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  #1  
Old 16 Jan 2008, 18:59
sweeps78 sweeps78 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Chat Software Recommendations for 3.7

I've been looking at a lot of different chat software out there to integrate with my forums. There's just a ton of great looking ones out there! Some of them free, some of the I have to pay for. Paying for one isn't a big deal to me, so long as it is worth the cost. I'm not really looking for a tight integration, more of one that when I click on "chat" in the title bar, a new window will pop up.

That said, I'm reaching out to the .org community with a question.

What chat software would you recommend getting that will definitely work with 3.7?
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  #2  
Old 16 Jan 2008, 23:19
Swampfox Swampfox is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Flashchat, price is right ($5), integrates easily, and can show who is chatting on the main forum page
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  #3  
Old 17 Jan 2008, 01:40
Shanj Shanj is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Chatrooms

You name it I've tried it!

$5flashchat - Integrates with vb. Your script only. Nice -has voice, design features. Not enough features for me. Some report as unstable.
123flashchat - Integrates with vb if you buy script - pricey. Also hosted. Lots of features but you quickly run into buying 'extras' and it doesn't come across as reliable. I got different quotes for feature requests all a bit messy.
Chatblazer - $20pm/ or buy script. Good. No vb integration, clunky layout, very good features. Multiple rooms, can control access by usergroup, picshare, mini whiteboard, moderated chat etc. Fairly stable. Voice is add-on and expensive.
Talkingcommunities - $40pm excellent voice, integrated browser, whiteboard. Only one room, multiple in development.
addonchat $75pa - Neat textchat with design features, good for backup.

Ive investigated and tested practically everything else around over 3 years! Around 100 different chats!

My recommend is Visichat. Newcomer on the market very keen, excellent fast actually intelligent support!!!!
Integrates with VB $95/ $200. This allows complete custom design. Alternatively hosted version from $15 -- $80pm depending on concurrent users.

Masses of features ALL INCLUDED no hidden extras! Full demo on site + admin demo.
Multiple rooms, control access per user, (per usergroups in dev. but this is for hosted w/o vb integration; if you vb integrate use vb usergroups) Guests, registered users etc options.
Voice incl. handsfree, webcam, text, avatars, transcript, picshare, fileshare, the usuals (smilies font etc) Private chats in separate windows/ private voice. Typing indicator, mic indicator, who's online indicator - members list up to 100 most recent joined on tab.
Design is compact and user friendly, very intuitive. Admin interface ditto with loads of options to toggle stuff on/off. Hardly needs documentation as it's good interface design.
I want a few more features which they are doing this month like option for mod control on who speaks, better integration for mp3, mod leading browser page.

They also do a basic 3D room, a site support messenger etc.
Also I'm talking to them about a desktop instant messenger for me.

I'm very happy with them but would like to make it clear that in recommending them highly after all my long searches I am NOT a member of www.gchats.com the company, nor do I get commission for recommending them! Just a satisfied client. I was meaning to write in about them but was busy then saw this thread.
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  #4  
Old 17 Jan 2008, 01:46
KW802's Avatar
KW802 KW802 is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Real name: Kevin
There is also Flasherize.
__________________
Sci-Fi Forum / The Walking Dead & Horror Forum / CinVin

(Sorry, but I am no longer developing for vB; please do not PM. So long, and thanks for all the fish.)
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  #5  
Old 17 Jan 2008, 02:14
Shanj Shanj is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Flasherize Ok but ...

Flasherize looks cute. If money is tight, this is a reasonable option for a text chat.
No webcam. No voice.
No transcript except for admin.

Private chat is clunky - you have to fill in the exact name of user in a form to request chat instead of clicking user's name.
URLs have to be specially configured on a button to be clickable.
Private chat / URLs would make this a fiddly slow chat to use.

But can design to fit your site and has standard features.
Basically a nice text chat that integrates with VB.

Could be one to watch if it develops.
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  #6  
Old 17 Jan 2008, 09:26
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Alfa1 Alfa1 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Flashchat has several addons for vbulletin integration, like who's chatting on forum home and vbadvanced.
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  #7  
Old 17 Jan 2008, 13:42
sweeps78 sweeps78 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanks everyone! I haven't checked out Flasherize or Visichat yet, so I'll do that right now

In the meantime, has anyone heard of (and/or had experience with) flashcoms?

http://www.flashcoms.com/

what are your thoughts on them? They look like they have a nice package. Kinda pricey, but like I said before, the money isn't really an issue. I'm more concerned with having a straight forward and intuitive interface for my community which I really like about flashcoms. I'm talking to them now about integration with vBulletin and they seem to be dancing around that question a little bit. They said they have an integration module for vBulletin and it works great, but I specifically asked about 3.7 beta 3 and they didn't answer that question...

--------------- Added 17 Jan 2008 at 13:48 ---------------

Hey Shanj,

I'm checking out visichat right now. It looks really sweet! The first thing that I noticed though is that it is embedded in the page. Is there anyway to get it to open up in a new window by itself (not within a vBulletin page)?

Last edited by sweeps78; 17 Jan 2008 at 13:48. Reason: Auto-Merged DoublePost
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  #8  
Old 18 Jan 2008, 14:57
Shanj Shanj is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Full page Visichat

Originally Posted by sweeps78 View Post
I'm checking out visichat right now. It looks really sweet! The first thing that I noticed though is that it is embedded in the page. Is there anyway to get it to open up in a new window by itself (not within a vBulletin page)?
Yes no problem it does full page.
It's just default as embedded.
Dunno how you do it as I have a hiosted version and Majid the cute guy who runs it does it all for me. But he'll tell you how.

--------------- Added 18 Jan 2008 at 15:44 ---------------

Flashcoms looks very good. I think it's a very close deal between visichat and flashcoms.
It's not as simple as the other comparisons. Needs a detailed check.
I will go through them both and send a report.

Last edited by Shanj; 18 Jan 2008 at 15:44. Reason: Auto-Merged DoublePost
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  #9  
Old 19 Jan 2008, 13:35
Romeos Tune Romeos Tune is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Hi Shanj,

How is the integration with Visichat for VB? It says on their site that it's possible but do they charge extra for this or is it built in or will they just do it for you if you purchase their product?

Thanks!
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  #10  
Old 19 Jan 2008, 14:01
Shanj Shanj is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
visichat integration

I was quoted $50 to do it for me if I bought the code.

But I ended up opting to duplicate the accounts instead for various complicated reasons to do with running a specialised project.
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  #11  
Old 05 Feb 2008, 01:56
dknelson dknelson is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
I've tried a number of different chat clients but about a year ago bought 123flashchat. I went with their hosted chat rather than host it on my own site. It integrates very nicely with my forum and has been fantastic. My members use it a lot and I have never regretted spending the money and finally getting something that works very well without hogging my recourses. I highly recommend it. Yes, it is a little more money up front but well work it for me.
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  #12  
Old 05 Feb 2008, 14:11
sweeps78 sweeps78 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Thanks dknelson!

123flashchat is actually what I'm trying out now. I have my own host for it, so we're running into a couple of small problems, but 123flashchats seems to be really nice and helpful in getting this up and running. To tell you the truth, I haven't bought it yet, I'm just testing out the demo. So far though, I'm really impressed with their customer service, their addons, and overall business! I hope that once we get the software up and running it's as pleasing as the rest of my experience with them

FYI, for anyone reading this thread, DO NOT try flashcoms, at least if you intend to do the hosting and integration yourself.

We tried flashcoms out (bought the software because they didn't have a demo to try out) and we had an absolutely horrible experience! Although it looks nice, user friendly and easy to integrate with vb (as we were told prior to purchasing), shortly after we purchased it, we quickly discovered that they seem to be only after your money because anytime you have a question regarding integrating with vb (because their documentation for integrating with vb absolutely sux!) they push the paid integration services down your throat and only half-ass answer your question(s).

There were many questions that I asked prior to purchasing in regards to integrating and all questions were answered in a reassuring manner, but once you purchase it, everything changes. What makes it worse is that if you are not satisfied with their product, they refuse to give you your money back (we paid $268) even though they have no return policy listed online. This is all as of about 1/29/08, so if you have experience with this software and see things change since then, by all means reply to this thread and let us all know. I'm just letting the community know my own personal experience.
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  #13  
Old 06 Feb 2008, 00:01
funkmeister funkmeister is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
dknelson and sweeps78 - re 123flashchat - did you guys buy the license plus the hosting? What does the license actually buy you, as you're hosted by them? It's not clear at all what added incentive it gives me, other than lower monthly hosting fees. Is that basically it?? If I do buy a license....is it mine forever, or does it require renewal fees every year?

How can I get chat transcripts at a later date after the main chat session has ended? In other words, are off-line transcripts available - if so, in what form? A downloadable link, plain text, CSV? How long are they made available?

Finally, how is the customization actually handled, is it implemented and hosted by them as well? Is it something I can do without having to pay them additional $$?

How is their support response times? What have you found the best method to get a hold of support - phone, email, IM?

Thanks for both your reviews so far.
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  #14  
Old 07 Feb 2008, 03:51
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Videx Videx is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
I have flashchat installed, but recently I've been surprised that my users seem to prefer the shoutbox. Probably something to do with them not feeling obligated to stick around.

I announced I'm uninstalling chat with the 3.8 upgrade and nobody seemed to mind.
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  #15  
Old 12 Feb 2008, 16:46
sweeps78 sweeps78 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Could anyone tell me what they had to do in order to get 123FlashChat integrated and working with vBulletin?

I was able to run it just fine on my server by itself, but then once I integrated it into my forum (setup auto-login and added statistics), nothing seems to be working
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