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Instant Messaging - How to use MeeboMe to engage your members

Lori Halley 18 July 2007 9 comments

Instant messaging tools are becoming extremely common (one the biggest gripes from early buyers of just launched Apple iPhone  was that it does not have a built-in chat). Most of us are now very familiar and comfortable with regular IM tools like MSN Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo messenger, Skype chat, GTalkr etc. You install them on your computer - and connect directly to the people you know.

In this post I want to discuss a new and different application of instant messaging tools - creating a chat room within your website. Probably the best example of is this is MeeboMe - a snippet of code that lets you put an IM box on your webpage through which people can talk to you and each other. This is a very quick and easy way for you to connect your supporters, members, donors and other people with each other.

What is MeeboMe?

In tech terms, Meebo is a cool cross-platform, multi-protocol, Ajax-based IM and presence awareness aggregator. The one-page application allows anyone on any computer platform to access and log in to Yahoo Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, AOL IM and ICQ from one single interface. Similar to desktop applications like Trillian and Gaim, Meebo provides a single buddy list that is automatically populated upon signing into the meebo web site. Free to use.

MeeboMe is the new way to chat online. MeeboMe allows people to contact you and see when you're online whenever they visit your site by putting a chat window right on your own home page. When logged into meebo, you can chat with all of your visitors in real time and access your favorite IM networks (MSN, AIM, Yahoo, gtalk, jabber) as well, all in one place. See who's on your page, chat with them and publish your online presence all in real time and all totally on the web.

According to Techcrunch, Meebo is now averaging about 250,000 logins per day. On December 7, twelve weeks after launch, Meebo had 236,000 successful logins, 6,534,948 messages sent and approximately 13,069,896 total messages carried. Impressive!


Meebo has been widely used as a convenient way to access all of the major IM networks from any computer with an Internet connection, since the web-based Ajax client doesn’t require any installation of software, thus making it like web-based email - easy to access and use.

How do you put it to work on your site?

Adding a chat window to your website can help engage your member and provide an easy way for them to communicate with you and with fellow members. Furthermore, as the widget has the ability to play media files and videos, your members won't run out of something to talk about. Here’s an example of how you can embed a MeeboMe chatroom and get your members involved:

Customizing your widget

To get Meebo Me on your page, go to meebome.com and follow the three step process. The first step will help you to customize the widget. Begin by entering the name for the widget and then enter a name for yourself. Next, select an appropriate size for the chat window. The image on the right will show how tall and wide the widget will be. Then choose a color theme by clicking on a theme name. If you don't want a predefined theme click on "Customize It..." and select colors manually. When you are finished click on "next".

Logging on to Meebo

Upon registration, the second step will ask you to log on to Meebo. You must have an account with Meebo in order to use it. Register, log on and then continue to step 3.




Embedding the widget on your website

In this third step, meebome will provide you with a small piece of code which will make Meebo Me alive on your page.  

You literally copy and paste these lines on into the position you would like your chat room to appear, and it will be published as soon as your post goes live. Use your browser to check that the chat window is now visible on the page.

Communicate with your members  

Now that you have the Meebo Me chatroom on your website, your members can start chatting with each other. But first, let your members know about it. You can either email them or post a notice on your website, whatever captures their attention. Don't assume that all your members will be familiar with IM, so briefly explain how the chatroom works and any features that you might want to highlight.



When embedded in your site, like the example above, your Meebo Me Chat Room has a simple look and feature-set, but still manages to pack in some key features. You are told how many people are currently in the chat room, and can click on any individual to send them a message. Anytime a member visits the site and the widget loads, they show up as a visitor on the website owner’s Meebo IM list. The new visitors are assigned a name like “MeeboGuest29″, but they can change their handle using the widget. By default, the chat widget is “on”, and members can thus send messages to the website owner (if they’re online) and the website owner can initiate a conversation with any visitor.


Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about MeeboMe, you might want to check out the following links:


Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 9:00 AM


  • Ben said:

    Wednesday, 18 July 2007 at 12:46 PM

    I'm a huge Meebo fan.  I'm logged in now!  Just as a point of clarification, most of what you're talking about here is their latest enhancement, Meebo Rooms.  Something else to look out for: It was recently announced that Meebo will offer corporate versions of Meebo Rooms, so that orgs can brand the chat widgets with their own logos, etc. for a fee.  One of the most promising uses for MeeboMe, IMHO, would be to embed a MeeboMe widget at the bottom or below the fold of a site's search results page.  The widget would be for live help finding web resources.  One could put some text around it saying, "Can't find what you're looking for? Chat with a member of our staff and we'll try to help you!"

  • Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Wednesday, 01 August 2007 at 10:21 AM

    The following is a list of some of the currently most popular posts on this blog for June and July 2007

  • Travis said:

    Tuesday, 04 September 2007 at 9:56 AM

    What about forwarding.  I am old school with my IM and use GAIM on my computer.  It's running all the time.  I would love it if the messages from my website came to my GAIM/IM account on my desktop.  I have been looking on Meebo and have not found a good way to do this.

  • Ben said:

    Monday, 08 October 2007 at 6:21 PM


    You might want to try out http://www.hab.la, it lets you have messages sent from your website to GAIM, Pidgin, Adium, or any other jabber client.  It also has a few neat features that Meebome doesn't support like the ability to maintain a chat session as one navigates around a site, and the ability to open external links while still keeping the chatbox around.

    Hab.la is in beta, you can signup at http://www.hab.la

  • jschodde said:

    Friday, 30 January 2009 at 8:06 AM

    I use Meebo on a daily basis, and I'm quite happy with it. I have found however that Meebo Rooms to be "quirky" at best. One thing I don't like about them is that once you create a room, you can never delete it! This makes no sense to me.

    Additionally from what I can tell, there's a button at the bottom which allows anyone to get a copy of the room's embed code so they can paste it anywhere including Facebook, MySpace, etc.. That's fine if you have a really open chat environment but if you want to keep your chat strictly internal, you have to password protect the room so be careful.

    In light of these "issues", I looked for and found a reasonable solution from AddonInteractive called addonChat ( http://www.addonchat.com/ ). They have a free and paid accounts. For paid accounts, the chat interface can be completely customized and can even keep a log of chat sessions. Additionally you can create rooms with or without password protection.

    I've just started using this service and hope it works out.

  • Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot]

    Dmitriy Buterin [Chief Apricot] said:

    Friday, 30 January 2009 at 8:17 AM

    very interesting, thanks for sharing.

  • Wild Apricot Blog said:

    Tuesday, 26 May 2009 at 10:10 AM

    For quick consultations with colleagues, or staying in touch with your contacts, free instant messaging

  • Allan Leonard said:

    Saturday, 30 May 2009 at 8:01 AM

    I appreciate the information on embeddable IM chats. I browsed meebome, and if I wasn't using my preference, I'd give it a go. But for me, Chatroll is better http://chatroll.com

    I opened a Chatroll (free) account. As Administrator, I can create as many unique chatrooms/sessions as I wish, embed them wherever I like, close them whenever I like. Chatroll automatically keeps an archive of each chatroom/session I create (and I can decide who gets to see these archives).

    I use Chatroll in two ways, for different audiences. For my public audience, I announce that we will have a guest speaker and invite members/public to head to my website to participate. I embed a new chatroom/session on a public page, and keep it open for the duration of the guest speaker's appearance. Afterwards, I close it down and create a PDF of the session, which I make available for public download (via Box.net).

    The other audience are my internal groups. Within password-protected parts of my website, I have an always-on Chatroll chatroom. As I know the identity and trust those within this particular members-only section, I leave the chatroom on; I can review and monitor what is being discussed from my Chatroll Administrator account.

    Chatroll and meebome offer essentially the same services. But I prefer the design, presentation, and navigation of Chatroll. Importantly, in an embedded Chatroll session, guests are more readily prompted to give themselves a unique username for the session. In my netiquette guidelines I advise them to use firstnamelastname.

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Sunday, 31 May 2009 at 3:45 PM

    Allan, thanks for bringing in another option for embedded chat - and especially for your practical suggestion about using chat in two different ways for two diffent audiences: that's sure to spark ideas for other organizations, and much appreciated!

Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.

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