FaceTime for Mac Beta

Following the recent announcement from Apple today, Apple has launched FaceTime for Mac. FaceTime for Mac allows you to make video calls not just to other Macs, but to the FaceTime-enabled devices such as the iPhone 4 and iPod touch.

The beta is available right now by clicking here.

The program is very basic. By clicking on a contact you instantly are connected and making a FaceTime call. Once the FaceTime call is established, a simple video window pops up and shows you the caller’s video.


While some Internet users may be drifting away from chat rooms, that doesn’t mean that they’re not talking to other people online. The ways in which people communicate online continue to evolve as time goes on, and these days, a lot of the conversations are taking place through social networking services like Twitter. Instead of forcing people to communicate in a way that doesn’t naturally fit in to the habits that they already have, Nurph uses Twitter so that people can chat anywhere.

By entering a URL on Nurph, you’ll get a special customized URL that you can share with your friends and visitors so that they can see the original site and chat about it directly on the page. When users visit this special Nurph URL, they’ll find a chat box that sits on top of the page. They can then login through Twitter and chat with other visitors who have found their way to the site. It makes sense for your visitors to be able to chat in this way, especially since they probably have common interests. Besides, I’m sure you don’t have a problem with having your visitors want to spend more time on your site.


On the Internet, talking with strangers through e-mail, social networks, chat rooms, and other means is fairly standard behavior for a lot of people. After all, the Internet helps to connect people with one another. Of course, chatting with people using text is one thing, but would you be as open to talk with people you don’t know if video and audio were involved? For many of us, that might be a deal breaker. With that said, it hasn’t prevented the media and thousands of users from being fascinated with the ultimate stranger connector called Chatroulette.

When you go to the site and start the process, you’ll be instantly connected with a random stranger who’s also on the Chatroulette site. The service combines video, audio, and text chat so that you can see and communicate with the other person. You never know who you’re going to be connected with, and at any time you can leave the person behind and get connected with someone else from anywhere in the world. The whole thing is brilliant and scary at the same time, and if you do decide to enter the world of Chatroulette, you’ll need to be fully prepared for anything that you could potentially see. You’ve been warned.

Donut Chat

Chat rooms have been around for a long time, but they’re not going away anytime soon. The practice of talking with one or more people using text in a live way is something that continues to be useful, but that basic communication isn’t all there is in chat room technology. Back when the Internet was mostly text, communication with text was more than enough, but now that there are so many images and videos that people like to share, chat rooms have to understand and facilitate this. A lot of chat sessions may mainly consist of sharing links to videos and pictures, and if you’ve ever been frustrated by having to go outside of your chat session to see what’s being linked to, then you’ll appreciate Donut Chat.

The service offers free chat rooms (paid options offer additional features), and unlike other alternatives, these are chat rooms that you’ll actually want to use. The primary thing that I like is when someone in the chat links to a picture or video on a service like Flickr or YouTube, the content appear within the chat as a part of the conversation. Additionally, with Donut Chat, chatters can transfer files, an available control panel keeps you in control, iPhone support is here, and so on. Why am I suddenly hungry?

Chatroulette – More Than A Random Success

By now most of you have likely heard something or another about the random video-chat site known simply as Chatroulette. The idea is that you connect to it, then randomly skip through the different users until you find someone you are interested in chatting with. Clever to be sure, but not without its share of problems.


  1. Perverts — As soon as you add in a webcam to the mix, the perverts are going to come out in droves. And anyone who has spent more than 30 seconds on this Web chat service realizes this.
  2. Random chaos — Because there is no basis for matching chatters based on common interest, topics, etc., most chatters find themselves dealing with either random people choosing to skip past them to the next person… or facing problem #1 most of the time.

Clearly, Chatroulette is interesting. It’s hip, trendy, and sadly, otherwise of no definable value outside of being the next digital pet rock. As for one Russian billionaire and/or Google investing in Chatroulette, I see this as a real dangerous situation. Considering the fact that there are zero age controls, absolutely nothing for moderation and oversight to protect kids from the sickos using Chatroulette, I personally think that anyone with half a brain would stay clear of this liability lawsuit waiting to happen. Am I wrong? Does Chatroulette provide some real-world value outside of moderate voyeurism for the bored individuals of the world?

