The Palace rides again, this time in your web browser

Long, long ago at the dawn of the public use of the internet, I convinced my employer to let me play with community building tools. One of the ones we brought online was ThePalace, a cross platform graphical chatroom with avatars, audio, an emote system, and simple games like chess and checkers. We brought it online in an attempt to interest the local community in the kinds of resources we were building (I worked for a family owned regional media company), and to a small extent we succeeded in getting local community participation, but for a complex set of reasons we mostly ended up overun with sometimes rowdy Australians. In a great example of what a small world we live in, several years after this one of them ended up in my office looking for work. He’d met his wife online and emigrated to the US, and this all came out during the interview process.

Anyway I mention all of this because today I happened across Hive7, and immediately thought ‘wow, it’s The Palace all over again!’ It’s worth checking out even if you have no real need for a browser based graphical chat system, just so you can admire what they’ve accomplished with a shedload of javascript. One word of advice though – bail on the first room as soon as you can. The number of people that tend to be congregated there will bring your browser to its knees, but there are several rooms and the interior tends to be less crowded.

Also note you may need to use Firefox to check this out – safari may choke on the javascript and opera definitely does.

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