VPTN-3 published


A virtual presence client needs information to display people who meet. It needs a name, an image, maybe an animated avatar, and more. This document describes the storage and exchange of public user identity data. The virtual presence identity data format is optimized for VP applications, where many people need the publich data of their peers, some only once, some repeatedly, where changes happen frequently and must be propagated quickly with minimum bandwidth.

VPTN-3: User Data




nloose liveblog: Meet different people who are surfing the same websites as you at the same time.

nloose is a browser plugin that shows people who are surfing the same web site at the same time. It shows an indication that other users are avalable and a chat window with images.

nloose installs a browser toolbar. It is available for IE and Firefox, which is remarkable. But the software seems to be spanish only currently. I installed, and did not see anyone, but that's probably just a matter of time.


VPTN-2 published


The document describes the location mapping for virtual presence.

VP takes place on web pages. VP uses the content of the web. If users navigate to the same page, then VP will make them aware of each other. This is a high level view. Technically, they both join the same chat room and the chat server tells them about each other.

Location mapping is the key component, that lets users join the same chat room when they navigate to the same URL. The location mapping process associates a chat room with the document URL. It maps the document URL to a chat room address.

VPTN-2: Location Mapping


Coop: Social Browsing


Mozilla Labs has cooked up some ideas for a new way of sharing information on the web: through your Firefox Browser. The Coop is a project to experiment to turn your Firefox browser into a social network.

News on Mashable


Me.dium for Internet Explorer


Me.dium, the browser add-on tool that is aiming for more social web browsing, has added its service to be available for Internet Explorer users. Previously only able to be used by Firefox and Flock users, Me.dium can now reach a much broader audience.

News on Mashable


Me.dium Raises $15 Million


Me.dium announced it had raised $15 million in a second round of funding, bringing its total amount of capital to $20 million from Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Spark Capital, Appian Ventures, Brad Feld, and Elon Musk.

This makes Me.dium the front running company in the emerging Virtual Presence field. When they closed the deal they had 20.000 registered users. They won't tell how many active users. Could easily mean $ 10.000 investment per active user. Obviously someone expects whole lot more users, features and services in the Co-Browsing/Virtual Presence field.

Some comments:

Google: "me.dium" investment


Weblin Launches


Zweitgeist ended their beta, renamed and rebranded their product to Weblin, and launched on a new server cluster.

Your zweitgeist is now a weblin. They renamed to weblin, because weblin is better suited for international expansion. The site also got a new green design and a new expressive logo. There are still 2 avatars on a browser window. But the new logo shows how they emerge from the window supporting the claim: free the avatars.

Zweitgeist set up a new server cluster with redundancy on all components and enough processing power for 20.000 concurrent users. Easily expandable to 100.000. That's already in the Second Life dimension and should be enough for a while.


Virtual Presence talk at FOSDEM 2007


Heiner Wolf, developer of the virtual presence client LLuna gave a talk about Virtual Presence concepts and tech details in the Jabber dev room at FOSDEM 2007.

Slides (PDF)




zpeech lets you annotate every web site in a chat window on the web site


Nice implementation. It is built on prototype.js (AJAX) and uses a cool JS window class (prototype window) to show a chat like window on top of the normal page content.

Seems to be a small shop, but technically well done. Not that small projects have a problem with that. Small projects are usually driven by a single very good coder. I am definitely in the small shop corner. But there are many people who expect professional work only from big companies.

My #4 of the prefix-your-URL-and-get-an-IFRAME systems (I am sure there are more).


me.dium Beta


Me.dium, a new browser plug-in that enables XMPP-based social browsing and messaging with other users of the World Wide Web, has opened up its private beta to members of the Jabber community.


It's a (yet) Firefox extension which shows your virtual neighbors in a sidebar. Protocol seems to be XMPP over HTTPS (@me.dium: correct?). Looks quite professional, smooth animations, additional features, cross web-site chat, no integration with Jabber roster (but hey, you'll want that because they mention Jabber. If they had a proprietary protocol, then you would not even think about roster integration). Well done.

