With us discussing yesterday's game, well, yesterday and not much else going on in the world of the Cardinals right now, I wanted to catch up on a promise I'd made earlier in the year. Dean is with Live Chat Concepts, which is a company with the idea of setting up dedicated chat rooms so that, if you are watching the Cardinals and Pirates, for example, you can chat with others that are also watching the game. Their baseball offering, LiveBaseballChat.com, is a Friend of the
With only a few games left this season, there's still time to try this out for the weekend games, plus the postseason. Also, Live Chat Concepts has started this for football as well, for those of you that inexplicably follow that sport as well.
After the jump, a Q&A with Dean about the company and how it all works.
Who is www.LiveChatConcepts.com?
Live Chat Concepts is a company that three of us formed to develop a technology that can be scaled so that large numbers of users can chat online while watching live events on TV. Although it's only a part time gig for the three us, we are now close to reaching V1.0 of our Live Chat Concepts project. These technologies will be used to provide registered users a number of "destination websites". One of the first of these is www.LiveBaseballChat.com
So, what is www.LiveBaseballChat.com?
LiveBaseballChat.com is a free site that allows you to chat real time with other baseball fans live during the MLB 2010 season. A dedicated chat room for each MLB game is started 30 minutes before each game and closes 30 minutes after the game is finished.
We have a new unique live chat room for every regular season game, plus each of the All Stars games and the Playoffs.
Why would I use www.LiveBaseballChat.com?
LiveBaseballChat.com was started because I loved interacting with friends who were watching the same game as me on TV. We would email back and forth or chat on Skype and IM etc about the game as we were watching it. There are a lot of tools out there to do chat 'one on one' or between friends you already know but I wanted to chat with more people, both fans of the teams I supported and the other teams as well so we could trash talk back and forth.
The other thing I quickly learned was there are a lot of people out there who knew more about baseball than I did so it was good to see what they had to say.
How is www.LiveBaseballChat.com live chat different to team forums?
Most of the MLB content I read "after" the game is in the format of blogs or forums. And these work great "after the game". The problem is if you are using a forum for chatting during a game you have to keep refreshing your browser or keep jumping around the various posts. It loses that feeling of a conversation with friends.
We are hoping to partner with a lot of MLB fan team forums and blogs because we are actually providing different functionality, you can't even chat on our site once the game is finished.
How is www.LiveBaseballChat.com different to Twitter?
I love using Twitter but felt something was missing. I saw a whole heap of people that I found and followed with my twitter account posting messages with the hashtag #MLB or #NYMets but it felt like we were shouting "past" each other rather than having conversations.
With LiveBaseballChat.com you can see all the messages instantly in real time as it's updated with no need to "search" for specific people or hashtags. There are a lot more people chatting on Twitter about baseball games but hopefully it's just a matter of time before they find out about www.LiveBaseballChat.comand start chatting there.
So how do I join a Live Chat room?
Using any browser go to www.LiveBaseballChat.com and register a username and password. There is no software to download or any executable to click; everything is done in the browser. Once you have confirmed your email address you can log in and view the schedule page with all the chats listed and their start times. Chats can only be entered 30 minutes before the start of the baseball game.
How do I invite friends to join me in the chat room?
There are several ways to invite friends to join you in the Live Chat. From within the chat room you can send an email that contains the CHurl (CHurl stands for Chat Room URL), you can post the CHurl to your Twitter account or you can post the CHurl to your Facebook feed.
The CHurl automatically links to the chat room that you are currently in, (actually links directly to the current message in the chat).
How do I tell who is in the room with me?
On the left hand panel is the "Who is Here" button. By clicking this button it will show you the names and photos of all the people in the chat room with you.
How do I find out more information about someone in a chat room?
By clicking on a "User's Name" either in the "Chat Panel" or in the "Who Is Here Panel" you will see the "Personal Pop-up Panel", this shows you a user's location and favorite team but also shows you their User Stats, e.g., how many times someone has logged in, how many messages they have posted, how many Buddys a user has, etc.
What sort of features are there?
One of the new features we've implemented is automatically when you enter a chat room it will post that you have entered a Live Chat session to your Twitter and Facebook feeds. If you want to turn this off you can do so on the "Account-My Messages" panel.
Also, you are now able to publish messages you write not only to the chat panel but also to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Any message you post to the chat panel but end with #Twitter and or #Facebook will appear not only in the chat panel but also will appear in your Twitter and Facebook accounts.
You can now get a Buddy Alert email each time someone in your Buddy list joins a Live Chat, so if a friend of yours joins a chat you will get an email with the CHurl for the room they have logged into. This feature can be turned on or off from the "Account-My Messages" panel.
We are adding new features all of the time; We've implemented a Quick Tip box that will load up text about new features.
All of the www.LiveChatConcepts.com sites are about to implement a Badge system, there are over 125 badges to collect from performing various tasks across all of the sites. Some of these are MLB related but some are for our other sites.
Another new feature is the ability to "find" users who have the same "favorite team" as you. By clicking on a team name you will launch the Team Wall panel that shows you the avatars for each user who has nominated this as their favorite team.
I appreciate Dean giving us the lowdown on this site. You really should try it out and, if you like it, be sure to bookmark it for the 2011 season. Maybe we'll have some chats over there next year, if there's enough interest!