Web Site Software: CliqueChat
. If you run any kind of a group that has members, such as a club, an alumni association, or even a business with far-flung customers, or if you would like to make some money off of organizing one, you've got to take a look at the newly available CliqueChat software, the tool behind the highly-praised (and not just by us!) CliqueBar chat room. Literally within hours, you can have your members and customers gathering in a state of the art meeting place -- okay it's a chat room, but it isn't fair to call it just that.

What makes the CliqueChat software unique and the winner of the 2002 river2u "1st in Class" award is its real-life (not game-like or typical Java-chat style) presentation. Users see a screen with individual conversation boxes for up to 4 other people. They choose who to talk to by clicking on a chair at a table where others are sitting. The layout of the room and the screen combine to make chatting amenable to even slower typists. You can have group conversations (up to 5 plus an optional moderator at each table) and the words still don't scroll out of sight like in a Java-chat room).

You can license the CliqueChat software in two ways. If you're like most of us in that "javascript" sounds like some kind of currency used to pay for coffee, you can automatically create your own CliqueCafe room simply by filling out an on-line form. There's a $25 setup fee that covers six months of use of the chat room. You can entertain up to 3 free guests in the lobby and about 450 paying members inside. Memberships allow a user to have full run of your "cafe" along with entry to the CliqueBar's common room. Memberships cost you $3 per person for 30 days (discounted rates available for 90 and 180 day memberships), but you get to keep as your profit anything over the rates they charge. For example, the CliqueBar charges its customers $6, so if you did the same, you would earn $3 every time someone signs up. (For current prices, see their web site, www.CliqueChat.com.)

Or, if you're a true programmer and you are going to be working with a large number of members, there's an even more attractive approach: you can now license the basic CliqueChat programs for a onetime charge of $100 and a monthly fee of $50. This allows a great deal more flexibility in how you arrange your meeting place and allows you to set the fees (or make it free if you want).

The only down side we see is that Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 5.5 and higher is required. Most new computers this millennium have IE already installed, but there is a small minority out there who are Bill Gates haters and refuse to use it. Also, there are some other requirements such as the need for users with firewalls to open up particular ports and to disable Sun's Java VM if it has been activated. But all this is a trade off to get super fast response time without having to download code to a user's PC.

Do we sound excited? You bet we are. We think there is a strong demand for this type of web-based interaction, and we think that this is the right code at the right moment.

Announced November 14, 2002 - go to our home or commerce page