Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Adding a chat box to pbwiki

As an experiment, I just added a Gabbly chat box to the Virtual Reference SIG wiki. Recently, the service I use for this wiki, pbwiki, rolled out a new WYSIWYG editor with a bunch of fun plugins. I added the Gabbly chat room plugin on the Virtual Reference SIG wiki in the sidebar, which appears on every page of the wiki.

Now, if you are viewing a page in the wiki, you can easily see if there is anyone else online viewing any other page in the wiki. Each viewer is given a generic chat screen name (gabbly415, gabbly83, gabbly269, etc.) You can launch a chat with another viewer at any time. The Gabbly interface gives you the option of changing your screen name from the generic "gabbly#" format to something more personal or meaningful.

I am eager to see if I bump into anyone reading the wiki at the same time as I am. If you happen to have a Gabbly conversation with someone on our wiki, please let me know that it worked for you by leaving a comment on this blog post (I'll do the same if I run into anyone else online). My hope is that this chat box will provide yet another way that the wiki can be used to created a shared space for those interested in chat reference, regardless of whether you're actually able to attend our quarterly SIG meetings or not.

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