I’ve just been trying our Userplane Webchat which delivers full-featured, text/voice/video multi-user chatting, and is offered free for incorporation into any website.
Userplane describe Webchat as “truly the next step in chat software—beyond generic and ubiquitous chat rooms, Userplane Webchat is a feature-rich, multi-lingual, solidly-built, and easily-integrated Flash App that enables real-time text messaging and streaming audio/video communication for any website. Leveraging Macromedia’s robust Flash Communication Server technology, Webchat enables community, corporate and collaborative websites to rapidly deploy a scalable, centrally-hosted a/v chat room for their users.”
It was remarkably easy to sign up and the features described worked remarkably well. I can see many uses for this, even as a virtual meeting venue for you to collaborate with location diverse colleagues (or even those who can’t be bothered to walk over from their desk and prefer to send emails all of 5 metres!). The environment has a moderator facility, online chat with restricted word filters and chat archive facilities. It even displays active video/audio from all participants with webcams!
The service carries advertising, but I felt it did so in a non-instrusive fashion. Best of all, this is a hosted service that can be easily accessed with the need for any user downloads specific to this sevice – I increasingly dislike any form of PC footprint for a given service.
Worth checking out. You can access my “entrepneurs” forum in the sidebar if you want to try it.