Tangler, a tool for enabling real-time discussions anywhere on the web (see our previous coverage here) has just announced a new version of their product which now supports the long-awaited embedding feature. This feature, which had been in private beta since mid-2007, is now available to all, allowing you to put embedded forums on any web site, blog, or social network profile.
The embedding feature lets you now add a Tangler forum to any web site, blog or social network profile, using the provided embed code. Others can join in the forum in real-time by clicking on the "Join" button beneath the forum window.
The first time you join a Tangler forum somewhere on the web, you have to create a username and password and then confirm your account via a link sent to you in an email. After that initial process, you can join a Tangler forum just by using the "sign in" link with no need to leave the web site you're on.
Already, people are coming up with some creative uses for Tangler. For example, the 2 web crew posted a Tangler forum under their Ustream window in order to facilitate live real-time chatting among their viewers.
Nokia even used Tangler in their NSeries launch last week, having previously used Meebo Rooms. Tangler says that Nokia decided to go with them instead "due to the depth, SEO and permanency that a forum provides."
Testing it Out
One problem I had with the service is that, even though I was signed in, when I went to create my new forum, it did not recognize me and I still had to fill in the blanks to "create a new account." However, when I got to the email address field, it recognized my email address and then prompted me to sign in. After this second authentication, I was able to proceed with forum creation.
Once I got through that stumbling block, creating the forum didn't even take 10 seconds, and was simply a matter of filling in a few fields on the page like forum name, whether it's public or private, etc.
To share a forum, you first must create a topic within the forum and then click the "share" link in the top right of the window. With the provided code, you can then embed the forum on any web page. Specific instructions for Wordpress and TypePad users are available.
A sample Tangler forum is embedded below as a demonstration: