Web App of the Week: Tinychat


Sometimes, you have a whole 'lotta people you need to chat with at once. And more often than not, you are all spread across ten different social networks, messaging programs, time zones, and lifestyles. Getting you all together in a single room would destroy your Skype client, not to mention your sanity--wrangling these people up is going to be a lot more complicated of a process than you bargained for.

Or is it?

The Web app Tinychat couldn't make the process of setting up Web-wide chat rooms any easier. You don't need a login; you don't even need customized software. As long as your browser supports Flash, you have scored yourself a ticket to a chat application that not only functions as a text-based room, but as a full-fledge Web cam and microphone gateway for telecommunications as well.

How easy is it? I'll make this quick. Start your chat room by firing up the Web site and clicking on the big "Choose a name for your chatroom" area. The app will try to default you to a random name of characters and numbers. Delete this (unless you really want to talk about "kwyjibo") and enter in whatever name you want for the room. Click the big "create your room" button to the right.

Still with me? You can log into the site with your Twitter or Facebook names--for a quick room, don't bother. Just type a handle onto the "tinychat" tab and hit Login. That's it! Confirm a topic for your room to open it up to the masses. You can now display your shining mug via your webcam (and speak using your microphone) by hitting the big "start broadcasting" button in the upper-left corner. Access fancier functions like a sharable whiteboard and screen-sharing by hovering your mouse over the gears icon in the upper-right.

Powerful chatroom functionality for just a few clicks of the mouse? I'll take it!

Each week, Maximum PC picks a new Web App as its favorite of the... week. Have a Web App that you can't live without? Twitter David Murphy @acererak with your latest suggestions.

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