[awsbullet:chat room etiquette]


Chatting online with people has changed quite a bit over the years. At first, chatting with text was all the rage, but then we started talking with others online using our voices. That’s great and all, but we’ve already been doing that for a long time thanks to telephones. However, when video chat became something that actually worked well, people were impressed. To be honest, it still impresses me. No matter where you are, as long as you have a good Internet connection, a computer, and a webcam, then you’re good to go. Of course, simply talking to someone through video is just the start of what can be done, and 6rounds makes video chat even more interactive.

Using 6rounds to have a simple video conversation is entirely possible, but wouldn’t you like to do more than that? While using video to communicate, 6rounds also lets users play games, watch YouTube videos, shop, and do a variety of other things together. Video on its own isn’t good enough anymore, and the enhanced interactivity that 6rounds offers makes communicating using video online what it should be.

Gixaw Chat

The ability to chat online is something that’s been around for a long time, but it’s no less important just because it’s not necessarily a new thing. A lot of us use chat services that sit on our desktops and connect us with all of our contacts. This experience is satisfactory for the majority of people, but it may not be everything that you need it to be. Depending on what you do, it may be better for you to have your own chat site that ties directly to your efforts. Gixaw Chat is a chat tool that you can make your own.

We’ve seen simple services that enable you to create quick chat rooms that can be used for a period of time, but Gixaw Chat is a personalized chat service that is always available to you, your clients, and anyone else that you’d like to communicate with. A free option exists, but you’ll have to use one of the paid plans if you want more rooms and more people. Not only are you in total control, but extras such as being able to share files, view transcripts, and embed the tool outside of the core site are available to improve the process.



For a lot of people, chatting online involves using some sort of instant messaging service and talking by typing on a keyboard. That’s great and all, but there’s so much more that can be done. Communicating through audio and video has become something that is accessible to a large number of people, and it can be especially useful when a big group is involved with something like an online gaming session or a team meeting. An online service called Voxli makes voice chat possible through your Web browser.

Voice chat through IM can work, but Voxli is really focused on helping out big groups of people. The fact that you can invite up to 200 people to participate proves that this is true. Starting a voice chat conference is as easy as clicking a button, and all you have to do is share the URL with anyone who wants to participate. The service even enables push-to-talk so that you don’t necessarily have to be in your Web browser to communicate. I’m not sure if chatting with 200 people through Voxli is something that anyone would want to do, but it should work just fine for you and your friends or colleagues.


Do you remember when chat rooms used to be the hot thing on the Internet? They’re still in use today, but other communication tools such as instant messaging and social networks have taken over in many respects. There are so many ways that communication can happen instantly that chat rooms aren’t as important as they used to be. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they’re useless. A lot of people think of chat rooms as being scary places where complete strangers get together to talk to one another, but that doesn’t always have to be the case. A service called TinyChat will help you and your friends connect with one another.

If you want to get some people together to chat online, you just click the button on the site and a unique chat room is created for you. You’re provided with a simple URL to share with whoever you want to invite, and when you’re all present, you can enjoy chatting with one another. There aren’t a lot of frills here, but the chat interface looks and works great, and if you don’t want to use IM or can’t use it for some reason, TinyChat is a nice alternative.



When you visit a Web site, do you ever sometimes think about the other people who might be visiting that same site at the same time as you? That may not happen very often, but I know that I have thought about it before, especially on sites that tell you when there are other people on the site with you. Every Web site attracts a certain type of visitor, and you probably have a lot in common with your fellow visitors. Because of that, you might enjoy talking with these people who have the same interests as you, and while most Web sites don’t contain chat rooms, WebbyChat makes it easy to turn your Web site into a chat room.

The chat rooms are provided through an unobtrusive chat bar that can be displayed and hidden at your will. One of the nice things about it is that it doesn’t get in the way of the content and can be viewed while you switch through the pages of a Web site. The chat bar is customizable and can be installed by simply copying and pasting some code. Some people may not want to be involved in this chat activity, but if you run a Web site, it’s a nice option to think about.



