Geesee Launches Cross Site Chat

Slovakian startup Geesee launched its cross site chat service this week and I think it has a lot of potential. It’s an embedded chat service that lets users communicate across any number of web sites in common chat rooms organized by tags. In other words, you can use Geesee to chat about Web 2.0 or any other topic while you are on TechCrunch with people who are on other sites. You can chat in multiple rooms organized by tabs.

It’s a potentially powerful connector for thematic conversations all around the web. A Geesee chat box on your site lets your readers chat in real time with visitors to related sites elsewhere. It’s just launched and has it’s kinks, but I really like it. Geesee offers a very different experience from services like Meebo Me and 3Bubbles. In fact, you can’t really even compare them. The eight person company was co-founded by Milan Zigmond and Roman Pohancenik. They say they have raised $50,000 in funding.

We profiled Geesee prelaunch in September and I wrote that if the company could pull off what it aims to do, it could change the web chat world. Now that the site has gone live, most everything but scalability looks solid. I’ve embedded a Geesee chat window below this post so we can get some idea of the service’s scalability. (Jump on in, there’s an active conversation going on in the TechCrunch room right after I posted this. To see how you can enter one conversation from multiple sites, try coming in through Update: The conversation may have devolved as the hour grew later, our apologies if that’s the case when you try it out.)

Multiple rooms can be chatted in at once, side by side as tabs inside the interface. Audio notification of new messages in any chat can be turned on or off individually by tab. That’s very important if I’m going to keep using slow Geesee chats while doing something else. Audio notification is a little thing that makes a big impact on usefulness and the ability to turn off audio for individual chats is smart.

As you can see from the embedded example below, AdSense at the bottom of the chat window changes every 30 seconds. Geesee says the ads are contextual to the chat room’s tags and the last 4 lines of chat. They are having some problems with the ads changing when the box is at some sizes, but I expect this will be resolved shortly. It’s not working for me at all and it’s obviously quite important.

The most obvious shortcoming of Geesee so far is that it can’t be resized to fit into sidebars. The company tells me they will come out with a sidebar version soon but have to change it to fit user lists and tabs into the small size. I really ought to be able to set the chat box to start on a particular room with the option to go elsewhere. There are a number of design decisions that I wish were different, but team Geesee tells me they are waiting for user feedback to decide much of the direction they will go in.

I’d also like to see OpenID login, something that is offered by another web chat service I hope to profile soon. I’d also like to be able to work elsewhere for more than 30 minutes without being disconnected, perhaps if there was a checkbox to opt into an extended login.

All in all though, I think this is one prelaunch startup that has come close to delivering as promised. Give it a try, I think you’ll enjoy using it. Now if they can just find a way to make it available in sidebar size it could really take off. I think it’s a great idea.
Geesee – free live chat for your website.

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