Two new features: Message delete and disabling guest sending

May 14, 2009

Hi everyone!  We just wanted to let you know that we’ve released two new features: The ability to delete messages from groups and disabling the ability for guests to send messages in public groups.

To delete a message from a group, you must be the group owner or a group admin.  You can delete by clicking on the ‘delete’ link next to the message in the group history.

To disable the ability for guests to send messages in a public group, go to your group member settings page.

Lots of new stuff to report

April 2, 2009

It’s been awhile since we last posted to the blog – we’ve been extremely busy :)

Widgets with im/email/sms

One of our most requested features was the ability to embed a chatterous group into a website or blog. This is now live for all public groups.

The ability to hook up im/email/sms adds an interesting twist to widgets, since people can add their contacts right from a widget page. Traditionally, people were only active on a chat widget while they were visiting your blog or website. Once they navigated to another page they couldn’t send/receive messages for the chat room. Now people can remain in touch via mainstream communication channels even when they’re not viewing your site through a browser window.

If you’d like to see the widget in action, you can check out the embed preview page for the Hacker News Chatterous group here.

Interesting uses of Chatterous groups and new API

We are constantly surprised at how people end up using Chatterous groups. Since each group gets its own email, IM and phone contacts, messaging a group in an automated fashion is fairly straightforward. A few companies are using Chatterous as a service monitoring system, sending out email, IM or text message alerts when something went wrong.

Another interesting case is broadcast groups, where a few people can broadcast to many subscribers. One specific example is the Amazon Deals group, where people sign up to receive instant deal notifications by IM, Email or sms.

However, there were a few cases where it was not convenient to automatically send an email, IM or text message to a group. In the interest of making communication with Chatterous groups as easy as possible we’ve released an early version of our API for public use. You can request an API key here.

You can check out our API documentation here.

Sharing is caring

We’ve added share icons to the bottom right of a group window to make sharing easier for people. It’s now a one-click action to post your group to Facebook and Twitter!

Misc. stuff

We’ve put up a new homepage and have switched our javascript/web clients from polling to comet long-polling 8-)

New ignore option for SMS

February 6, 2009

We’ve added a new option for SMS: The ability to prevent getting SMS messages from particular groups (you can find this under the group settings section)

If you’re an avid Chatterous user, you may have noticed that some of your groups are more ‘chatty’ than others. This can be a problem if you use your primary contact for all your groups. What happens when you switch to SMS? You don’t want to be bombarded with a bunch of messages. You could ignore the group, but this just means you don’t get messages on any of your other channels either.

Now you can chose to exclude getting SMS messages for those groups! No more fiddling around with group specific contacts or forgetting you ignored a certain group. Yay!

Bringing chatrooms to Twitter

December 9, 2008

Twitter is an incredibly useful tool. However, over time we found that we started using Twitter for conversation rather than simple status updates. One thing that irked us was that we could not send messages to non-Twitter friends. We’ve fixed that with our initial version of Twitter integration. Now you can chat with Twitter users in Chatterous rooms from the web, your favorite email client, Google Talk/Jabber and your phone…without a Twitter account!

Since messages to/from Chatterous groups are sent as Direct Messages on Twitter you can carry on private conversations as well :)

How it works

To add a Twitter user to a Chatterous group, simply add their Twitter username after clicking on the ‘Add People’ button. Once they follow the chtr user, they can send and receive group messages via DM.

For example, if I had a group with the short name ‘myfriends’, I can now message the group from Twitter via direct message:

d chtr myfriends Hey everyone!

This will send the message ‘Hey everyone!’ to the ‘myfriends’ Chatterous group.

Linking your Chatterous account to Twitter

If you have a Chatterous account you can add Twitter as one of your contacts. Navigate to your profile and add your Twitter username under ‘Ways to reach you’. You’ll be asked to follow the chtr user and get an authorization code DM’ed to you on Twitter. Simply enter the authorization code on Chatterous and you can now receive group messages on the fly via Twitter!

For more information about the various commands available via Twitter, click here.

*Note: Please clear your browser cache in order to see the changes*

Changes to @stop command

December 5, 2008

One of the comments that people have made about the @stop command is that they forget to resume receiving messages from a group after stopping them.  In order to address that, we’ve made the following changes to @stop:

  •  IM/Email
        @stop will stop messages for 1 day.  If you want to have messages for a group only go to a specific channel, you can set this in your group settings.
  •  SMS
        Issuing a general @stop for all groups will switch your primary contact to the web (if you have a web account)
        Issuing an @stop command for one group will switch your group override to your web contact (if you have a web account)
        Issuing an @stop command if you do not have a web account will stop messages indefinitely

Major Release

December 4, 2008

We’re excited to announce a major release of Chatterous. We’ve been listening to your suggestions and ideas over the past few months and have incorporated much of it into the new version. We’d love to hear any feedback you have over in our General Chat group: http://chatterous.com/genchat/

Here are some of the new things you’ll see at www.chatterous.com:

Brand new web interface

We’ve completely redesigned the Chatterous user interface – it’s got an entirely new look and paves the way for us to introduce plenty of new features in the upcoming weeks and months. Some aesthetic improvements are:

  • Completely liquid group chat windows that automatically resize to the size of your window.
  • Ability to chat in multiple groups at once with our new tabbed interface – you’ll receive bubble notifications when you have unread messages.
  • Ability to fill out more information with user bios and group descriptions.

Group permissions

You now have the ability to set admins as well as send, add and kick abilities. This can be used for greater control over your group and can create interesting group dynamics. For example, create a group where only you can send and you’ve got a broadcast only list.

Public and private groups

You can now create both public and private groups. Private groups are protected with a passcode and require an invitation to join, and are great for groups of friends and people you already know. Public groups are listed in our group directory and have guest access (anyone can join).

Group directory and search

Public groups are listed in our brand new directory – people can now browse and search for interesting groups!

Message history search

Group message history can now be searched via the group web page.

Group-specific contacts

Ever wanted to get SMS messages from one group and instant messages from another? You now have the ability to adjust how you receive messages on a per-group messages. Simply navigate to the group settings page to change how you are contacted!

We hope you like what we’ve built – stay tuned for more soon ;)

*EDIT* Please clear your browser cache before viewing the site so that the CSS/Javascript works properly.

Chatterous GetSatisfaction customer support site

October 19, 2008

We’ve gone and gotten ourselves a customer support site on GetSatisfaction. GetSatisfaction is a service where you can share an idea, ask a question or report a problem about Chatterous. One of the cool things about GetSatisfaction is that other users can (and often do) help each other out with common problems. This is especially useful for us, since we’re a small two-person team and we can use all the help we can get :)

Check out our new customer support site here. You can also view an RSS feed of recent discussion on the support site on this blog.

Group cleanup has been enabled

October 19, 2008

We have just released group cleanup.  This means that groups that have been inactive (i.e. no messages being sent to the group) for over 30 days will be deleted.  Once deleted, the short name for the deleted group can be reused in another 30 days (that is, 30 days after deletion).

New commands for SMS: CHTR GET and CHTR SNOOZE

August 31, 2008

There are two new commands for SMS.

CHTR GET # <group> will get the last # of messages posted to the group.

CHTR SNOOZE # <group> will cause you to stop receiving messages from the group for # minutes.

New command for IM/Email: @snooze

August 31, 2008

We have introduced a new command for IM and email for those of you that want to temporarily stop getting messages from a group. It’s called @snooze.

@snooze # will cause you to stop getting messages for # of minutes (default is 20).


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