A Smarter, Better Conference Call System: Let it Call You

Last Updated May 2, 2011 12:57 AM EDT

Bridg.me works on the principle that it's a lot easier for the conferencing system to call all the participants than the other way around. So, no more fumbling for the conference call number and PIN. Heck, no more formatting to include the call-in information in your meeting invite and then deal with a dozen frantic IMs at the last minute from people that don't know how to reach you.

Instead, here's the process: Go to Bridg.me and schedule a meeting. Enter the phone numbers of the participants and click the button to book the meeting. Then forget about it; the service calls all the participants and bridges them together at the appropriate time. When your phone rings, it takes just a few seconds to connect the various parties and get the conference going, with just one short announcement ("please wait while your bridge is set up" getting in the way).

To get started, you'll need to create an account and link Bridg.me to your Google Calendar (though only the conference owner needs an account -- everyone else just gets the call on schedule). Right now, you can sign up and try the service out for free, though unfortunately, it won't stay this way forever -- the site plans to charge 5 cents/minute.

The service is just getting off the ground, and needs a bit of refinement. The only way to modify a scheduled meeting is via your Google Calendar, for example -- once scheduled, the Bridg.me site maintains no history of your meetings. Also, the system for inputting date and time is pretty rigid; forget to use a colon in the time (as in 12:30pm) and the event doesn't get scheduled, even though the site assures you it was successful. Minor quibbles aside, though, Bridg.me stands to revolutionize the way you schedule conference calls.

More on BNET: