Blogging Tips / Blogging Tools / Chatboxes / Forums / Widgets & Sidebars / Tips

Testing a Chatbox

mobiles and kidsThe good news for chatty bloggers is that the widget allows you to embed a web chat in your site.  There is also a shortcode to add chat to pages and posts. 

A tip of the hat to David, who made me aware of this Olark chatbox widget for blogs, and that the Staff have are a few others they will be testing.

Years ago we had 4 different chatbox options we could use on blogs. I was an early adopter of the a meebo widget chatbox but I didn’t last for long. I was also an early adopter of Twitter and though I’m still a member I don’t devote time to chatting there.  In essence, I discovered that the chatbox and/or forum environment are not comfortable ones for me.

Granted that chatboxes and forums may allow you to get up close and personal with your readers, but does chatting have a negative or positive affect when it comes to commenting patterns on blog posts?

I would like to hear what you think about chatboxes and forums on blogs in terms of improving your communication with your readers. Are you for chatboxes and forums or against them? Are you uninterested or undecided? Will you try using the chatbox widget on your blog(s.)

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28 thoughts on “Testing a Chatbox

  1. I’d much rather write than chat. At least when I write, I can think, which gives me an outside chance of saying something intelligent. Chatting– whether on the phone, a computer, or even in person– I feel the situation is hopeless, and that I’m part of a big pretense conspiracy!! : (

    (Well, maybe I’m exaggerating– but not much!!)

  2. Hello Timethief,

    Hope this finds you doing well. Clouds and rain in the PacNW.

    I think chat is overkill for most everyday blogs. It’s seems to be targeted for other purposes, but to have one on a blog is overkill. Comments are easier to manage.

    I can see if you announce in advance a chat and use it as another tool to have lively conversations with your connections, but to have it for each blog post is ridiculous.

    Just my opine.

    • Yes it’s cloudy and rainy on the coast again or is it still?

      I think my reluctance to embrace placing a chatbox on my blog is a reflection fo how busy I am in my offline life and how focused I am when I’m online. I love getting comments and replying to them. Sometimes I’m too busy to reply as quickly as I would like to and a chatbox is for immediate communication. The notion of dropping what I’m doing ie. content creation and chatting doesn’t appeal to me at all.

      I thank you for being patient while waiting for this response and hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  3. Blogging normally allows you to become friendly with someone under strictly controlled limits. Adding a chat box extends those limits and I know, from the way some Blogging chums have morphed into FB buddies, that friendliness on one level can lead to awkwardness on another, as you discover you actually know very little of the persons outlook on a day to day basis. Real friendships do evolve, of course, but most feel safef within the confines of the comment boxes: my belief anyway

    • I’m with you on that and you described where I’m at on chat boxes so well. I lack time to be chatty and being challenged to communicate by chatboxes as well as in comments would create an awkwardness for me.

  4. Wow, I feel silly to not have known this. But TRULY had no idea you could “chat” apart from commenting. As someone who gets around 100 comments on most blog posts, I’m inclined to just stick with the basics, but then again, I didn’t know anything about this. Thanks so much for this info, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • Hi Kathy,
      As my readers can tell I stick to the basics too and I struggle to make the time to comment and reply to comments promptly I’m sorry it took so long to respond this time. I hope you and Sara have a lovely Easter.

  5. Im not really familiar with how chat boxes or forums work on a blog, So Im undecided about them. I’ll try out most anything on my blog thats not permanent or costly though.

    • Hi Jayme,
      It’s so good to hear from you and I’m sorry about my delayed response. If you do try out using the chatbox on your blog please let me know what the response to it is.

  6. Chat boxes may work for some types of blogs/bloggers – but I’m going to sit on the side and watch for a bit. Prefer actual comments (which means someone gets also counted for visiting the post) for developing communities on my blogs and those I read. Like Ally Bean, time is limited and it’s difficult enough to post, read, comment and respond to comments…can’t pedal much faster…and far far behind right now…

    • Hi Peter,

      Prefer actual comments (which means someone gets also counted for visiting the post) for developing communities on my blogs and those I read.

      AMEN to that. I’m sitting on the sidelines with you too. Like Ally Bean and you too I struggle to make the time to blog in.

