UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Archive for January 10th, 2007

Real Time Chat on my Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 10 January 2007

I have been experimenting with the Meebo chat widget in this blog’s sidebar. The widget, which is illustrated below, provides a realtime chat facility within the blog.

Meebo Chat Widget

I’ve not yet established a systematic process for making use of this chat facility – or, indeed, had an opportunity to explore its strengths and weaknesses. When I first tried it, in conjunction with the Meebo Web site and the Meebo FireFox plugin, I either missed people who were chatting (as I was looking at the wrong window) or failed to switch off the chat service when I left my office (and note that the image shown above is a simulation of a chat, and not a proper dialogue).

As well as those issues of process, I also need to explore whether this can be a useful services, or will simply be distracting. As part of that process I will carry out a simple experiment. I’ll try to log on to the Meebo service after I post a blog article, if I feel I am in a position to respond to any queries or discussions. And I’ll try to ensure that I log off from the service if I am busy, wish to concentrate or other work or am unavailable.

Perhaps a chat service like this isn’t ideal for a individual’s blog like this (as the individual is likely to be unavailable for significant periods)- but possibly could be more useful as mechanism for engaging in discussions when used in a multi-user blog with several contributors.

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