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5 free ways to chat with other Web site visitors

Want to chat with your fellow intra-Web cohorts? Give these five services a try.

      Interested in chatting with other visitors of a Web site where there's no built-in chat or dedicated forum? Here are some simple chat services to let you get in touch with other site users without having to download or install a single thing.

    • Yaplet. We featured Yaplet earlier this week. Built by a couple of grad students from Georgia Tech, Yaplet is a no-hassle sidebar that shows up on the right side of your browser with the click of a button. It lets you see who is talking and even caches the last 20 lines of the conversation, so you can see what others were chatting about before you even got there. Read our Yaplet review.

    • Itzle is probably one of the coolest visual onsite chat services out there. It gives you an avatar onsite, complete with speech bubbles and emoticons. You even can pick your gender and body features. In case you miss a message with several people visually chatting on a site at once, there's a chat log in the lower-right corner.

    • GeeSee feels like an IRC chatroom with tabs. Each tab can be a chat for a Web site, with the potential to be chatting on and inside of several pages at once. TechCrunch's review is here.

    • Zpeech floats over the top of your page and lets users comment away. There are some limitations however, such as the need to register and a two-comments-per-minute cap. Think of it as a comment board for Web sites--not just individual posts or stories. Our Zpeech review is here.

    • Gabbly, like Zpeech, floats over the page, but looks very similar to an IRC chatroom. What's really cool is the ability to embed a Gabbly chat box on your site and view Gabbly chats as RSS feeds.

      Stay tuned for our second half of the list, which features embedded chat modules and browser extension-based chat services.