New! Schedule Lucid Meetings Directly In Google Calendar

February 24, 2017 at 3:13 PM by Elise Keith in release announcement

We’re delighted to report that our long anticipated integration with Google Calendar and Google Chrome is now available in the Google Chrome store.

Anyone with a Google account can install the Chrome extension. This integrates Lucid into your Google universe by adding a quick-drop panel to your Chrome menu, and a new option to add Lucid meetings to the events on your Google calendar.

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Topics: release announcement

What’s New with Lucid Meetings: August 2016

August 10, 2016 at 5:51 PM by Elise Keith in release announcement

One of the fabulous things about building online software is that it makes it possible to quickly make changes based on customer feedback. Here at Lucid, we strive to update the software each week with small changes and fixes, and to release at least one significant improvement every month or two. We’re pretty good about announcing the fancy new features, but we haven’t been as consistent about sharing all those smaller features, updates, and bug fixes that our customers care about.

Let’s fix that, shall we?

Below you’ll find details and screenshots about things that changed for the better in Lucid Meetings over the past few months. Finally, at the end, we’ll share a bit about what we have in the works. For those of you who use Lucid (or who plan to), consider this an invitation to collaborate!

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Topics: release announcement

How We Created an Open API and Added 500 New Integrations with Zapier

July 16, 2016 at 8:31 PM by John Keith in meeting technology, release announcement

In our article, What is a meeting management platform?, we start with this statement:

"Lucid Meetings is an online meeting management platform for designing, running, and continuously improving the business meetings that power your organization’s success."

When you declare that you're a platform, you better be able to back that up with some reasonable definition about what that means. In the above support article, we list quite a few properties of a Meeting Management Platform (read about them), including one line about how only a few "platforms" connect to your larger business ecosystem:

Only a few meeting management platforms include ... "Open APIs and extensive business system integrations"

This post is about that one line.

Creating an Open API

An Open API, or perhaps better put, a Public API, is the user interface for software developers seeking to integrate an API-oriented application into other business systems. A Public API (application programming interface) provides documented mechanisms for external software developers to safely observe, measure, and control the application (Lucid Meetings). It's a contract of sorts between the people who create software and the people who would extend that software in new and interesting ways. I love Public APIs.

In the modern age, most web software either provides or makes use of internal APIs for connecting the core software pieces to one another. Lucid Meetings certainly does. But having an internal API does nothing for your external developer community; we've long recognized that a Public API would be a great addition for our Lucid customers and partners. Last month we finally fixed that deficit.

See related documentation, The Lucid Meetings REST API, for a programmer's description of the entire API.

Getting Technical

Developing an open, public API for a web service such as Lucid Meetings can be a daunting task. While there is no shortage of best practices recommendations, there is also no single, prescribed approach for doing this work. In short, there are many ways to get this wrong, and no precise way to get it right. To focus our attention, we established a few guiding principles at the outset:

  1. Create a full featured API with read, write, and modify capability
  2. Adopt a pragmatic, RESTful approach that developers could embrace
  3. Use established patterns for resources (nouns) and actions (verbs)
  4. Use established patterns for authentication and authorization
  5. Fully, completely, lovingly document everything about the REST API
  6. Provide a large sample of relevant examples in our documentation
  7. Demonstrate the value of the API with a single, significant integration

It's fair to say we focused a lot of development attention on the correctness and completeness aspects of the API. Essentially, we focused on the first six points in our guiding principles list, researching relevant API theory as well as the current pragmatic thinking about REST API best practices.

And all that work paid off with a well organized, very usable API for technical developers to create new and interesting integrations with other applications.

What About Our Non-Technical Customers?

The last guiding principle, about demonstrating the value, is perhaps the most important. We can create APIs till the cows come home, but if we can't show how they add value then we're pretty much just talking about their potential, rather than their reality.

We needed a way to showcase the value of our newly minted API and we needed a way to directly enable the success for thousands of customers and their people.

Enter Zapier (rhymes with happier!)

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

The Anatomy of Meeting Notes That People Will Use

May 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM by Elise Keith in release announcement, tips & techniques

(Tip: Be sure not to miss the downloadable business meeting notes template at the end of the story)

Return Leverage, one of Lucid’s Enterprise clients, found our downloadable meeting notes to be less helpful than they’d hoped. Toby Lucich from Return Leverage asked if we could improve the exports to help make it easier for busy professionals to read the meeting notes. We’re thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn from his experience and improve the exports.

Since we made these changes in collaboration with Return Leverage, we asked Toby if he’d be willing to share more about why this format works, and how his company uses it to drive meeting results with clients. Happily, he agreed.


Toby Explains Why Formatting Can’t Suck

Toby Lucich, Return Leverage Founder and CEO

As an entrepreneur and management consultant, I’ve now worked with hundreds of business leaders in organizations big and small, for-profit and non-profit, both founder-led and professionally managed. I’ve worked with organizational leaders at all levels that have been charismatic, visionary, thought-provoking, strategic, detail-oriented; some have also been distracted, impatient, disengaged, incompetent, or simply apathetic. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes.

