I recently got contacted by one of the administrators of Envolve, James Tamplin. He encouraged/invited me into their public beta plugin for website owners. Hmm, let’s take a look.
What is it?
I’m sure you all have used Facebook in some sort of way. If you haven’t, I’m sorry, you are behind the times. Facebook has a built-in chat system in your lower right hand corner of your browser on their site. This is way for users to chat with their friends that are signed into the system without leaving Facebook. Simply put; a mini built in instant messenger. Envolve has produced a product that will install on your website to produce the same chat style format. In the end, hopefully, keeping your visitors on our site to stay social, engage and discuss your posts (I can see bounce rates dropping dramatically).
Envolve is the easiest way for your visitors to chat about your content
As you can see in the lower right hand corner of your browser right now, I have the beta version installed and running without a hitch.
Was it easy to install?
- Within your WordPress navigate to: Plugins> Add New> and search for “Envolve”, should be the only one listed (at least for me).
- After Installing, browse to Settings> Envolve Chat. Here you can begin registering your domain by clicking on the Envolve link.
- Copy and paste this code into the appropriate box on your WordPress Envolve Chat settings page.
- Finish the registration process by checking the appropriate boxes at the bottom of the settings page.
Other ways to install this plugin on your site would include; Blogger and TypePad site installations. You can always install it on your website using the straight HTML code for the advanced users.
Registering as a user
If you don’t register as a user through Envolve, you will automatically be given a “Fake” name in the chat window for you to chat with. By registering you can use your “real” name and you are given the right to assign yourself a profile image, which seemed to snag when I tried to add a jpg profile image |:^(
Once you are a registered user you are given the power to share your chats through Twitter and Facebook. They will assign your chat a custom shortened URL which allows friends and followers to join in or view the chat later. Very cool idea.
In My Opinion
It took me a couple days to conjure up the motivation to trying this tool. I wasn’t convinced it would be advantageous for this site, or any site for that matter. But, I did say that I would try pretty much any social networking tool. After going through the process, I give these guys an “A” for ease of installation. Have you installed it on a Blogger or TypePad site? How did it go?
The sharing chat tool is fantastic addition to this type of system that I believe will be useful to some people while promoting their website.
Another slick tool is the domain administrator has the ability to see chat stats. Don’t lose sleep, no privacy is exposed for your chats. The stats give you basic information of how many public and private chats occurred on your site for a particular day. Stats are very important when it comes to your websites, so being able look at this information is very useful.
Private chats, those chats created by clicking the ‘chat’ link next to someone’s name, will never be shared. These transcripts will not be searchable and will not be displayed on a host site or on Envolve.com.
I haven’t noticed any negative effects on performance for this site while the chat is installed so we’ll give it a solid attempt and try it for a couple weeks for sure :^D
I commend the Envolve crew for making a solid release for the beta version and making it very easy to install for WordPress users. Envolve, good luck, I hope nothing but the best for you guys and your product.