  7. I’m no Talking Tina or Chatty Cathy (manufacture dolls names I grew up with!) so I wouldn’t use it but if it gets an already “friendly” atmosphere here on WordPress even more inclined in that direction, then I think it’s helpful for those who would reach out in that capacity. Thanks for the informative (as always) post.

    • Hey there,
      Thanks for the feedback. It sounds like we are on the same page ie. it’s not likely we will use it on our blogs but others may.

      P.S. Sorry it took so long for me to reply I have lots going on at work and at home.

  8. Chats, forums, and blogs: Three discrete entities that tend to overlap on occasions but should not be allowed to get involved with each other too extensively. There are places for chat, both instant and delayed; and forums are great for providing assistance on technical matters that could benefit everyone. Forums are also a good area for judging opinions as to software features. But a blog is about reading and writing – passing and receiving information, and, if you have comments turned on, getting feedback.

    Although it may be useful to add a chat widget to a blog, linking it to posts would not be useful.

    So, no, I would not choose to use a chat widget on my blog.

  9. I think that the comments are better than Chat boxes and forums, I know many people don’t think about it like this but, Comments are more comfortable, but for a question about a programme code or asking for reviews, forums will be the best, however, Twitter is a good way for communications.

  10. I’m uninterested in chatting with my readers. For me this widget would add another layer of complexity and obligation to keeping my blog. I find it challenging enough to keep up with written comments as it is! But if it suits the needs of some bloggers, then go at it. Who knows, if someone can show me how wonderful it is, I might eventually come round and use it. Never say never.

    • I’m so glad to hear you also struggle as misery loves company. ;) I find it every difficult to keep up with creating content, answering comments, visiting blogs and commenting on them. Perhaps if I did not have to work that would be a lot easier because I’d have more time. However, I sense that if and when I do have more time I will spend it in my garden and hope my readers don’t throw cyber tomatoes at me for doing so.

  11. Hmmmm … in my mind a Chatting Box in my Blog is tend Dangerously and make me not feel good. How about a Blog with Hardcore contains that again a Government,or a Blog have many Confidential Information? By the way i dislike a Facebook Idea or such Facebook Idea for a Blog.

  12. Hello Timethief,

    One of your links did not work, here is the working link ;) :

    I have noticed that the Support Search Engine ( does not find support page results/the Support Page for the Webchat Widget when you search using either of these search terms: Tlk,, Webchat, Webchat, Webchat Widget, et cetera.

    Have you noticed this problem as well Timethief with this widget and a few other widgets/features/et cetera that have Support Pages but they do not show up in the search results when using the Support Search Engine even though they have a Support Page?

    I noticed the Webchat Widget the first day that it magically appeared, do you think that WordPress will ever officially announce it and some of the other unannounced widgets/features/et cetera Timethief?

    Thank you for reminding me/telling us about the Shortcode for the Webchat Widget because I think that having it on a Page/Post is a better option than on the Sidebar usually because you have more room/space on a Page/Post and it probably uses too much space/room in the Sidebar, and also thank you for mentioning the Olark Chatbox Widget/Test Feature and sharing that link because I did not know about that ;) ; but which Admin Page can this be found on exactly? :D

    Now to answer some of your questions, I have no problem with chatboxes and forums being an option for, and I might/may try the Webchat Widget on my Contact Page but I am not sure.

    There was a time when I wanted to use a chatbox/forum/message-board/et cetera on my blog but not so much any more or not at all now really, and not enough people/almost no one even care(s) about/want to communicate on/at/with my blog or me; and so those options would probably be mostly useless for my blog or me, but I think that they should be an option for those who want to use them.

    Thank you for sharing this post Timethief. :)

    -John Jr

    • Hi there John Jr,
      I don’t have an issue with the link now so thanks for letting me know the link was inoperative.

      The search terms I would use are widgets and chatbox and no I have not searched for it in the support docs by name. As this widget is under testing I’m not surprised it has not been announced and those search terms of yours produce not results.

      I’m with you in that I’d like to see the chatbox option available to bloggers, despite the fact that it’s unlikely I will use it.

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Hello Timethief,

        Good, you are welcome. ;)

        Okay, that makes sense now that I know that it is under testing, thank you. :D

        I am glad that we both agree that this should be an option for those who want to use it even though neither one of us are likely to use this. ;)

        You are welcome, and thank you for replying Timethief. :)

        -John Jr

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