Interested in chatting with other visitors of a Web site where there's no built-in chat or dedicated forum? Here are some simple chat services to let you get in touch with other site users without having to download or install a single thing.Yaplet. We featured Yaplet earlier this week. Built by a couple of grad students from Georgia Tech, Yaplet is a no-hassle sidebar that shows up on the right side of your browser with the click of a button. It lets you see who is talking and even caches the last 20 lines of the conversation, so … Read more
There have been several communication tools on Webware in the last few days. Joining the party is Yackpack, a messaging tool that lets you chat live as a group or swap recorded messages to group members, all within your Web browser.
Yackpack creates a visual chat room for you, with floating faces representing users. Playing and recording messages is handled through a slick and simple player that sits in the top right of the interface. Handling who you are and aren't talking to is as simple as clicking icons. Toggling all group members is managed with a single select … Read more
Zpeech has a few advantages over Yaplet. First, it's easier to initiate a Zpeech chat on a site. You just type the Zpeech.com URL, a slash, and the target domain. For example: www.zpeech.com/webware.com. Yaplet can also be kicked off by a URL, but the syntax is not as simple. Zpeech is also prettier than Yaplet. The chat window pops … Read more
Yaplet is a simple idea: Add anonymous, no-registration chat to any Web site. Yaplet is a browser sidebar that can also be popped out as its own browser window. Each site is given its own chat room, and Yaplet caches site conversations for you or others to view, even when no one else is there.
To make the Yaplet experience a little more cohesive you can add an optional bookmarket to your browser. Clicking the bookmarket from any site you're currently on opens up the Yaplet sidebar.
If you're concerned about privacy, private chat is as simple as … Read more
Here's a handy tool for close groups of friends and for families: Foonz, a free conference call service.
On the Foonz Web site, you set up your calling groups. For each name, enter a cell phone number or an IM address (or both). Place your contacts in groups (e.g., "Beer buddies," and so on) and when you want to talk to everybody in a group at once, you call the Foonz service and select one of your groups from voice prompts.
Foonz then sends SMS or IM messages containing dial-in numbers to your contacts. People calling … Read more
Starting today, some users of Yahoo Mail will be able to chat without leaving their in-boxes. Gmail rolled out built-in chatting a year ago. As Yahoo Mail, the most popular free e-mail service, follows, it could secure the loyalty of many users. Once you're set up for instant messaging, a smiley face will light up next to Yahoo buddies who are online. You'll be able to instantly invite someone to a text chat without leaving the Mail window.
Yahoo plans to gradually unveil this feature, so some users will have to wait up to three months to use … Read more
Lycos Mix is a new video-playlist creation tool that lets you string together video clips from various hosting services. The videos sit beside a live chat window based off of Lycos' Cinema technology. Casual observers can come in, watch videos, and chat with you. It's almost like a bar except a little creepier.
When you're done adding content, which is done by pasting URLs or using the Lycos Mix bookmarklet from the content's source page, you can watch, rearrange, or chat about the videos, all within the same screen. The adding process is a little arduous, as … Read more
It's odd that Google gives away so many services for free--even 3D modeling and mapping software--but Google Answers charges $2.50 and more to pose questions to its experts. After four years of operation, Google Answers is cutting off new questions this week, although it will allow answers to stream in until the end of this year.
Since people have grown to expect free content on the Web, Google's fee felt like a fortune. That's partly why I didn't review Google Answers when looking at other similar but free services, such as Yahoo Answers, Answerbag, and … Read more
Do we really need IM clients anymore? Google and Yahoo are embedding chat functions into their Web-based e-mail apps, and there are services such as Meebo that let you connect to multiple IM networks at once from within a browser. Any new IM software is going to have to offer a lot of flash and sizzle to make it more compelling than a Web-based client.
From News.com's Elinor Mills:
AOL was set to unveil on Wednesday its latest instant-messaging client, AIM 6.0, which lets people send messages to offline users to receive later and allows people to log and save conversations. The service also includes a new mobile dashboard that lets users manage mobile alerts and forward instant messages to their cell phones once they log off. AOL has doubled the number of contacts users can have in their buddy list to 1,000 from 500 and provided deeper integration with AIM Pages, AOL's social-networking service.
A Webware review is in … Read more