The common challenges I’ve seen all leaders face are the overly-packed calendar, shifting expectations, soft commitments, impending deadlines, and never enough time to get it all done.

Regardless of the client or their culture, our first obligation is fundamentally about effective communication. We believe that every single client deserves our best effort to capture and communicate the most critical ideas and actions that will efficiently and effectively turn ideas into actions, and actions into successful business results.

How this information is presented is a critical first step.

A clean, easy-to-read format is a powerful first impression in shifting the value from meeting notes toward meeting agreements or records for your stakeholders. You never know which meeting is going to change the course of the company.

We’ve recently collaborated with Lucid to redesign the exported report. Here's some of the design thinking that went into the new format.

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Topics: release announcement, tips & techniques

Fast and easy: Schedule Recurring Meetings in Lucid

March 30, 2016 at 3:25 AM by Elise Keith in release announcement

Cadence. Pulse. Rhythm. Flow.

Teams that work well together get into a groove. They create agreements about how they’ll communicate, and they meet regularly. Whether it’s a daily huddle, a bi-weekly check-in, or a monthly committee meeting, most groups working together establish a regular, repeating meeting time. The regular meeting is a key tool in achieving the organizational discipline required to perform at a high level.

Lucid Meetings now supports the ability to schedule these repeating meetings using your favorite meeting template, making this the fastest and easiest way to get your team’s regular meetings set up.

For the longest time, we resisted creating a way for people to schedule a whole bunch of regular meetings at once. This was a well-meaning but wrong-headed mistake, because the new repeating meeting feature is crazy useful. (Largely my fault. I’m sorry.)

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Topics: release announcement

The Lucid Meetings Visual Event Calendar

January 18, 2016 at 3:37 AM by John Keith in meeting technology, release announcement

My ice storm-induced, "bonus" project during the 2015 end-of-year holiday break was focused on improvements to the Lucid Meetings visual event calendar. While we've had our visual calendar display for a couple years now, I always intended the calendar to be more fully interactive for people who prefer calendar-style interactions with our meeting platform. With a little time on my hands, it was finally time to tackle this project!

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

Lucid Integrated Audio: Turbobridge Perfected

November 10, 2015 at 3:59 PM by John Keith in meeting technology, release announcement

Lucid Meetings is a sophisticated technology platform for running excellent meetings with your (remote) team and clients. The platform addresses three significant pain points for the modern meeting organizer:

  1. How do I create a shared meeting experience when people are not in the same room?
  2. How do I run meetings that consistently get results and favorable reviews?
  3. How do I manage all the audio, video, and screensharing technology needed for online meetings?

We write regularly about "meeting best practices"  that address the first two points, focusing quite a bit on soft skills and organizational methodology. In this post we're taking a different tack by looking deeply at one of the technology issues in point three: managing the conference calling requirements for online meetings.

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

Awesome: Rescue Your Meeting When the Audio Goes Bad

August 14, 2015 at 7:22 PM by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement

Ever start up an online meeting and spend the first 5 minutes trying to get everyone on the call?

Ouch! Trying soo hard to hear...

Ever get part way through a meeting with terrible sound and realize your forehead may be permanently creased from all the squinting and frowning going on as you desperately try to make out what people say?

Ever set up a meeting with a new client, only to have them demand you use their favorite web conferencing service to run it instead of the one you’re used to?

Yes, of course you have.

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

7 Super Cool Ways Lucid Makes Your Google Hangouts Better

July 24, 2015 at 4:31 PM by Elise Keith in meeting technology, release announcement

Most companies fall into one of two camps: those that use, understand, and embrace the Google way, and those that don’t. If your team uses Gmail and Google Calendar, it’s likely you also use Google Hangouts for your team meetings.

Hangouts has been one of our top-requested integrations, and now it’s here. Starting today, all Lucid Meetings account owners can select to add a Hangout to their Lucid meetings.

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Topics: meeting technology, release announcement

Risk-Free Pricing & the Search for the Perfect Pricing Model

June 23, 2015 at 6:45 PM by John Keith in release announcement

Pricing is hard.

As a software-as-a-service company, you want pricing that is:   

  • Easy to understand
    So people can quickly figure out what they’d pay.
  • Competitive
    Not too cheap, not too expensive, and easy to match up when comparing alternatives. 
  • Sustainable
    If you aren’t relying on outside investors or advertising, then you need to establish prices that support your business.

We’ve struggled with this! We tried several different approaches to our pricing strategy, seeking one that works for our customers and for us as a business. Each time we made a shift, we felt like we were getting closer, but it still wasn’t right. We just didn’t feel like we’d nailed it.

Until now.

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Topics: release announcement