Private Group Chat – How to Make your Team Collaborate

Private Group Chat For teams
Private Group Chat For teams

My father started a small insurance company.  After three years, his business had grown to hire five employees. Business was going well, but with this growth he found himself spending more and more time just on communicating and managing his employees. Before long, he saw his revenues declining as a result of spending too much time managing instead of innovating and selling his products.

He then hired an expensive consultant to analyze every aspect of his business, including time management. The consultant observed day-to-day business, studied the books, and spoke to each team member about their experience in the company. After an in depth study of my father’s business the consultant handed over a thick document containing his conclusions.

 

The Expert Conclusion

Throughout the document, emphasis was placed on the fact that team communications were inefficient. It simply took too long for an idea to go from conception to implementation. Follow up rarely occurred causing good ideas to be forgotten. The study also found that a whopping 20% of my father’s time was wasted on repeating himself. Fortunately, the consultant also had a solution.

His suggestions seemed so simple and worked like magic in my father’s business. The result of adopting the consultant’s proposals cleared more time to be productive and of course to spend more time with his family, which meant a lot to us kids. When the changes took effect, the small insurance company gained increasing revenues and my father’s delight spread throughout our family.

 

What Was The Offer You Ask?

The Eight-Minute method: outlined in the consultant’s recommendations, uses three principles to make meetings productive and efficient. Try these steps at your next office meeting.

  1. Uncomfortable Meetings – Stay put, this is not like it sounds! Sitting comfortably around a conference room table (or similar group chat environments) tends to extend meetings as employees leisurely discuss subjects that are not at the core of the business. Small talk can be good in the right environment but should be avoided when team members are delivering goals and objectives.
    The solution: make them physically uncomfortable. The consultant suggested status meetings be done while STANDING. When you are not comfortable for short focused meetings you will seek to concentrate on the subject so you will be back to the sitting position as fast as you can. This strategy worked perfectly for my father’s team to “stay on their toes” throughout the duration of the meeting.
  2. Short Meetings – For my father’s business this meant a maximum meeting time of eight minutes. Short meetings are more productive. Team members ought to prepare beforehand and be ready to focus. With a time limit, updates will become concise and unnecessary commentary will be put aside.
  3. Structured Meetings – In the insurance company, my father had two minutes to deliver the status update and each employee had one minute to describe their progress and plan. This gave purpose to every second of the meeting and cut out all wasted time. Everyone was ready and able to focus. This made their time more productive and greatly reduced conversation overlap after.

“Uncomfortable,” short, and structured meetings worked for my father and can work for your business too.

 

Private Group Chat Is Necessary

Today, in the digital era, we face the same challenges my father had with respect to team management. Almost 15 years have passed since my father got this magic formula for efficient meetings. The world is quickly changing, but the concept of meetings has stayed the same.

In today’s world we have many tools to help us cope successfully with team management, but there is no substitute for structured meeting, repetitive habits and discipline.

Business Is Changing

We are living in interesting times, technology is booming and employees can now connect from anywhere using their smartphones and tablets.  We are no longer chained to our desks to use a computer, and thank goodness! Companies are restructuring to adapt to the technological revolution. Businesses’ no longer need offices and team members can work from home, from different cities, and even from different countries.

This new found luxury of remote working and telecommuting introduces a new challenge, how do you manage a team that is not located in the same place?

 

Collaboration: Using Private Group Chat

private group chat for mobile and web - fingers
Share Files, Images, Take Photos, Video Calls and much more

The best tool to effectively manage geographically dispersed teams is a private group chat specially built for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). This is a powerful way to manage remote teams and still confers to the three steps the consultant sent to my father 15 years ago. Remote team management can be very easy – given the right tool is chosen.

In general SMB’s with tight budget should avoid expensive tools. The most important features are common in most private group chat rooms software or service and therefore one should make sure the list of features below exist.

  • Chat discussion in a group
  • Private conversation
  • Video & audio calls
  • Share files and images
  • Share YouTube videos
  • Record short messages
  • Moderate with ease

When making a strategic decision for your team communications, don’t settle. Private group chat that is actually built for business with all the mentioned features above is not easy to find. Finding one at reasonable price –  is even harder.

If you can have functionality, a good price, AND the extra goodies of customizing your group chat style, chat persistence, history saving and exporting capabilities, video calling, security SSL and some fun stuff like emoticons and using your pc or mobile camera to take selfies, than you have a winning choice.

 

The Final Secret to Private Group Chat for Teams

Recruiting talented people for your business and creating a collaborative team takes a lot of effort. After thorough screening and some trial and error, the most important tools for your business will be the people you hire. The second most important tool will be the technology they use to communicate.

