Google Talk chatback

Do you have a blog, online profile, or some other personal web page? Would you like to communicate more with your visitors? Today we're launching a new Google Talk feature that lets visitors to your web site chat with you. We call it "chatback" because instead of you doing all the talking on your blog, your visitors can talk back to you. Sure, they could leave comments, but those are public and hard to use for a real conversation. With chatback, it's a real instant message session.

To use chatback, you must have a Google Talk account ... but your visitors don't have to! They don't even need to have an email address, or to have ever used instant messaging.

When they visit your site, they'll see a badge like the one on the right showing your online status (available, busy, offline) and, if you're available, they can just click and start chatting. Chatback uses the web-based Google Talk Gadget so your visitors don't need to download anything. It opens in a new window so they can keep chatting with you even if they browse to other pages.

Of course, chatback isn't just for blogs. You can use it on any web page that you can add HTML content to. To get started, visit the chatback start page. (This is also linked from the Google Talk homepage.) Then just copy the provided HTML snippet to your web site. Visitors will then see a badge on your site indicating your availability, and can click to start a chat with you. If there's a time when you don't want to be distracted, just set your online status to "busy" and visitors won't be able to chat with you until you change your status back to "available."

If you're not already a Google Talk user, it's easy to become one. If you've got a Gmail account, then you already have a Google Talk account. If not, just go to or to get started.

Bruce Leban
Software Engineer

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