Relax Its Just Me

ChatInviteIf you have visited this blog anytime after May 2nd, 2008 you may have noticed a pop up appear on your screen similar to the one shown on the right. Now, you might think this is a popup, an advertisement, perhaps even a malicious piece of code being executed on your system. The good news is, its none of the above. This notification is an invitation sent from my Woopra client, to you, to try and initiate a conversation between webmaster and blog reader.

Woopra is a sweet new analytics tool that goes a few steps above and beyond the Google Analytic offerings. One of those is the ability to initiate a conversation with the people who are browsing your site. So here is how this works.

If you use the WordPress Woopra Plugin, Woopra will have the ability to automatically tag visitors to your website. In order for visitors to go from being an anonymous IP address to name and email address, visitors need to leave a comment on your blog. When visitors leave a comment on your blog, they have to submit their name, email address and URL. Once this information is submitted to the website, Woopra strips that information and tags it to that IP address. Now you might be wondering if this is a BIG BROTHER snooping over you type of scenario. The truth is, it’s not. When you leave a comment, you are submitting that information voluntarily to the website. This is how Woopra explains it:

Virtually every site on the Web tracks users via cookies. Until now the only sites that had the resources to analyze and act on the data were large companies like Google and Amazon. Woopra brings this power to the masses.

So, if you visit my website and you previously left a comment, the following screenshot shows you what I would see:

Woopra User Tracking

My name is Jeffro on my own blog and that is what I have used to write a comment or two on the website. Also within this window of information is the ability to look up my browsing history on the domain, manually tagging the visitor, all of the information related to my browser, ip address ect, email address and you’ll even see my gravatar. That’s right, Woopra has built in Gravatar support which is pretty nifty.

So when a user browses and I initiate a conversation with you, this is what it is supposed to look like:

Woopra Chat In Session

Two way conversation between web master/visitor. Now, I’ve gotten many reports that when user’s have clicked on the popup to initiate the chat, it doesn’t work. I have no idea why this is. It could be related to firewall settings on your computer or could be that, it doesn’t work. The good news is, the Woopra team is going to be reworking the chatting feature of Woopra. They plan on redesigning the Woopra popup as someone mentioned it looked like spam and they also plan on implementing a feature where site visitors can initiate a chat session with the web master instead of vice versa only. I think that would be pretty darn cool if that became a reality. That would eliminate the need for the shoutbox and it would give you one more way of getting in direct contact with me.

I hope that this information doesn’t affect your mindset in terms of commenting on this blog. If you don’t want this information to be available to me, you can always delete your cookies from your PC which will make you anonymous to Woopra. The personal identifiable information presented to me within Woopra is for my eyes only. So rest assured, your user data won’t be strewn across the net.

Free Chat Bubble PSD Resource

Aaron of has released a free PSD file which contains a slick looking chat bubble. You know, the ones that look like comic book captions. This bubble would look great in online ads, comics, or an animated gif of someone shouting every Web 2.0 buzzword known to man. If your into this sort of thing, be sure to check out his post and download the PSD file. Here is what the chat bubble looks like.

Web2.0 Chat Bubble

Chat With Me Tonight

I wanted to extend an invitation to join me later tonight as I sit on my blog and do nothing. Ok, not exactly. I’ll be hanging around the blog from 8PM EST until 9 or 10PM. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to ask me a question or get to know me better. You’ll be able to ask questions and talk to whomever else decides to show up by using the ShoutBox located on the right most side bar of the blog. The shoutbox refreshes in real-time so it’s like a blog wide IM.

Hope to catch a few of you lurkers in their as well as the regulars.

Is IM That Big Of A Threat?

In response to S.M. Schrama’s post on IM Forms A Security Risk To Companies I too believe that, IM should not be stopped on a corporate network. I think the company in question should definitely put together a list of guidelines for using an IM protocol on a corporate network but it shouldn’t be banned. If Pownce is a sign of the future in instant messaging, I don’t think we will have to worry about malicious code attacks via the IM protocol.