CloudShout Communications

I recently asked people following @cloudshout on Twitter what they like or dislike about CloudShout. The problem pointed out the most related to communicating with other site visitors.

The issue is, from what I gathered:

  • People do not know about the chat, thus the site chat room is empty
  • People miss chat invites by jumping from page to page.

The first problem will be solved in upcoming releases. We are going to make it more prominent to visitors that you can chat with the blog owner, and other visitors, and that there are actually people chatting at any given moment. Like walking into a room full of people, you instantly know that there are conversations going on without having to go look for them. Arriving at a CloudShout powered blog, you should instantly be able to “sense” the interactions around you.

The second issue is a little bit trickier. Due to the design of CloudShout, it has to reset every time the browser loads a the page. One solution might be that you can launch the Chat application in it’s own browser window. That way it stays running as you move around from page to page, or even site to site. A good idea that I will add to my list of things to consider.

Jumping back to the first issue, here’s an idea that might be helpful in letting people know about the chat functionality on your site… Make a blog post. Invite your readers to interact directly with you at a scheduled time. For instance: “We covered many topics this week, and I will being doing a live chat with anyone interested Friday at 8pm EST to recap and get your feelings on the subjects. Just click on the ‘Join Community Chat’ in the CloudShout widget in the sidebar to participate. See you there!“. Or how about “Join us here immediately following the Jan. 16th episode of Battlestar Galactica to discuss the show!“.

This, gives people a known time that other people will be online talking, and instructions on how to find the chat services.

If you did not know that you could use CloudShout to communicate with other site visitors, this video will introduce you to the concept.

Do you have any ideas?