Hi all, ok so I've only bveen a 'creator' for a short time but have been involved with a ning site in one way or the other for a quite a while. But in the short time I've been a creator I've researched and and tried several chat alternatives including CommetChat and Skysa, the two most well known, as well as a few others that don't even really merit mentioning in my opinion.I was using Skysa and was happy with it to an extent, it worked, was customizable but if you needed any kind of support you can expect to wait anywhere from 2 weeks or longer for a reply, I never received one shorter than 2 weeks, and this was for a paid version of it and to me that is unacceptable customer service.
So yesterday Skysa went down and with it much of the content on my site and most importantly, the chat. I was extremely frustrated and felt helpless as I knew that any attempt to contact support would be futile so I decided to search for chat alternatives that weren't specifically design with ning in mind and came across Rumbletalk. After perusing their website for a while I decided to give it a shot, well I really didn't have much of a choice and I had nothing to lose as they offer a 7 day free tial. So I created a free account, clicked the free trial option, clicked what kind of chat I wanted, you can choose between floating or embedded, c&p the code they generate for you and pasted it in the custom code area of my ning control panel. I chose the floating style as I and my members like having the chat on the screen no matter where we are on the website. I reloaded my page and noticed this little green bouncing icon thingy in the lower right corner and clicked it, it opened up my new chat floating there beautifully on the lower right of my page and prompted me for a user name and password (I had not configured it yet for my member user base). You immediately tho also have the option to sign on as a guest, using facebook, twitter or your Rumbletalk account credentials. I chose twitter and there I was in my new chat, my twitter info exported right to right there in the chat, including my icon.What I had was a professional & sleek looking chat room that not only looked good but was also abundant in features.including video and audio calls youtube and vimeo videos directly into the chat, as well as pictures and audio, all of which you can control who has access to doing. The chat box itself is customizable in every way you can imagine, colors of text, borders, background, you can even add an an image as the background. I was extremely pleased with the overall outcome, especially the quality & aesthetics as well as the ease of use.
Oh and can't forget to mention that the customer support was nothing short of stellar, I had a few questions regarding the member integration while installing and received an email reply within 10 minutes, all 3 times I emailed them.
I've enclosed some screenshots you can check out or better yet check out the demo they on their site: http://www.rumbletalk.com/demo/
Rumbletalk main page: http://www.rumbletalk.com
Prices started a slow as $14.95 a month and all plans include the exact same features, only difference is the number of members you can have in chat at the same time, you select a plan that suits your own individual websites needs.