A few months ago, over at CenterNetworks, Allen reviewed the Web 2.0 tool ikordo. From Allen’s review, I was intrigued. I decided to try it out for myself and recommended it to a few of my colleagues.
I tested it pretty thoroughly at the beginning to make sure it did everything it was supposed to. The application never balked at any of my tests. I then decided to use it in real life. I set up a meeting through ikordo and let it do the rest. I ran into a handful of small issues, but the meeting still got scheduled successfully.
The issues I encountered were:
- Although I sent a message ahead of time letting each of the attendees know that they were going to be receiving a message from ikordo, one of the attendees still e-mailed me after receiving his invitation to ask me if it was real. I told him that it was genuine, and that all he needed to do was respond to the message. That problem was resolved quickly.
- The administrators in my institution all have administrative assistants that handle all of their scheduling. One of my attendees was an administrator, therefore, rather than replying to ikordo, she forwarded the invitation on to her administrative assistant, and then her assistant forwarded her availability to me. I was able to log in and adjust her availability through ikordo, so it still worked out just fine.
For those of you that don’t know what ikordo is, I will give you a brief explanation. If you want a more in-depth description, you should watch Allen’s review and then pop on over to ikordo to watch their promotional video.
ikordo is basically your own administrative assistant. It is a meeting scheduler. You log in to ikordo, tell it how long your meeting is supposed to be, who you want to invite and during what timeframe the meeting needs to happen. You then adjust your own availability and send out the invitations.
ikordo then interprets your invitees responses and extracts their availability from those replies. ikordo is extremely capable of understanding plain English and is very good at figuring out, from a conversational e-mail reply, when your invitees are available.
There are a few very nice options available through ikordo. When scheduling a meeting you can indicate whether a person is required to attend the meeting or not (in fact, you have four choices: “Critical”, “Required”, “Optional” and “Notified”). Once the meeting has been successfully scheduled, ikordo can send you a confirmation e-mail (to which they can attach an Outlook calendar item, if you choose) and it can send you a text message on your mobile.
You can also set up ikordo to send a reminder to you and to each of your attendees through e-mail and/or text messaging.
I do have a few suggestions for the creators of ikordo, and have e-mailed my comments to their support department.
I suggested that they add the following features to their fantastic application:
- The ability to specify a “proxy” person that schedules someone’s meetings. That way, I could send the invitation directly to a person’s administrative assistant and that assistant can respond to the invitation and set up the meeting. When the meeting is scheduled, however, it would send the confirmation message to the assistant and to the invitee.
- The ability to specify a minimum number of people that need to attend the meeting. In other words, in planning some meetings, it doesn’t matter who, specifically, shows up for the meeting, as long as a specific number (or percentage) shows up. This would be great for planning committee meetings, where you have to have a quorum, or even important business meetings where a specific number of people have to show up in order to approve financial matters.
Other than that, I only have two other minor suggestions:
- It would be nice to be able to set up groups of people that have to attend. In other words, you could choose something like one from column A, two from column B, etc. That way, you could invite three people from each company with which you’ll be collaborating, but really only one or two people from each company needs to attend.
- It would also be nice if there was some way to make people stop being afraid of technology and embrace fantastic applications like ikordo.:)
I hope you will register for the site and give it a test drive. If you have to plan a lot of meetings, ikordo could really help you out.