Many of the blogs I read were crammed with post about the release by meebo of Meebo Rooms. At first, I simply thought “whatever”, another open chat room like Gabbly.
But after opening up Meebo, and finding myself with my own Room automatically alongside the site rejig, I thought I’d take a look.
Unlike traditional chatrooms however, they’ve enabled you to create a room, add it to you buddylist in meebo (to receive notifications even when you’re not in the room), and embed that chat room on website, blogs and social network profile pages, just like you can with meebome. Moreover, you can even embed a room widget into a blogpost and it will show up in RSS readers (or at least it did in Google Reader), which means that you could run the comments section in a chat box and people can then subscribe to that blogpost room, which will make it far more interactive.
They’ve also incorporated the ability to watch online videos with others in real-time. So, insert a youtube or viddler video url into the room and you can watch it with others. On meebo rooms already they’ve got music artist themed rooms e.g. Lily Allen with her music videos, which you can join and participate in watching the content and chatting in real-time about. This would be amazing for live streaming content, as an online audience could easily form and chat at the virtual event.
Sadly, after only a few hours of being live, its already evident that Meebo may have released an uncontrollable “beast”, since access to the rooms is open and unmoderated. Consequently some of the chat posts on “brand name” rooms are offensive in nature, together with the videos and photos that have been shared. Whilst such content can be reported to meebo and immediately disappear from your own view, the policing job is going to be substantial if people are not to be immediately deterred from visiting the rooms. Not sure how they will handle this.
Still, it’s definitely worth a look and I may embed some of the rooms in future posts.