Trust your instinct and keep communication as minimal as possible on a daily basis.  Over-communication, missed communication, and unnecessary communication all lead to wasted time and money. Effective communication leads to accomplishing goals.

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3 Ways to Better Control a Group Discussion

Group Chat Service Dana

Dana is one of our most loyal customer. Dana is a psychologist (therapist) who is heavily using RumbleTalk. So far she has created over 100 chat rooms. In addition she is part of our Beta group which means she can check all the new features we release before we share them with everyone.

When we started, Dana was using the group chat discussion for supporting a group of woman after giving birth. She seems to be always in the chat, sometimes she spend 18 hours a day in the chat. As time passed, she created more support groups for various subjects.

Dana is using the service to support large groups discussions but lately she started to use also the option to call directly from the chat and talk verbally with users (audio calls). This is being done using the private chat option.

Now, she is running always into challenges that most group discussions owners are facing. Here are the 3 ways to handle the most common challenges as administrator (moderator).

Admin Only Feature

Dana’s chat is set to allow all users to upload files and images.
Now, normally this is fine, but there are occasions when Dana wish to be the only one to upload presentations and documents. She wants the focus and the attention of the group.

In that case, Dana is going to the admin panel and allow only ADMIN’s to share files (Chat settings -> Multimedia tab). This will result in hiding the attach icon on the bottom right for all users but the admin.

attach ppt

Dana is also able to allow “only admins” (her mostly) to use voice calls or video calls.
This will prevent users from talking to each other in case Dana need to get their full attention.

Ban or disconnect Users

Dana experience from time to time  (like most chat owners) the need to deal with trolls or just users that misbehave. We help her by allowing 3 levels of control.

Block User – Ignore private messages from a certain user, this is good if someone is bugging her with messages. Note, the bugging user will not see that she blocked him and will think she ignores him. This option is available to any chatter.

Disconnect User – If user is not behaving, Dane may disconnect him as a warning.
This is only available for admin (moderator) of the chat.

Ban User by IP – You can block a user IP (his computer address) from connecting to the chat.
Banning users is only available for admin (moderator) of the chat. Un-Banning a user can be done from the admin panel in the BAN-IP section.

Kick All Out

Dana always place an OFFLINE message when she finishes her group discussion session. Now, this offline message will result in disconnecting all users from the chat. Therefor, Dana is using it from time to time to disconnect all users, than she is able to change settings and only when she is ready, she let all in,  after she releases the offline mode.

Offline ON/OFF is done from the admin panel, in the settings section, in the offline tab.

Offline message

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Now, It is Easier than Ever to Customize your Chat Background

The Design Chat Room Service with Style

In the beginning, before we started RumbleTalk, we had a community website with a software package we used to sell for web designers. We had a large number of listed members and we wanted to add an extra way to allow the group to engage with us (the site owner) and with each other. We thought that a chat room in addition to our forum will do the work.

We looked a lot to find a good nice looking chat, one that designers would appreciate. We looked for something unique that we can add easily to our website. One major factor in our research was our need to customize the chat, really customize it, not only change the chat colors, but also the ability to change borders, line thickness, chat background images, fonts and more. As you can imagine, we could not find any service or downloadable chat software for group chatting with customization abilities.

What we found is a variety of FLASH chat rooms, old style, non mobile friendly with very little options to customize anything. So we had no choice, we could not find anything suitable for our needs and…mmmm…well, it looked awful. We tried one or two services but the result was that it always looked like someone forced a non related chat design with non customizable chat background to our nice looking, well designed community website.

This is why we thought to initiate the creation of RumbleTalk group chat service. Our vision was that website owners will be able to do pretty much anything themselves. They could create and embed the chat easily, set it up to match their website design, Put it offline, Change the design and your chat background on the spot. And that’s my friends the way RumbleTalk was born.

It took a while to make it neat but after a lot of work, we launched RumbleTalk chat service.
Today RumbleTalk have three major areas where users can DIY (do it your self) with respect to design and customization.

Theme Library

We have created several themes that are presented in our skins library. Currently we have over 20 different group chat design, some with stylish chat backgrounds, some with plain colors and some with transparent chat background. This makes it easy for a chat owner to choose an already made theme (skin) and change it to his/her liking. These themes can be changed on the spot, so even during a conversation, the design can be changed, the background can be modified so users will see it in their next refresh of the page.

