Technologies, just like hemlines or or lapel widths, come into and go out of fashion. Remember when everyone thought search was a commodity and the real excitement was in portal pages? Chat may yet get its day in the sun.
If you need to get distributed teams to really work together, try using Campfire’s hosted chat service. If you have a team in India, a team in Europe, and perhaps teams on the East and West coast in the US, how do you get anything done? Sign up for this service, invite your members, then leave the chat room open for the conversations to continue 24X7. What’s different here is that this system records everything that’s said, creating a priceless and searchable repository of conversations and decisions. There won’t be a lot of wondering what was decided as it’s all in the chat room.
You or your teams may already be using instant messengers by AOL, Yahoo! or MSN. However, what’s most valuable – the data – is nearly impossible to share or search over time. Don’t you think your teams would be more effective if they could always be counted on to remember what they’ve agreed upon?