Sunday, August 22, 2010
Twitter has ruled the microblogging world for years, and many social media platforms have incorporated Twitter-like features. Someone may have finally figured out a way to extract the best of Twitter, while maintaining a fresh approach to microblogging. The new social media application, My Chatbox, is a microblog that allows users to type 60 more characters than Twitter's 140.
Visionary App Series
At first glance, My Chatbox looks like a combination of Twitter and Facebook. On the All Members page, your avatar shows up at the top left side of the page alongside a box similar to Twitter's tweet box or a Facebook wall. Other My Chatbox members may post messages on this home page. What separates My Chatbox from Twitter and Facebook is the ability for members to create chatboxes of their own and share them publicly or privately. This is similar to hashtagging with Twitter, but with a chatbox, only those in your box can see what's being said. A member's chatbox is separate from the All Members page, where all posts are seen. So, if you want to set up numerous private or public rooms, you just go to the Create Chatbox tab, under My Profile on the right side of the page. From there, creating a room is just three quick steps.
It's far too early to see if My Chatbox is the next Twitter or Facebook or if it burns out as rapidly as Google Wave. At first glance, My Chatbox appears to be a clean microblogging application with a few nifty twists -- 200 characters for posts and the ability for members to create separate chatboxes. If My Chatbox could make its way past school district firewalls, it could be a powerful backchannel for teachers, as it would be very easy to set up a chatbox for each class, where students could discuss activities with a teacher or with each other. Like many similar social media applications, the registration process, although quite simple, will create problems for teachers, as members must confirm via e-mail; this is usually a problem for teachers, as many schools don't have student e-mail accounts. Hopefully, in the future, the folks at My Chatbox will make applying for a private room and registering for the site a one-time, easy process. If managed well, My Chatbox has an excellent future in the social media world.