Theme Library - Spark chat background

 

Customizing Chat Background and Style

Every chat can be designed and changed using the “Advanced design” option. Users can control any aspect of the chat, load images as your chat background, their logos, change borders, color, fonts, dimensions…etc.

For example, if one wish to change only the user list background of the chat (on the left), he than simply go to the Advance design -> Users List Tab -> and change the chat users list background color to his own liking.

 

Change chat background color to light blue

The chat will look like the image below once saved.
Note, changes to the design can be made at any given moment, even if 10000 people are currently talking in the chat room. The changes will be seen by chatters, only after a reloading the page where the chat is located (refresh).

After changing the users list color

 

Experts CSS design

For those who have advance CSS knowledge, we have created a CSS tab in the “Advance design” page were any css expert can change EVERYTHING, any design, from chat backgrounds, fonts, padding..and much more. We even created a list of CSS tricks that we collected for users.

You may see here the tab in the Advanced-design that allows you to add your own css code. In this example we changed the default user icon in case one is logged in as a guest.

CSS changes to the chat style

See the result of the css change in the below image.

change the default user icon

 

 

This are the 3 option for design. But still one question customers kept on asking

How do I change the chat background image ?

Let me explain first, one of the features in the designed area was changing your chat background.
A person could made an awesome chat by using any image (url) to change the look and feel.
But people wanted to upload their own chat background image. Something they pictures or a photo they took. Some had no option to upload the image to the cloud.

Once we understood it, we released an option to upload your own image to our cloud. This was done in addition to the option to add the chat background url stored in other websites.
This means that people could change and custom their chat background even more by using and uploading their own images.

Upload your own chat background image

The upload option is used by clicking on the green button and choosing the image from your a computer. It can be found in two places, in the advance design and in the floating image tab in the setting area. We will cover the floating image option in another post.

 

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Round Up of Hot New RumbleTalk Chat Features

Like Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times movie, there’s never a dull moment at the RumbleTalk Labs. Our developers are always busy creating new chat features to add DIY (do it yourself) settings and make RumbleTalk group chat perform faster, our designers are constantly trying out various group chat layouts that make new chat rooms look fabulous; and the testing squads are hard at work to make sure that everything works according to plan!

In this post, we’d like to introduce you to a list of newly-released RumbleTalk features that we are especially proud of. These new additions will improve your own group chat features settings experience, and provide you with a stronger and more striking end-product.
Get ready to boost your RumbleTalk Group chat in 3,2,1…

RumbleTalk Group Chat Factory - hot  chat features

3 New RumbleTalk Chat Features to Power Up your Group Chat

Admin Only Roles: Better Control Multimedia Privileges 

Yes, Multimedia for “admin only” feature is powerful tool. It lets you control the way your users will be able to use the advance multimedia features. Settings are easy and can be changed at any given moment. Now you can enable this options for administrators only. This options include.

Paper clip option – Upload
Allow chatters to upload files (images, photos, videos, etc.) to the chat-room

Video chat
Allow video chats between chatters

Audio chat
Allow audio chats between chatters

Group Chat feature Admin Only option

Advance Design chat features : Upload Your Own Images

A newly advanced design option that allows you to upload images for every section of the advanced design tabs. Now next to each image field like background, there is a small green plus icon that clicking on it will allow you to add images from your own pc.

New Skins: 6 new Beautiful chat skins

A newly-designed set of skins added to theme gallery is now available. You may choose between a new designed skins or create one yourself. With this skin, you can add a your own tweaks using css. Changes will appear instantly in the chat feature – preview page.

Group chat skins chat features

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400,000 Chat Rooms – RumbleTalk Announces Sign-up Milestone

RumbleTalk is celebrating the creation of 400,000 chat rooms for web sites!

Group Chat Celebration

RumbleTalk a group chat service is celebrating an important occasion — we’re pleased to announce that we have officially passed the four hundred thousands chat rooms creation mark.

We want to thank all 400,000 of you who signed up for our group chat service. It’s true, we enjoy getting your comments, gathering your feedback, seeing your tweets and even receiving the postcards and treats you’ve sent us.

Where we are?

The RumbleTalk service has moved forward in the past year and we added many features and designs to our offering.

Here is a partial list that was added this year:

  • Live WebRTC video and audio option between chatters.
  • New Chat Room theme that is by far the most chosen chat theme.
  • New Mobile version with all features that the web version include.
  • Upload files and documents.
  • And much much more.

A 400,000 Thanks

Thank you for your continued support of RumbleTalk. We’re happy you’re with us, and we’ll continue to work to make your experience even better. There’s lots on the road-map ahead, so continue to send us your feedback, comments and tweets.

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