Two posts back I talked about 3bubbles, a very useful third party chat script that makes it easy for anyone to create their own chats for individual posts. Today I will talk about Gabbly, a similar program with some fresh ideas. 3bubbles and Gabbly differ enough so that they really aren’t competing for the same spot, but Gabbly seems to really have the best features available for a third party chat script. One of the best things that Gabbly has going for it is that it doesn’t require a user to register to benefit from the script. You simply enter your own url after gabbly.com/ (ex. http://gabbly.com/pligg.com) and it will take you to your own domain, mirrored through their site, and overlay their chat program on top of your web page. Pretty snappy right? Well, this is only useful if you are willing to redirect your users to the gabbly.com/yourdomain.com page. Lucky for us, Gabbly offers us the ability to embed their chat rooms into our sites. Sure, this doesn’t allow for the same functionality as the popup version, but I’m not going to complain. The only downside that I have noticed so far besides not being able to run a popup version using your own url is the slow load times. When you load a page with the embeded code it takes several seconds for the chat room to show and load. The embeded chat also keeps you stuck on one page because you can’t navigate away without losing the chat room. The popup version sticks in your browser window until it’s closed or a new url is entered into the address bar.
On the plus side, Gabbly is well organized program. What I mean by this is that the user names are color coded well to help distinguish users, the ability to dock the popup on the top, bottom or right side of your browser is a plus and last but not least conversations are logged in a RSS feed for every chat room created. This is probably one of the best features, especially since RSS is starting to become a more commonly used tool. It would be great if down the road they allowed users to register or associate web links with their user name, but as is Gabbly still tops my list as my favorite third party chat script. Unfortunately I don’t see it as being the right kind of script for Pligg in it’s current form, but perhaps down the road with a couple more features I will be able to reconsider that.