Lt. Colonel Jords or Commander Jords, Thanks for asking. We recently tested this at http://theeestory.ning.com Here's what I think.
1) it is flash based. Introduce it and you're basically saying I hate iPhone, iPad and elderly community members
2) it works pretty good though. the colors, pics, videos, all work very well. chat is a misnomer often times. what people want is a collaboration experience. more than just typing text. they want to post images, video, music, etc use colored text, etc etc.
3) in any community with an addicted membership, chat turns out to be the most addictive feature. if you have great chat and try to move to less great chat, you are basically declaring your disdain for your users.
4) skysa sent me an email saying they would release an ipad/iphone app or improve compatibility. they weren't too specific so i fainted a few minutes after holding my breath.
5) skysa's other apps are very cool. instant messaging, message of the day, all the other apps are very very cool. did I mention it is flash based though? it's not just apple that isn't supporting flash. some of my android users had trouble. amazon fire didn't support it out of the box. there are problems with anything flash based these days. adobe is situated over an erupting volcano but seems oblivious and intent on casually going about it's business.
6) if you want to use skysa on an iPhone, you have to jail break it or subscribe to cloud browse. cloud browse works well enough. but they are seeking a certain demographic addicted to certain flash based content (ahem). so it is pricey.
7) the video chat seems to work well
8) i guess i wouldn't have gone looking for better chat if nine's built in chat worked well on an iPhone, iPad, etc. it is strange because it is written in html5. maybe it was no fun coding it such that fixing a bug that only shows up on mobile devices isn't a priority. don't know.
9) since you asked, the IM functionality works very well indeed. I like it. yet again though: flash.
10) my users grew addicted to infinite scroll back. the chat I was using previously entered all messages in a sql database. we initially had scaling problems but a couple volunteers fixed it and basically, what I realize now is I had the best chat room ever built in the world hands down second to none. I'm referring to the chat built into El Dorado. What we're doing is trying to take the ning user database and populate it into a fresh el dorado installation stripped of everything except chat.
so in summary, my users wanted a rich multimedia chat experience either through bbcode or some markup. it also needed to have infinite scroll back and search. mobile support was key. if you find any of this anywhere else, let me know. yes, i looked at ajax chat. pretty good..works on mobile. but only made me want el dorado more.
I hope this feedback helps you. i only wrote this long reply because i'm on a train and bored. Semper Fi.
Hi B Blogger,
Thanks for the generous feedback!!