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Yapping away

February 26th, 2007 · No Comments · Internet

The Yaplet chatbox in the sidebar is a bit of an experimental goof for now. Matt and Cristina at Yaplet are two very sweet grad students who whipped up this lightweight bit of magic. While it doesn’t have much of a purpose here, I do see it being useful with some of my other projects, like TalkAboutUSA. Do keep in mind, it’s a very early beta service (I think a little over two weeks old right now), so features are in flux, and there are many rough corners.

The embedded Yaplet isn’t as neat as how they allow you to add a chat to any site, in a parallel side frame, which is how I’d use it with our forum. I’m waiting for them to add a few forum specific tools to handle the chat nickname. As it stands right now, the standard Yaplet is very open and very loose, which can create some identity confusion issues on a forum. But for casual use, it’s pretty clever.

And it’s so simple. To “bolt on” a chat, you just do this:

http://go.yaplet.com/?url=http://www.yoursitehere.com

This means on a community site, as a user, you can make an impromptu chat, which can be a lot of fun for certain events. Fan sites can now have a Yaplet chat during certain TV shows if they want, for instance. (Rickey, you listening?)

The service is very new, and I do have concerns that exposure and success will swamp them. And like a lot of young, idealistic developers, they aren’t to concerned about making it sustainable right now. After all, it’s much more interesting to make it cool and have people using it. But I do hope they think down the road so that they don’t get burnt out.

Plus, I want to see it work. It’ll be a much nicer chat feature than ParaChat, which is what we use for TalkAboutUSA now. The ability to have the chat session open while surfing the site is really key.

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