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Announcing New Release Of Screenleap With Faster And More Reliable Screen Sharing

It’s been a while since our last blog post, but we have some exciting news to share with you today. Over the last year, we have been hard at work rebuilding Screenleap from the ground up to make it faster, more scalable, and more reliable. We are excited to announce today that we have released the new platform. Your Screenleap screen shares will automatically take advantage of the improvements that it provides.

Faster Screen Shares

One of the most important factors affecting the success of your screen shares is how quickly your viewers can see what is on your screen. You want your viewers to be able to a) see your screen instantly and without any hassle and b) see the changes to your screen update quickly on their screens. Screenleap has always enabled the former by making viewing an installation-free experience.

Our new screen-sharing platform improves upon the latter by further reducing the time it takes for changes on your screen to appear on your viewers’ screens. Using our new streaming technology, we allow you to get the contents of your screen to your viewers’ screen faster than ever. The frustrating process of asking your viewers if they see what is on your screen is now a thing of the past with Screenleap.

More Viewers

The latest version of our platform also increases the maximum number of viewers that you can have on a single screen share from 150 to over 10,000. We will be offering a new plan in the future that will allow you to take advantage of the higher viewer limit. If you would like to gain early access to higher limit, please contact us at support@screenleap.com.

More Reliable And Consistent Screen Shares

The latest release of the Screenleap platform also makes your screen shares perform more reliably and consistently. While it’s difficult to make real-time communication completely reliable, our new platform gets us closer by replacing our usage of technologies that are problematic for some of our users (such as WebSockets) with technologies that are more robust and reliable without sacrificing performance.

We have also re-engineered our viewer technology so that viewers on slower networks no longer negatively affect the update speed of viewers on faster networks. What this means for you is that you can expect your viewers to experience fewer issues when connecting to your screen shares and experience more consistent screen shares once they connect.

Give It A Try

All current Screenleap users have been automatically updated with these improvements. If you’ve never used Screenleap before, please visit http://www.screenleap.com and click on the “Share your screen now” button to get started.

If you would like to give one of our paid plans a try, please contact us at support@screenleap.com to get setup with a free trial.

Looking Ahead

We hope you enjoy the improvements to Screenleap that will make your screen shares more hassle-free and successful. We will be announcing several new features in the coming weeks, so please stay tuned for more updates.

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Start Screen Shares Directly From Slack Using Screenleap’s New Slack Integration

Slack is a popular tool that lets you chat with your team. If you use Slack, you’ll be excited to learn that our new integration will make Slack even more useful by allowing your team members to start a screen share directly from within Slack by simply typing “/leap” into any Slack channel.

How It Works

Slack offers a number of commands that you can type into the input box to enable additional functionality. Our integration adds a “/leap” command that you can use to start a screen share directly from within Slack.

You can configure the command by adding additional keywords after the command. Our “/leap” command supports the following keywords:

  • /leap – Share your browser window to a private URL.
  • /leap screen – Share your entire screen to a private URL.
  • /leap broadcast browser – Share your browser window to your personal URL.
  • /leap broadcast screen – Share your entire screen to your personal URL.

You’ll need to use the Chrome web browser in order to share your screen, but your screen share is viewable by anyone using a device with a web browser, including smartphones and tablets.

Once your screen is shared, the share link will be automatically inserted into your current Slack channel. Your team members will be able to view your screen by simply clicking on the share link.

Integration

To add the Screenleap integration to your Slack account, simply click on the “Add to Slack” button below:

Add to Slack

That’s it! Now everyone on your team will be able to use the “/leap” command to start a new screen share.

Installation

The first time you use the Screenleap slash command, you’ll be shown a link that you can click on to install the Screenleap browser share extension (if it’s not already installed).

slack_screenleap_installation_link

Click on the link to 1) install the browser extension and 2) create a new account (it’s free!) or sign into your existing Screenleap account. The Free Account gives you 1 hour of free sharing per day (2 hours for people in education). Your screen share will automatically start after the installation completes.

screenleap_browser_extension_share_menu

As part of the installation, a green screen icon will be added to your Chrome address bar. When you’re ready to stop your screen share, simply click on the green screen and then click on the “Stop sharing” button.

Get In Touch

We hope you enjoy the new Slack integration. If you have any questions about the integration or want to learn more about Screenleap, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!

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Remote Work Tips – Interview with Len Markidan from Groove

We are big believers in distributed teams at Screenleap. In our previous posts, we wrote about the lessons we learned and the tools we use to stay connected and productive. To gain more insights about how successful remote companies work, we’re launching a series of interviews which is focused on

  • learning how successful remote workers do their jobs (working styles, tools)
  • how distributed teams build their companies (tools, culture)

This is the first interview of the series.

len_markidan

Len Markidan heads up marketing at Groove, where he focuses on helping startups and small businesses build better relationships with their customers. Groove’s entire team works remotely.

In this interview, he elaborates on his remote working style and how Groove’s distributed team works together.

