Sep 16 2010
In this day and age anyone who knows how to send an email, knows how to chat. Between chatting and email, they’ve nearly replaced the phone. Companies have caught on to this and often offer online chat support for their customers. At the end of these sessions, typically there’s the option to have the chat history emailed to you for your records.
When chatting with your own friends or business contacts you may use Skype, Windows Live, or a number of other instant messenger providers. They each have their different nuances, as well as the option to save your chat history. But people may end up chatting from laptops, home computers, mobile devices or work computers. After a while it becomes impossible to keep track of your conversations. Let’s say you’re chatting with someone at work and they send you their contact information. Later on when you’re home, you can no longer get to it.
Up til now.
ChatPast is a tool that allows you to access your chat histories online, from any computer. It’s a program you download and install locally on your computer. Once installed it will record and securely store your chats to a central server online.
ChatPast has many cool features. It’s primary function is to synchronize your chat history from multiple chat clients including Live and Skype, across multiple computers. From there you can search them, browse them, and get just the data you want. It allows you to find everything you talked about and all the important information you need.
The other interesting part about ChatPast is its integration with business applications including BaseCamp, HighRise (both from 37Signals), and SalesForce. Oftentimes people will discuss a project or client at work via chat. This information needs to be updated into project files so that it will be documented and other team members can be informed. With ChatPast you can push chats seamlessly to these applications so that you don’t have to copy and paste them manually.
The basic usage of ChatPast is to log in, and search your chats via their search bar. Type in whatever portion of the chat you recall and it will bring up all the chats in your history that include that term. It also allows you to view all your chats, or separate them out by instant message provider. So, let’s say you remember you were using Skype, you can bring up just your Skype chats. Another feature is that you can take individual chats and share them publicly. By doing so it gives you a public link that you can share. It’s just another way you can send information from chats so that you don’t have to copy and paste it via email.
One particularly useful feature is the artifacts view. This is a view that will display all the instances of phone numbers, email addresses, or web links. ChatPast knows that when you’re looking through your history quite often it’s to find these items. Thus, they created an easy way to view just those. All you do is click the icon that looks like a push pin for a cartographer, and up comes all the links and contact info.
There are three offerings that customers can sign up for ranging from Free to Business grade. Details can be found here, with the main distinctions being how much storage is included, how many chats can made public, and whether you have access to the business application integrations. It comes with a 30 day free trial and they also offer volume discounts.
ChatPast is a classic example of a website that saw a need, and filled a need. They built a tool that we’ve all wanted at some point, yet there are few viable solutions available. As their service grows, they will continue to support more business applications as well as more instant message providers. With ChatPast, all your chat histories are saved so you can find key information when you need it.