General Things (GT) recently began using HipChat, a group chat service designed especially for business. Before the office became hooked on HipChat, Gmail and Gchat were the primary sources of communication.Chris Hein (of make_sandwich fame) was the driving force behind the team’s switch, as he wanted a more efficient way to keep the entire office in constant contact. He looked into Skype chat rooms and Campfire before his roommate suggested HipChat.
What we like:
HipChat is perfect for the GT team for a few reasons. One was its flexible price plan; at $2/mo per person, HipChat comes in at a much cheaper total cost than similar services.
Chris also knew that since HipChat runs in Adium and comes with a ton of plug-ins, it would appeal to the team.
However, it was clearly HipChat’s abundant supply of Emojis and especially the ability to create custom ones that sold Chris and the GT team on HipChat.
What we don’t like:
Like any chat service, it’s very easy to get distracted while using it. It can be incredibly tough to resist the siren song of a good cat image or a hilarious animated gif.
The GT team has found that the best way around this is to merely log off. Those who are offline can be summoned back via a quick mention of their @handle in the room (Offline or idle users mentioned this way get an email notification.)
The GT team has really taken to HipChat. Having specific rooms for each project and a general conversation room makes it really easy to keep everyone in the the loop. If you’re looking for an affordable and easy way to keep your office in constant communication, then check out HipChat.
Do it for the Emojis.