My #6 in the list of firefox-extensions-for-chat-on-web-pages. But surely one of the best in this category.


zweitgeist Open Beta


Zweitgeist, the LLuna 2 successor entered the Open Beta phase today. Here is the german press release.

Zweitgeist is the continuation of the LLuna research projects. The zweitgeist team created a web portal, added animated avatars and runs its own XMPP servers for all zweitgeist users.

Read more on the zweitgeist homepage. publishes Co-Browsing draft


From the list

The JEP Editor has published a proposal for a new JEP. Title: User Browsing

Abstract: This document defines an XMPP protocol extension for communicating information about the web pages a user visits.


The new draft is complementary to JEP-0151 ( While "User Browsing" sends URLs to
subscribers, "Virtual Presence" joins chat rooms while browsing. "User
Browsing" is aimed at telling people you already know about your browsing activities.
"Virtual Presence" on the other hand, connects people you don't know in
advance. So, "User
Browsing" means co-browsing with friends, "Virtual Presence" meeting with strangers.


Itzl a very nice chat on pages


Itzl shows users as small figures on the page. They can walk around and have chat balloons above their head. The system has the usual chat input, emote, popular sites, profile, etc. features. It looks very complete. It is also very pretty and looks professional.

Itzl is one of the prefix-your-URL-and-get-an-IFRAME systems. This makes it #3. Currently Firefox only. I suppose they use XPCOM objects for their communication. This will have to be ported to XMLHTTPRequest on IE or re-implemented as an IE browser extension.

Update: A quick Ethereal shows, that the protocol is HTTP based (who would have assumed otherwise). So, porting communication to IE should be easy. I still wonder what FF features they need.


Gabbly a cool Web-Chat


Gabbly is a very cool implementation of a chat on web pages. It works like Quek in Javascript with an iframe. You have to prefix your URLs with, as in: Klick this to meet gabblers at OK, that would be #2 on the Javascript-iframe faction side compared to #5 on the firefox-extensions-for-chat-on-web-pages. in Networkingpipeline


Networkingpipeline has a front page article about "The 15 Best Firefox Extensions for Collaboration". The article refers to Virtual for its list of virtual-presence and chat-on-web pages systems.


Ebay integrates Skype


'Skype Me': EBay to Add Button to Listings

Ebay finally integrates Skype into its core business by enabling direct calls between buyers and sellers. The virtual presence related news is, that buyers will see when sellers are online. So, Ebay jumps onto the virtual presence train without knowing yet.


Microsoft Community Bar


Microsoft joins the chat-on-web-pages-sidebar game with their new Community Bar. I doubt, that this is the first such sidebar for IE, but it is the first the general public learned about. The Community Bar can also display notes of other users, take tags, and show backlinks to the page.

(Homepage) (Screenshot)


Welcome Peekko Chat


We welcome Peekko Chat in the community of firefox-extensions-for-chat-on-web-pages. Peekko Chat is #5 on this list. Tell me, if you know others, not listed here.

Peekko Chat is a new Firefox extension that makes every web page a place where people can congregate. It adds a toolbar to Firefox that shows how many people are in that page's chat room and allows you to instantly connect with them.

(Homepage) (Screenshot)


Webmobs Manifesto


The Web site published a manifesto which enumerates virtual presence issues, problems, solutions and rules of conduct. It is a collection of rules for life on the Web. Besides many other topics, the manifesto introduces the notion of responsibility for public Web infrastructure and domestic authority on Web space.

Webmobs manifesto




Another Firefox extension, which creates a sidebar with a chat channel for Web pages. That makes it about #4:

"Surfing the web is like travelling alone. You get to see beautiful places, funny places, interesting places, yet they all have one bad thing in common: nobody's there.

Of course it only seems so. There's people visiting the same place you're visiting: reading your blog, listening to music you like, checking out the same movie, the same book.

Wouldn't it be nice if they were just a click away?

Now they are."

(Homepage) (Screenshot)


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