Plugoo vs Meebo

Plugoo interface imageThe other night I was getting the Scoop on Michigan Real Estate when I noticed Maureen had a new IM thingy (technical term) on her blog.    

Plugoo isn’t a plug-in.   It is  a script that I put in a text box in the widgets  setup screen  once the Plugoo account was setup.  

You can see it at the bottom of the navigation on the right side.

Plugoo Getting Started

Go to Plugoo.com  and setup a user account.   Now I know that usually is a no brainer and maybe I was exceptionally tired last night when I did this.  Tired or not one thing I hate about Plugoo is the user interface.   It is not intuitive at all.  

I’ll try and make this process easier for those older than 7.   Anyone younger just keeps clicking at the speed of light till something they recognize pops up.  

plugoo login screenHere is what I mean look at this screen capture of the right side of the Plugoo screen.   If you have an account it is obvious where to register.

Step one says to create and activate an account.   Where do you click to create an account?

What they don’t tell you.   You have to already have an IM account and you pick one of the six IM logos and click on the arrow at the bottom.  

Then you get to the create an account.   Perfectly clear RIGHT!

Number 2 it somehow did on its own.   I said yes that was it.

Number 3 again was quite the challenge.   But I managed after several tries to get it to save, that is once I found the save buried in the details of the page.

plugoo setup screenThe setup screen looks like this but there is no save button.   I found out you can’t just get the default setting because you have to make a change to get the save button to even appear.  

Since I was testing I didn’t care about fancy setup I just wanted to get the thing and see if it created errors or not;  if it did, GOODBYE PLUGOO.

But, it didn’t create a single error;  thus this post.

Once you have it setup copy the HTML code at the bottom and copy it where you want the plugoo window to appear.   I created a new text box for the widget and copied the script code into it.  

Plugoo Cool Stuff

One thing I think is really cool about Plugoo.   If someone starts to type in the plugoo IM box and I’m not online, it opens a conversation in my MSN Instant messenger (which is never off on my computer)  and I can type in the MSN window and it is sent to the blog Plugoo window.

I can put Plugoo on all the blogs and the websites and if someone starts a conversation I know it immediately.   This is a great feature.

The little boxes in the upper right on the Plugoo window will let you detach the Plugoo window from the blog and open in it’s own window.   It is possible for a user to detach the Plugoo window, close your blog and continue the conversation.

Plugoo Beta Caveats  

Here are some things I wish they would change for the next upgrade.

  1. I have it set to the widest setting they have, I wish it would go wider for those blogs t hat have wide navigation.   I like to be able to read more than just a couple of words per line.
  2. I don’t like the single line interface for user input when communicating with you.
  3. Put the save button on the setup screen and don’t be so cute with the programming to make it only visible when you save.
  4. Make the save button more prominent in a typical location not in the middle of the selection options.
  5. Explain the home page create account process for those that don’t know you have to have an existing service.

I honestly believe that more people would us Plugoo but they get frustrated trying to set up a user account or the Plugoo screen and they simply leave and move on.

In conclusion:

  • It is at the bottom of my navigation because I’m only testing it on here for errors not functionality.   I don’t expect anyone to ever find it down there.
  • It will be difficult for a blog with a single navigation column to find a place for plugoo above the fold.   Much easier on a blog with two column navigation one column for the post.
  • No you can’t get your image to appear in the Plugoo window like it shows at the top of this post.   I did that because we just had a new set of photos taken and it was a place I could see what a small version of one of them looked like. : )

Meebo have an easier process and setup.   I like the look of the interface better.   But it creates error and you have to remember to log in.   Plugoo  requires no log in.   It will send messages to your existing IM account if you aren’t online in the blog.

Hopefully Plugoo will improve with the next version incorporating some of the nicer things from Meebo while maintaining code that is W3C compliant.  

Overall, it gives you a means to communicate with people on your blog and you don’t have to deal with W3C validation errors.

Comments

  1. That’s a cool little script. I can see how that can be useful.

  2. I love Plugoo. Yes I agree the setup was confusing but i never used meboo just for the fact i had to stay signed into a webpage just to get messages.

    With this I just use my plain old messenger

  3. Ooooh! Been looking for something like this that would use my existing IM clients. I looked at meebo for a while and realized I would never, never remember to log in. Thanks for the heads-up!

  4. I typed a comment but I lost it because I forgot to verify my email. If you don’t verify you are not given another chance to do so, you just lose the comment 🙁

    The biggest advantage of Plugoo is that it signs in with my regular messenger, so I don’t have to remember to log on. For me, the interface is fine, but I can see that it is small for those visiting my site.

  5. Keith Jeppson says:

    I don’t think I’m adding this yet. I’m seeing it more and more but not sure I want to be that visible.

  6. Plugoo also works on mobile so I can receive chat over my Treo… Meebo doesn’t work without java…

  7. Even though you have hurt my feelings and frustrated me because your blog will not accept my comments i thought I would come by and try again. I am sure that the comment I wrote last night was very clever but it never made it on your blog so this one will have to do.
    T

  8. To Teresa and Maureen, you are tabbers not mousers. I did some testing and found it was the comment spam trap that puts a verify email field on the comment that isn’t tabable if that is a word, so the bots can’t find it, but anyone that types fast and tabs from the keyboard was getting trapped as well.

    I’ve removed that spam trap, I’d rather have user friendly comments and use other means to trap spam bots.

    BTW, only ladies are trapped, guys tend to type slower and see the mouse as a gadget to use for fun. Ladies, always avoid mice if at all possible, mechanical or organic.

  9. I would like to see some more feedback from people that have been using live chat programs in real estate. I really like the features but I am afraid that having the chat online might prohibit me from getting word done.

  10. Orlando,

    Unless you have a wild number of friends I wouldn’t worry about it. I’ve had the live chat on the lab since writing this post and haven’t spent 10 minutes chatting since. I have had a few chats with Realtors with live chat but those are usually very short.

    Try it. If your chats are helpful to clients use it. If they are taking up too much of your time. And not contributing to your business you can always turn it off.

  11. Orlando – I’ve been using plugoo for a couple months now and have been messaged maybe 4 or 5 times. I haven’t put it at the very top of the blog, or made a big feature of it. My only problem is remembering to set myself as ‘away’ when I’m not at the computer.

  12. I have used both and prefer Meebo. I do not use MSN Messenger so the Plugoo features tied to it are moot for me. Meebo is excellent and integrates very well with my wordpress blog. If I am not logged in when someone wants to talk I get the message the next time I log in, which is every day. I can see immediately when someone is at my page and I can actually start a conversation with my site visitors.

  13. I have fooled around in the past with live chat and instant messengers but have not had the response to keep it up live. What has your experience been with this tool Dave?

  14. Raiza Yasin says:

    can anyone tell me how cal i cancel my Plugoo account…
    i just thought that i can get use of it here at work…but i found out that it’s really not usful…
    so if anyone knows how to cancel an account please e-mail me at

    raiza_yasin@smc.com.sa

    thanks