Poll

Which app is more useful?

Video Phone
12 (41.4%)
Google Drive
17 (58.6%)

Total Members Voted: 29

Author Topic: APPS Round 2: Google Drive vs. Video Phone  (Read 1464 times)

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PSMKay

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APPS Round 2: Google Drive vs. Video Phone
« on: Dec 04, 2014, 12:04 am »
Your opinions on the true core role of the stage manager may take a hand in what wins the match before you today. Those who favor the organizational aspects of the job may lean towards Google Drive, while those who value communication as the central factor will consider Video Phone as their better aid. I'm sure both of our teams are very aware of the stakes as they take the court today.

Google Drive
Combining a moderate office suite (previously called Google Docs) with cloud storage, Google Drive is the Swiss Army Knife of online editing. The question is, does the wonder from Mountain View spread its talents too thin? The editing capabilities of the individual Google Drive pieces are mediocre in comparison to more fully-fledged desktop applications. However, you get what you pay for and Drive is free, portable and makes collaboration relatively easy.

If the browser/word processing match from earlier in the week is anything to go by, Google Drive will be a top contender in this round, and possibly through the entire tourament. However, all that hope will be for naught if it can't hold its own against a very valid competitor...

Video Phone
There's three major players in the video phone category - Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts. All three offer similar capabilities - use your web connection to talk with others in real time, with a facecam option built-in.

Stage managers working with remote production teams and touring technicians will be most reliant on video phone - here on SMNet it's been mentioned as a way to allow remote designers to "attend" run throughs and production meetings. Old school TV shows predicting the future made video phones out to be the top of the line for "futuristic" technology.

Are we living in the future? Is this technology a satisfactory stopgap until flying cars finally make it to mass production? We probably won't answer these questions here, but we can at least figure out if it's more useful than Google's offering.

Poll remains open through midnight at the end of December 7, EST.

Maribeth

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Re: APPS Round 2: Google Drive vs. Video Phone
« Reply #1 on: Dec 05, 2014, 02:29 pm »
Wow, a dead heat!

PSMKay

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Re: APPS Round 2: Google Drive vs. Video Phone
« Reply #2 on: Dec 06, 2014, 02:21 am »
We've gotten 5 more votes since your post, Maribeth, and the two competitors are still only 1 point apart. This is a very exciting match! After the crowd response to the Word/Browser match earlier in the week I'd have thought Drive had this buttoned up. It looks like the three point team of Skype, Facetime and Hangouts is giving Drive a serious workout!


Michelle R. Wood

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Re: APPS Round 2: Google Drive vs. Video Phone
« Reply #3 on: Dec 07, 2014, 02:15 pm »
Here's the thing: Video Phone is just a souped up way of doing a regular conference call, and sometimes (often in my experience) not as useful or reliable. Yes, sometimes it's nice to see the person, but you can still communicate anything through this avenue via regular phone, email, etc.

But Google Drive is a method of sharing information that really can't be replicated anywhere else. Yes, you can exchange files via DropBox or Email, but creating a tracking sheet in Drive allows everyone to edit the same doc in real time, while rehearsal is going on. I've tag teamed with a fellow ASM on a Drive doc before to track props, entrances, and exits (You take SL, I take SR, etc.) and it's extremely useful. I don't know of any other digital tool that accomplishes the same task.
"Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." -- Thomas Edison (Harper's Magazine, 1932)

leastlikely

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Re: APPS Round 2: Google Drive vs. Video Phone
« Reply #4 on: Dec 07, 2014, 11:10 pm »
However, you can do design presentations via video phone, which can be tricky with a regular conference call. Of course it's not ideal, but if your lighting designer can't make it to town for the production meeting, she can still get a look at the scenic model and costume renderings even if she can't be in the room with them.

Also, this applies to very few people but it has been a big deal for me: I'm hearing but I work with Deaf artists a LOT. I've been to production meetings where the meeting was interpreted within the room but another Deaf designer skyped in so there was an interpreter positioned at the computer. I've also used video phone for communication between the booth and backstage, since headsets are mostly pointless if any of the participants are Deaf...

I actually originally voted for Google Drive because it has a wider scope of applications - my thought process was, "I love Google Drive, and I recognize that it's a super important tool not only for myself but for probably many many other stage managers too." But then I stopped and thought about it for a minute, and decided to switch my vote to video phone simply because of its necessity in MY life and work. I love Google Drive but I can get by without it. Video phone is irreplaceable because it provides us communication access in Deaf theatre. I realize that this actually doesn't apply to the vast majority... but it's important enough for me that I had to change it.

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