Do you care about your community and customers? You should. Many businesses treat their customers as a group and don’t consider the individuals within that group, but they should be making an effort to connect with each person in some way. One of the best ways to do this is to simply respond to them when they contact you. You can turn someone into a fan for life by just doing that. For a visitor or customer, there’s nothing more infuriating than when their messages are ignored. Therefore, you should be trying to make your company as accessible as possible. Zopim offers a chat bar that can be embedded on your Web site so that visitors can chat with you directly.

This instant communication is especially pleasing to your visitors. The chat bar is not intrusive at all, and you can route the messages to your IM client so that they’re easy to keep track of an respond to. Additionally, you can also have other people from the company get involved in the conversations. Far from being just a communication tool, Zopim even offers detailed analytics about who’s visiting your site. Try it out and see how your visitors react.


Since I work from home, I appreciate the fact that technology has advanced to the point that I can feel like I’m actually in an office with other people. In the past, having a meeting with someone remotely was more of a challenge than it is today. In fact, more and more business meetings are taking place virtually with people scattered all over the world because the tools make it seem as if you’re all in the same room. Even if you’re not doing business, online collaboration tools help you to stay in touch with the people that you care about. Scribblar is all you need and more.

One of the best things about the service is that users don’t have to create an account to use it. A unique room URL is provided whenever you want one, and you just share this URL with your contacts so that they can meet with you in the room. Once there, you’ll find a shared whiteboard, image uploading, and text and audio chat features. I don’t need Scribblar today, but I plan on using it in the future.



Instant communication is what it’s all about these days, and it doesn’t get much more instant than instant messaging. Many of us use instant messaging clients so that we can immediately communicate with the people who are on our contact lists. If you have a Web site, you probably talk to your visitors through e-mail or forums on a somewhat regular basis, but do you ever chat with them? Incorporating instant messaging on your Web site can be a great way to communicate with your visitors to find out what they’re like and to answer any questions that they may have. More people would probably do this if they had an easy solution to use, and that’s exactly what Jabbify is.

You’ll immediately see the Jabbify component on the Web site, so feel free to interact with it to experience how it works. Who knows, maybe you’ll even find other people to talk to. Like most of the other Web tools that are out there, Jabbify only requires you to copy and paste some simple code to get started. The messages are simple to keep track of, and you’ll be able to customize Jabbify to match your site. Be prepared – you never know what your audience is going to say.


Google Gmail Supports Voice & Video Chat

Google has added another feature to their popular Gmail program which now supports voice and video chat. The prerequisites requires a web cam [with mic] to be used with the Gmail system. Setup is simple and took only a matter of minutes.

According to their site Google states that:

Since sometimes reading “lol” doesn’t deliver the same punch as actually hearing your friend laugh at your jokes, you can now use voice and video capabilities in your Gmail chat. From within Gmail, you can have an actual conversation with someone (seriously, out loud), or even chat face to face over video.

Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Download the Gmail voice and video chat plug-in, quit all open browser windows, and install the plug-in.
  • Sign in to Gmail.
  • In the Chat section of your Gmail, select the contact you want to call. If they have a camera icon next to their name, you can make a voice or video call to them; just click Video & more.

If your friend doesn’t have a camera next to their name in your chat list, you can invite them to download the Gmail voice and video chat plug-in from the Video & more menu in a chat window. Even if your friend doesn’t have a video camera, you can still make a voice call or a 1-way video call.

I’ll be giving this software a test run this week to see how well it works. I’ll report back in about a week or so and let you know how it is going.

Comments welcome.



When I want to talk to someone, I usually either give them a phone call or send them an e-mail. I hardly ever use instant messaging, and I don’t even remember the last time that I was involved in a video chat. There’s no shortage of ways to communicate with people online, and depending on the situation, one solution may be better than another. Video and audio chat isn’t necessary all the time, but it may do the trick in certain circumstances. When the opportunity arrives, try out ekkoTV. 

The problem with a lot of video chat options is that you and your friends usually have to be a part of the same communication network in order to talk with each other, but ekkoTV can be used by anyone. To get started, one person creates the discussion room, configures their personal audio and video settings, and then shares the link to the room with up to two other people. As soon as your friends are present you’ll be able to see and hear them and even communicate with them using text through the chat window.