I used to chat a lot when I was younger, but now I’m really out of practice. However this hasn’t discouraged me from trying out a very original browser plug-in called Weblin, with which you can chat with other people who are simultaneously visiting the same website as you.
Weblin is very easy to install and configure, though it has two main requirements: one, you need to create a user account on the Weblin website (which makes sense in a chatting tool and, besides, is completely free) and two, remember to run the program before launching your browser, so that the plug-in is properly loaded. By the way, Weblin is supported by both Internet Explorer and Firefox, something you don’t find very often these days in browser plug-ins.
Once Weblin is loaded, here comes the challenge: find someone to talk to. You may as well visit your favorite sites to try your luck, though the best option is taking a look at the Topcloud on the Weblin website. The Topcloud is a kind of tag cloud that contains all the websites where you can currently find other Weblin users to talk to. In any case, by the time you’re browsing this list you’ll probably have two or three chats opened from other Weblin website visitors.
The plug-in features all the typical features in a chat tool, such as customizable avatars, private chat windows, actions (laughing, dancing and the likes), contacts list and different user status. There are also some special characteristics like the ability to send gifts to other users and also an inventory to store and trade objects.
As I said at the beginning of my post, it’s been ages without chatting and now I feel kind of weird when using chatting tools. However Weblin didn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all and provided me with a very rewarding experience. I liked the way the plug-in has been embedded into the browser’s interface and also the wide array of available tools. My only complaint, if any, is that popular websites (such as Youtube, eBay or Yahoo) are so crowded that chatting is too difficult and the browser is overloaded. Other than that, Weblin is certainly a recommended plug-in for all chat addicts.