PlugooPlugoo is a neat widget that allows visitors to chat directly from your website to your Instant Messenger. With other embeddable chat services, such as Geesee, you and your visitors chat through the widget on your site. But with Plugoo, your visitors send and receive messages using the widget while you respond with your MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, or Jabber Instant Messenger (no AIM support yet).

The benefit of a chat working this way is that you, as the website owner, do not have to keep your browser open to stay connected with visitors. Also, your visitors do not have to have an account with an Instant Messenger to talk with you, even though you are using one. Another benefit with Plugoo is that your visitors can still get in touch with you when you are not available. Any messages sent to you while away will be directed to your email or received when you sign back on to your messenger. Sounds pretty good so far, but there is one problem: Plugoo only allows one user at a time to chat in real-time with you. When a session is active with one visitor, other visitors will have to either wait or send a message that you receive after the open session has ended.

The way the widget works is simple. You first register for your account selecting what Instant Messenger you would like to use (in my case, Google Talk), provide your Instant Message username, and create a password for your Plugoo account. You should then receive a buddy invitation to your messenger from Plugoo which has to be accepted so you can communicate with your visitors. All communication from the widget to the Instant Messenger goes through this buddy, which explains why only one person can talk at a time. Once that is set, you can login to the Plugoo website to customize and get the code for your widget.

To the right is Plugoo in action and you can use it to get in contact with me (note: If you are reading from a feed reader, you will have to visit my site to see it working). If I am signed into Google Talk, Plugoo will read, “I’m online, please feel free to chat with me,” and you will be able to send me a message. If I am away, offline, or currently talking to another person, you can either wait for me to get back or send a message to me that I can reply to when available.

Overall, Plugoo is nice in concept and makes for a decent communication tool, but it’s no where near perfect yet. The major flaw is that I can only talk to one person at a time, unlike an Instant Messenger or chat widget. Knowing that the communication between myself and the visitor goes through the Plugoo buddy, it is understandable, but it’s just a pain on the visitors end having to wait for an open connection if one is already active. I do however like that when I am offline or away, it still lets my visitors reach me by email through a little form. Plugoo also does not allow AIM users to use the service yet and I’ve seen no word of it being a possibility yet. I also found the widgets input fields to be a little buggy at times in Firefox, but that could just be a problem with my browser (worked fine in IE and Safari). Other than that, everything seems to run pretty smoothly. Hopefully there will be multiple user connections and AIM support in future releases. If you’re on the site and want to chat, feel free to message me. I should be on for the next couple hours but may be busy at times.

Update: Sorry everyone. It looks like Plugoo has recently turned their service into invite only at this time. It was originally open to public when I wrote about it, but I’m guessing they are trying to limit registrations now. I will update the post once it has opened its doors again.

(via Go2web2).


37 Comments on “Plugoo – Website to Messenger Communication”

  1. Chris says:

    Interesting. A compare/contrast with meebome (http://www.meebome.com/) might be a nice follow-up.

    For instance:
    MeeboMe doesn’t have the “one at a time” restriction. But… it’s truly only useful for folks already using Meebo for their IM. MeeboMe doesn’t send messages to other IM platforms.

  2. Reliable Systems - Software Development Blog » Plugoo - a great way to enrich your users’ experience on your website says:

    [...] Thanks to the courtesy of Brian of Solution Watch I got to know about Plugoo – a great widget for any website which allows your clients to send you IM messages directly, without downloading any software or creating accounts! [...]

  3. Adding Chat to your Website « Doug Watching says:

    [...] via Solution Watch [...]

  4. Oskar says:

    Plugoo is implemented in http://ikusuki.blogspot.com and it works fine for our communication needs.

  5. chen bo says:

    sounds perfect. Who will invite me if Plugoo is not open registration?

  6. M says:

    If you’re looking for IM widgets for your blog, don’t miss the meebo widget, which integrates nicely into sites and does let you chat with more than one person at a time. Of course, you have to be logged into meebo to get the chat requests, but since meebo simultaneously lets you use all the other IM clients.

  7. Oskar says:

    There is no need of invitation for getting plugoo. At least I did it from the web page without one!
    I’m telling this because many people asked me within the web plugin… is free! you don’t need invitation!

