Monday, February 04, 2008

Make Your Pitch - LIVE!

Last week we attended and sponsored the Social Networking Conference in Miami. The event was attended by over 600 people involved in the social networking industry. Business owners and thought leaders within the industry converged on South Beach to discuss the latest trends, websites, and technology within Social Media. Like most conferences, the event's agenda was comprised of the usual exhibit hall, panel discussions and workshops. All in all, the event was as advertised. However...

What intrigued me most about the conference was the networking that took place prior to the actual event.

A couple of weeks before the event, the conference hosted what they described as a "virtual tradeshow" whereby all of the event sponsors were invited to create a profile and login to their account between 9-5 EST to take part in LIVE CHAT sessions with other attendees. Throughout the day there were as many as 50 people logged in taking part in the chat. I myself took part in about 15 discussions. It was pretty effective and got me thinking...

We've been discussing the possibility of adding LIVE CHAT to Fast Pitch! for some time now. LIVE CHAT would give our members the ability to have real-time chat sessions with other members while searching the site. I've even dicussed the idea of embedding streaming video into the feature to allow people to have live video conversations and enhance their ability to communicate even further. As usual, we took no time in making our dream a reality.

Within two days of returning from Miami we integrated a fully functional chat feature into our website and officially went live today!

We decided to roll out the feature using Userplane's Webmessenger 2 software. The software communicates with our website in real-time by allowing members to 'See Who is Online' based on their activity. The software also provides the ability for members to use rich text, voice and video IM communication tools. In short, it allows our members to actually network! Cool stuff.

For now, any of our members can visit the 'LIVE CHAT' page on Fast Pitch! and see 'Who's Chatting'. I encourage everyone to strike up a few conversations with other people and test out the live video feature by enabling the 'send a/v' feature on the chat window.

Who knows, maybe we'll even launch our own virtual tradeshows in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned...



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