is a new all-in-one chat application that’s specifically designed for
group collaboration — free for nonprofits and for very small groups.
A desktop client that runs on Adobe Air, HipChat is compatible with
Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is similar to Yammer (but without the need
for a company email address) and Campfire (but not web-based), so if
neither of those are quite a perfect fit for your organization, you
might want to check it out.
- Chat rooms - Use rooms for departments, teams, or
projects. Make them open for anyone to join, or private for only people
- File sharing - Share files in seconds for instant
feedback. You control who can see them. Access files any time from the
HipChat client or on the web.
- Searchable chat history – HipChat automatically saves
your conversations and files. Never forget who said what, and when.
Search and acccess history anywhere you have internet.
- Notifications – You won’t miss miss a thing thanks to
HipChat’s sounds and toaster pop-ups. You can even get someone’s
attention by typing “@name”.
- Instant image preview – Share an image file and you’ll
get a live preview. Perfect for creative or design teams. Hour long
design sessions are a thing of the past.
HipChat just launched officially in late January 2010, after several
months in beta testing with early adopters, and it’s good to see that
the development team has already been making improvements
to the applicaton based on user feedback. It still lacks support
for SMS notifications and mobile access, however, but you decide — that
may not be a dealbreaker for you, depending on how your organization
tends to communicate internally.
As noted, HipChat is free for nonprofits (contact HipChat for more
information). There’s also a free plan for tiny groups (up to 4 members,
25 MB of file storage) that could be handy for collaborating on
short-term projects, or to replace some of your face-to-face committee
For others, month-to-month pricing plans start at (Basic)
$9/month for 12 members, 500 MB file storage, and 30 days of saved chat
history, then go up from there for larger orgs. There’s no contract or
long-term commitment, and the 30-day free trial should give
you a good chance to kick the tires.
Have you tried HipChat, or another group chat application, to
collaborate with others in your organization? Love to hear your