brad Merrill is the founder and former editor of VentureBreak.