 

Hi Len, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us. Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m the Head of Marketing for Groove, where we work on building the best customer service tools for small businesses. Our whole team is remote: I work from my home office in Baltimore, Maryland.

I also write about home office productivity, work/life balance, and happiness on my blog Home Office Hero.

How long have you been working remotely? Why did you choose to work remotely?

For around five years now. In 2010 I was living in San Francisco, doing marketing for a startup, and taking the bus downtown every day to our office on the 19th floor of a soulless corporate skyscraper. I loved the work, but hated the commute. When the company got acquired and I decided to start my own business, working from home was an easy choice.

How does your typical day look like?

I wake up at around 6am and make coffee while my wife gets ready to leave (she just went back to school to study medicine). She heads out at around 7, and that’s when I tackle my biggest task of the day—usually that’s a blog post or other big content piece. It’s still early enough that I don’t get interrupted by emails or Slack notifications. I’ll typically work through lunch, eating at my desk. Because I start early, I typically run out of creative steam around mid-afternoon, so I take a gym break then before coming back and dealing with more mindless administrative stuff like responding to emails and getting things in order for the next day.

I try not to work past 6pm or so, but I’m far from perfect. We have dinner around then, and then I’ll either read or mindlessly goof off on the Internet, depending on how much impulse control I have that day. I like to take a walk before bed, an awesome head-clearing habit I started doing after reading Joel Gascoigne’s post about it.

What apps do you use? What apps can’t you live without?

For work, I spend the overwhelming majority of my time in just four apps: Google Docs for writing and editing, Slack for chatting with the Groove team, Trello for managing projects and to-do’s, and Mailplane for easy switching between my various Gmail accounts. For non-work stuff, I love Headspace for guided meditation and Simplenote for not having to rely on my less-than-stellar memory.

How does Groove’s team overcome the collaboration challenge (like explaining complex concepts or issues such as the steps for reproducing a bug) while working remotely?

As more and more teams have started to work remotely and more and more tools have been developed for them, that challenge has really diminished. There’s very little that you can’t explain or convey to a remote coworker. Screen-sharing apps (like Screenleap) make that really easy.

What is the biggest benefit of working remotely? What’s the biggest challenge?

The biggest benefit for me is flexibility. I get to work the hours that I’m most productive, I don’t have to waste time commuting and I can work from anywhere I’d like to.

The biggest benefit for our team is recruiting. We can hire the best talent, regardless of where they are

Today, the biggest challenge remote work presents is no longer collaboration or communication, but culture. Being in one place together helps culture develop naturally through the connections and conversations you have day in and day out. You have to work hard to recreate that dynamic online.

So how does Groove develop a culture when everyone is remote?

The most important thing that we do to develop culture is try to replace the social element of a physical office with a “virtual water cooler.”

For us, that virtual water cooler is a room in Slack that’s reserved for non-work-related conversations. There’s a lot of back-and-forth banter, folks post photos of their pets, the music they’re listening to, random links from the Internet—things like that.

Every week, we also have a team poker tournament on ReplayPoker.com. We take an hour off and do a group call on Skype while we play poker. It’s an awesome way to be social and get to know each other while having fun. And of course, there are prizes for winners 🙂

That’s interesting. How do you think it will scale as the company gets bigger?

It’s challenging to keep culture intact as you grow, but that’s why it’s so important for us to spend time investing in building a strong cultural foundation now.

When the culture becomes deeply ingrained across a small team, it’s easier for each member of that small early team to help keep the culture alive as the company expands.

We also take cultural really seriously when we hire. And that must continue, whether you’re hiring employee number 10, 100 or 1,000.

That’s great, Len. Coming back to your working style, how do you minimize distractions while working from home?

The most important thing for me is to take my own willpower (or lack of it) completely out of the equation. I use StayFocusd, a Chrome extension that blocks any site I tell it to (e.g., Facebook, etc…) during the hours I want to be working. It’s amazing how much more productive this tool makes me.

Any advice you would give to others who are considering working remotely?

Make sure that you’re self-aware enough to know your shortcomings, and put systems in place to overcome them. If you know that you’re easily distracted, remove the distractions. If you know that you have trouble separating work and life and tend to work long hours if left unchecked, set “off-limits” times for your office and tell whoever you live with to keep you accountable for sticking to them.

Oh, and put on some pants.

That’s a great suggestion :D. We would love to see your remote work setup. Could you share it with us?

Sure, here’s my desk, along with my officemate Zoe:

Remote Work Tips - Interview with Len Markidan from Groove

Awesome :). If there were one thing you could change about current remote work scenario, what would you change?

I’m lucky that I’ve been able to pretty much build my work life as I want it to be, so there isn’t anything I can think of that I’d change. With that said, an espresso machine mounted behind my desk would be nice.

And the last question: What app for remote work you’d love to have but doesn’t exist?

I’d pay any amount of money for an app that blasted Nickelback (at an uncomfortably high volume) at Comcast HQ every time the Internet at my house goes down. I suspect connectivity would start looking a bit better around here fast.

It was awesome talking to you, Len. Thank you so much for all the remote work tips and your time. We really appreciate it!

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