A functioning video conferencing tool: solving an urgent problem

Hello @manuelpueyo and @alberto,

With Team Building (ping @reef-building) we expressed a need for an online meeting tool that doesn’t glitch on less stable internet connections, that runs for longer than one hour, and one that enables good quality screen sharing.

We also made a suggestion of a proposal to get a Zoom subscription (139 euro per year). Formulated differently: would you object to The Reef getting a Zoom subscription? We acknowledge that it’s not the most benevolent piece of technology, but we really need a solution. TIA!

I am making a final attempt to find a solution that does not imply sending more money to the Valley. Stand by…



i am not happy with giving money to zoom but i will not oppose it because i think it’s important that the tools work to do your job and you are happy. just one thing: the subscription should have a time limit. after one year we need to vote again.
having said that, i don’t agree with the critique, I think Jitsi is a great tool for what we need

i am going to put an analogy with a public swimming pool :man_swimming: :one_piece_swimsuit:. if there are a lot of people in the pool, the experience sucks. you can swim very slow. better to go to another pool. Jitsi is another public good. somebody out there is freely giving you access to computer resources. if there are a lot of people at the same time running the public good (the jitsi instance) then it’s slow. better to go to another Jitsi instance. the trick here is to have a couple of instances back up. so you move everyone to another link . it sounds complicated but it is not. just send another link in signal.

this is not a jitsi problem. jitsi will ask permission to your browser. you need to agree to allow jitsi to share micro and video

i don’t know what you mean by this. screensharing works marvelous in my own experience

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@manuelpueyo has agreed to test OpenTalk, which is the same model as NextCloud: OSS, but not free. We pay a company to run an installation of the software only for us, on their server. Based in the EU (Germany). Also investigating another possibility in the same logic.

Before we move on: NextCloud has its own videocalls functionality. @Lee, have you tried that?


Update on that: the grapevine says they work poorly. This coincides with my own tests (though they are about 2 years old at this point).

Hello Lie and @reef-building . So, @manuelpueyo and I tested two Zoom alternatives:

  1. OpenTalk. German, server in the EU, open source tech.
  2. Whereby. American, global network of servers but GDPR compliant, proprietary tech.

So far the differences. The similarities are:

  1. You only need a single account for The Reef, to create the meetings and wield moderator powers. Every other person receives a link, and joins through the browser, no accounts needed.
  2. About 70 EUR/year.
  3. More basic than Zoom or Teams.

Both tests went well. With multiple people on line, the experience was quite seamless. Whereby has a slightly better interface, with features like emoji (though we do have hand gestures in The Reef) and human-readable links like whereby.com/reef-test; also, a slightly better image quality, but this will ultimately depend on connection speed, lighting etc.

Manuel and I think both will do the job, and both are preferable to Zoom. Of the two, OpenTalk is the more ethical (Whereby just wants to be Zoom), and so that is my preference. But of course I will accept any decision.

Once a decision is reached:

  • Manuel has created free accounts for both services based on cohousing@thereef.brussels. He will share the login data in our login credentials document on NextCloud.
  • Someone logs in and upgrades the free account to a Pro account (intermediate level), and pays with their own personal credit card (since The Reef has none). The Reef than pays the person back with a bank transfer.


What tool to you prefer?

  • I prefer OpenTalk, the ethics are just better
  • I prefer Whereby, it has nice features and is not Big Tech (yet)
  • Give me Zoom. Yes, it’s evil and expensive, but it does have corporate level quality
0 voters

Hi @reef-it,

It seems like we have a winner. Would it be possible for you to move forward on this before the next Team Building meeting?

Thanks for all your help!

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Hello @Lee and @reef-building,

@reef-it has created, and later upgraded, an account with OpenTalk (https://opentalk.eu). You should now be able to hold meetings as long as four hours, with as many as 50 people. Login credentials are in the credentials folder in the Team IT folder on Nextcloud. It should be fairly intuitive.

Let us know.


Hi @alberto - can we all use this, for anything Reef-related?

Of course. That’s what it’s for.

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