Talkwheel.com is attempting with their announcement this week. The free service has a redesigned interface that will make it easier to participate in lots more online chats. As if we really needed an excuse to avoid doing other work.Tired of your old-fashioned IM client, where you have a choice of one-to-one or endlessly scrolling group chat rooms? Then take a look at what
But really, there is some method to their wheeling around, as you can see from the screenshot below. Each one-to-one convo is indicated with a curved line connecting the dots that represent your correspondents, and you can slice and dice the chats according to subject matter or group people into different buckets, similar to how the old-fashioned chat clients work.
While the traditional chat clients like AOL IM or Skype work fine with one-to-one chats, things get dicey with larger group chat rooms where everyone has to chime in with their bon mots. Having a wheel helps to make a group conversation more effective, at least in theory, since you can see more visually what is going on in the room.
You can upload your social contacts from Facebook or invite them via email to make it easier to get started, although like any chat program, everyone has to dive into the pool and get registered with the service for it to be truly effective. You can host your chats in the cloud (we'll try to avoid the Wheel in the Sky puns here) or with your own on-premise server and it comes with various real-time analytics too.
If you periodically participate with the same five or six people in an online chat room for a particular project, this has some important business benefits and Talkwheel is worth a closer look.