The Techie Buzz team frequently meets online for virtual conferences. Usually, this is a secluded and polite Hello, everybody affair that everyone wants to get into (before the serious stuff starts) without much hassle. The without too much hassle bit is helped a lot by web-based online chat rooms. These are nifty web-based tools that (usually) do not require registration to use. Just type in your chat room’s name, your name and you will be presented with a URL that you can pass on to your fellow chatters and they can just as easily dive into the conversation. Here is a list of conversation-starters!
Tinychat: The most prevalent and most used web-based chat client. It’s easy to see why – registrations merely typing in the name of your room and your username can either be a normal nickname, Twitter name or Facebook name. It is rich, fast and supports webcams as well! If you prefer to register, you can customize your room; however we swear by it as a great handler of temporary conference chat rooms!
Chatzy: A slightly less browser-intensive, but nevertheless equally friendly is Chatzy. The home page greets you with a form to start a free private chat which is basically his:
It foregoes the send emailstep that is necessary with Tinychat. Very neat!
YapChat: Though this service does not allow the creation of user-defined rooms without registering, it is still quite easy to join an already created room without much hassle just sign inas a guest.
JWChat: The necessary Open Source alternative that prevails every product list (!), here is the lightweight Jabber/XMPP client based off the web. Registering is necessary, but is as easy as typing in your desired username and password and checking Register New Account.
Once logged in you can create your own group room and invite other jwchat users to join in. Quite useful and incredibly easy when you already have a Jabber account (e.g. if you use Google Chat, you are already using Jabber)
Meebo: Yes I know this is a web based IM client, but it does support free chat rooms! All you have to do is make an account on Meebo and share the room URL with your friends. Pretty neat, huh?
ChatMaker: Pretty much identical to Tinychat (where it comes to general features), it is a decent alternative quick and fast!
WebChattr: (Upcoming) This is a generic online chat room maker but with the functionality of supporting the iPhone and iPod Touch. This added touch (sorry) would definitely be something to look out for once this goes live for public users!