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June 12, 2012 4:40 PM   Subscribe

Meebo alternative?

Our small library is looking for a chat widget replacement. Please give me your suggestions. We need an embed-able web page widget so students can IM a librarian. Meebo was great for this, but Google bought it and ate it.
posted by wandering_not_lost to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
LibraryH3lp is one popular option; it's inexpensive, but not free. They also offer some Alternatives for Libraries.
posted by kittydelsol at 4:42 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by misterbrandt at 5:01 PM on June 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Some groups at my institution are using PHP Live! on an in-house server (they also provide a hosted service for pay). A nice feature it has is emailing the chat transcript to the client at the end of the conversation.
posted by thatdawnperson at 5:46 PM on June 12, 2012

I'm not a librarian, but at my work our support team uses LivePerson and seems to like it.
posted by mendel at 6:39 PM on June 12, 2012

I am a librarian, we do use LivePerson (that was a campus decision), and I am here to heartily not recommend it. It's touchy, requires Java and a few other things be in a specific update order, and you'll need a tech person or support person at least once a month.

If you follow ili-l at all, we're having a discussion about this very topic on there. Looks like LibraryH3lp is the clear winner so far, even though they cost money. There was another system that didn't cost money and was a lot like Meebo--I can look it up, or you can, in the ili-l archive.
posted by librarylis at 8:11 PM on June 12, 2012

We use Libraryh3lp through the Pidgin interface at our university library.
posted by jenny76 at 8:42 PM on June 12, 2012

Oh, discovered this LISNews round-up today. It includes several free options (ChatWing was the one I was thinking of yesterday--heard some chatter that it's a bit hard to use). Hopefully one of the options listed will work for you!
posted by librarylis at 7:09 AM on June 13, 2012

Looks like Springshare has just announced LibChat, too.
posted by kittydelsol at 7:49 AM on June 13, 2012

I feel your pain! We just started using Digsby, which is free, and so far we're liking it. The widget is very similar to Meebo's so there wasn't much disruption on the page.

Two issues:

1. Unlike Meebo you need to download the chat client

2. If my co-worker and I happen to be signed on simultaneously (we have a schedule but are still working out the kinks), it is possible for us both to receive a message and then we are unable to see if/how the co-worker has responded. This resulted in us double-answering a question yesterday.

We just implimented it this week so we'll see if we find any other problems.

Oh! Also, Meebo had an app. Digsby doesn't.

Thanks for asking this question! I'm monitoring the responses. Would love to get LibraryH3lp but don't have the money!
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 8:29 AM on June 13, 2012

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