Chaggle is the Next (Fill in the Blank)
Last month a colleague told me about this little technology startup that had carved out a pretty cool niche for themselves – and within ten minutes of hearing his description of Chaggle.com, I was happily using what should prove to be the next big thing on the World Wide Web. We’re talking the next billion-dollar company (that’s billion with a b), and that’s not hyperbole; it’s a promise.
Before you think I’ve enjoyed too much Cabernet today, rest assured that I see about 100 new Internet ventures a year, and this is the first one I’ve blogged about – and now I’m giving you a chance to get in on the ground floor.
Ground Floor Opportunity
Unfortunately, Chaggle doesn’t need cash, or I’d mortgage everything just to get a small piece. (If they do look for financing in the future, I’ll have my checkbook ready.) The ground floor I’m posting about is the chance to become one of the first thousand or so to download a service that will soon be used by millions. (Imagine if you were the 125th person on MySpace… you’d have a great vanity domain and a nice story to tell your friends.)
I’m proud to brag that I was one of the first hundred to join Chaggle, and I easily secured the Chaggle handle “Steve.” I had my pick of vanity handles and could have been TheManager, Stud_Muffin, or Roger; but chose Steve because my name is not Roger and I don’t want to use the Chaggle plug-in under those other names. (Though I’ve always considered myself a bit of stud muffin – okay, I may have had too much Cab today.)
What the Heck is Chaggle?
By now, you’re hopefully wondering “what in the world is this Chaggle anyway?”
Chaggle is an Internet Explorer plug-in that allows you to chat with fellow Chagglers (I think I made that up, so I want the credit later) who happen to be surfing the same site you’re visiting. (While we’re making up words, let’s call it Chaggling instead of chatting and Chag instead of chat.)
After a quick download of the Chaggle software you can open a separate Chaggle window that rides alongside your main browser window. As you move from site-to-site, you take Chaggle with you and you have the opportunity to Chag with fellow Chagglers about what you see on the site.
Rather than try to provide an example in detail of what you can do with Chaggle, I’ll let Chaggle.com co-founder Clayton Smith enlighten you:
The aspect of Chaggle that we feel is so special is that it allows you to bring an integrated, interactive chat capability along with you to every site you browse. So if you’re at CNBC’s website and you’re looking at an article on Chrysler’s bankruptcy, on Chaggle you can either chat about it on the CNBC.com main webpage with everyone viewing the site, or you can post comments (or web “crumbs”) that will be tagged to that specific news article’s URL. There is no other service out there that provides this level of interactivity across the web. Our goal is to make Chaggle the perpetual conversation of the Internet. – Clayton Smith
Well put, Clayton. (If you’re still a little in the dark about how to use Chaggle, check out the homepage video at Chaggle.com.)
To give you a sense of how I plan to use Chaggle, imagine I post about a cool new Web service called Chaggle and you happen to be reading the article and you are a fellow Chaggler. If we both have Chaggle turned on, you can tell me what a great writer I am via a Chag and I can respond with a warm thank you. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
What’s the Catch?
Chaggle is cool. Chaggle is useful. Chaggle is free. Chaggle is new… and that’s the downside right now. Since its Beta-version rollout on May 1, Chaggle.com only has about 100 Chagglers. (Of course, I look at this as a bonus: you can swoop in and grab that vanity handle you always wanted. Can anyone say “LonelyGirl15?”)
As a brand new service, Chaggle built their platform for the most popular browser (IE) first. To date, Chagglers can only Chag using Internet Explorer, though Chaggle is working on a Firefox version right now, and they expect it to be released in a couple of months. The Firefox version of Chaggle will work on any operating system using Mozilla’s Firefox as its Web browser (Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, etc).
Chag Me, I’m Chagilicious
Once you download the free plug-in, find me surfing online and let’s Chag about whatever site I’m visiting. (Of course, you can just tell me what a great writer I am, and I’ll respond with a warm thank you.)