  8. Christophe says:

    I would like to try out Plugoo as well. If someone has a spare invitation, you can make me happy with it.
    su_blimo@hotmail.com

    Thanks

  9. Jamie says:

    How is this better than meebo me?

  10. basilius says:

    It would be nice to get an invitation vaso82@gmail.com.

    Answering Jamie: you can’t use your own messenger with meebo, plugoo lets you do it.

  11. marnie says:

    It would be nice to get an invitation ,Email to xujian@live.com,thanks

  12. simon says:

    Looking for an invitation at tmaubslf@gmail.com.
    Tanksss a lot :-)

  13. Matt’s Cuppa Autopost 11/16/2006 « Matt’s Cuppa says:

    [...] Plugoo – Website to Messenger Communication [...]

  14. Greg says:

    I would Love an Invite
    gbreen(AT)b7305(dot)com

  15. Pozycjonowanie says:

    Looking for an invitation s3o(AT)s3o(dot)pl
    Thanks :-)

  16. Danish says:

    plase invite me for the plugoo at dhashmi@gmail.com
    Thax

  17. A to Z of World says:

    Nice application, though it has some downs. Would help a lot once it is perfect.

  18. Library clips says:

    Visitors can IM chat from your blog…

    Plugoo allows you to embed a chat box on your blog and visitors can intiate a chat with you, the innovative part is that you chat back with your IM client.
    This is a great idea, if a visitor to my blog wants to chat with me (and I’m online) my …

  19. arkoudos says:

    You might even consider another solution called ChatanGo [http://www.chatango.com]. Its also free, it supports multipe users, BUT you must login and chat from the site…

    I’ve tested it, its quick – but i had a serius problem with greek (supports only latin speaking languages)..

  20. Outofthequestion.nl » Blog Archive » Chat: Van je site naar je Messenger says:

    [...] Nog helemaal in de ban van het jaar van de widget (!), kwam ik vd week een oud artikel tegen over Plugoo; een online chat-widget. (Een widget die je kunt zelf kunt toevoegen aan je website). [...]

  21. Ruz says:

    I didn’t need an invitation. But my activation email got into my spam folder. It works just okay.

  22. krissie says:

    please invite me to plugoo at krissie128@gmail.com

    if anyone has one! I really need it..

    Thanks in Advance!

  23. Alex says:

    This is so cool and I’d love to get an invite. If anybody has any left plz send to daclina@gmail.com.

  24. Ajit says:

    Please send me an invitation on this id

  25. Sharief S says:

    Hello,

    My network has been blocked on Meebo.com as well as google talk, can someone pls send me an invitation to use this one!! PLEEZ!!

    sharief.shabodien@gmail.com

    :) in advance

  26. bssonline says:

    the service works great… no referal needed! just got my account in June 2007

  27. ajmal says:

    please send me an invitation too..

  28. ajmal says:

    oops…. i didnt mention my id. :)

    ajmalahmedfarooqi@gmail.com

  29. alex says:

    Hey, here’s another one: http://www.aimboo.com
    Their widget is not Flash, just HTML code.

  30. mudassar says:

    i want to chat with out messenger
    plz help me

  31. DARK VI SERDAR says:

    First Off All,Hello
    This Site Wonderfull Because,Msn PLUGOO On site :-)
    I m Turksh and I m Helping to you

  32. Bob says:

    hey

  33. ljfslfjlfsjfjlfjsdjd says:

    hi hou r u?

    did u remember mee?

  34. Wendy Frenzel says:

    Plugoo does allow for multiple chats at one time but it does change the look and the feel when I had two people wanting to chat with me through Plugoo at the same time. I’ve enjoyed using this product and like that it allows both a widget and a link which can be used in signatures.

  35. Sriram says:

    Hi,

    I have tried this, but when any one opens my site plugoo shows me offline though I am in Online(in Gtalk). I am not sure where I have done a mistake. Could you please help me

  36. Sriram says:

    Looks like its my network problem. Its resolved. I am very happy with this option.

  37. Bulldog says:

    Looks like its my network problem. Its resolved. I am very happy with this option——————————–
    Could you please let me know what you did to fix this? Some systems show me online and others show me offline, all the same version of flash etc.