Talk to me – thanks to Google Talkback

I’ve just added a Google Chatback button to this blog, which you can see on the top of the right-hand sidebar, which allows readers on my blog to page me and have a chat, if they are so inclined. It’s a new feature that has just been announced by Google and seems to be the talk of the town. It’s a great way to get in touch with your blog readers, or to provide live support (whether you’re a software vendor or a mover NYC this could be an interesting addition to your website). I’m not sure how successfully it will be, as I’m not sure I want to be interrupted every few minutes, but it will be an interesting experiment in interactivity.

The execution isn’t as smooth as I think it should be. When someone clicks on the button I get a message in Google Talk (running on my desktop). However I don’t get launched straight into the conversation. The message has a link to a website which shows me this page:

chatback.JPG

I then have to click the button to launch a web-based chat to talk to my “guest”.? I would have preferred to talk to the visitor directly in my Google Chat client, but I suppose the technology just isn’t there yet. I’d expect this to be an enhancement they roll out pretty soon though. I’m certainly going to put in a request for it.

If you don’t want to be bothered, it’s just a matter of changing your status on Google Chat and voila, you your widget now knows you’re not available (or set yourself to be hidden). Oh, and it’s worth noting that your chat with each guest is private, but don’t forget, you don’t really know who’s at the other end.

Good work guys! Apparently Microsoft have something like this waiting in the wings, but Google seems to have gazumped them! Now .. there are some other options I can play with .. I’m off to look for them!

(Thanks to Techmeme for the heads up)

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