Since I had to return my marvellous MacBook to school, I have been struggling with the problem of not being able to connect with colleagues and friends over Skype , as I have done for the past 9 months or so - I have found this hugely frustrating, I hear part of conversations through Twitter ( pj23harry).
My Dell Inspiron 1300, doesn't like Skype, and in fact I lose all internet connection with Skype running on the laptop.... Today on my trawl through my Bloglines I came across a few articles by Darren Draper on Google Talk (beta). Google's Applications have of late been coming along plugging many gaps in the online experience and Talk appears to plug another. I guess it will be a matter of time and take up as to whether Google Talk becomes a chosen means of communication in the blogosphere, but it certainly has a few plus points going for it - ( although by means of a health warning I haven't yet carried out a conversation using it - firstname.lastname@example.org/ should find me though if you want to add me to your list of contacts)
Talk has :
You can now invite multiple people to chat with you in a group using the Google Talk Gadget. When you're chatting with a friend, just click on the "Group Chat" button to invite one or more friends to join the conversation.
Popout support and Flickr slideshows
You can now do more with the Google Talk Gadget. In addition to putting the gadget on your Google Personalized Homepage, you can now pop out the gadget into a separate, small window anytime. This way you can navigate to other websites and still keep your contact list and chats open. And just like running the gadget on your homepage, this way of using Google Talk is completely web-based, and requires no download.
Google Talk Gadget on your Blog
f you have your own webpage or blog, you can also add a button to your site so your visitors can pop out the Google Talk Gadget when they visit your page. If you want them to chat with you, just list your username next to the button and ask visitors to sign in and add you as a contact.
With this top requested new feature, you can send unlimited files and folders to your friends through Google Talk. There is no restriction on the file type or size and the peer-to-peer transfer is fast and reliable
If your friends aren't around to answer your call, you can leave them a voicemail message instead. Just record your voice after the "Meep" and your friends will get an email to their Talk contact address with the voicemail attached as an audio file. They can play your message when they check their email and save it for as long as they want.
There are a wide range of languages which are supported within Google Talk.
You can also it appears go to private offline conversation person to person if you wish ( similar to the private chat feature in Flashmeeting. You can copy over YouTube and Picassa Albums which can be played directly in the Google Talk Widget.
I can see Google Talk giving the people at Skype some sleepless nights if this catches on, especially as Talk comes into a growing comprehensive suite of 'free' online tools and applications which Google is currently developing. I for one hope that Google Talk will be more reliable on my laptop than Skype has been ..... let battle commence :-)
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