Campfire warms my heart

UPDATE: Campfire is live!

Campfire, the next app on deck for 37Signals, rocks. I can say this with certainty as I had a chance to use it all day today. The folks in the Getting Real workshop had access to a pre-release version to chat in during the workshop. The sub-narrative happening in the chat was almost as fun and informative as the presentation (I said almost!).

Campfire is chat as a collaboration tool. I know chat has been done before and there’s IRC, web chat, IM chat, etc… but chat has never been done as nice, or as simple as Campfire.

The difference in campfire is that it’s chat done right (fast, sleek and colorful). It logs all conversations and keeps them around in a nice filterable form for future reference.

Campfire makes it easy to get everyone in one (virtual place) and… well… collaborate. You can share URls and upload files for everyone to see. It’s all ajaxed so it’s quick to respond and never refreshes the page.

I can see this becoming a daily destination (it already is for the 37s guys).

I think I’ve figured out the 37signals secret — take an average everyday technology and make it a joy to use. It’s that simple.

BaseCamp = blogs for project management
TadaLists = todo lists made fast and fun
BackPack = wikis for non geeks
Writeboard = document versioning made easy
Campfire = IRC/Chat for getting things done

I wish I could show it to you, but we were asked not to show screenshots. You’ll just have to trust me- it’s very nice (and very 37s).

12 Responses to “Campfire warms my heart”

  • the stuff in my head » Blog Archive » Chicago- Day 2- Getting Real Workshop Says:

    […] They allowed us to use a pre-release of Campfire (online chat done right) during the entire workshop! This allowed us to chat amongst ourselves, have a running commentary (which got almost Pentecostal during David’s session), and talk to the 37s folks not actively presenting. Read my Campfire post for more info. […]

  • Kendall Says:

    that sounds great. I can definitely see the benefits of a usable tool. How would this be different than a chat session with multiple people that is logged? i can do that now with my GAIM IM client.??

  • Nick Says:

    It wouldn’t be much different except:

    You can email a URL of the transcript.

    Logging is enabled by default.

    The log is much more usable/searchable than the GAIM chat log.

    Anyone with a recent web browser can use it from anywhere in the world without installing a thing.

    File transfers actually work!

  • Steven Mohapi-Banks » Campfire impressions Says:

    […] Still shrouded in slight secrecy, but the new app from 37signals is sounding very nice. One of the “Getting Real” workshop attendees had this to say about it. […]

  • JBagley Says:

    Woah, sounds awesome.

    Im guessing you would need to invite x and y in order to chat with them? Im guessing it wont go the way of a chat app where you could search for users etc and start chatting randomly.

    Would it be included into any of their current products or a stand-alone solution?

  • Nick Says:

    It can be an ‘members’ only room or allow guests. Guests would be ‘invited’ by sending them a URL. At the workshop, all non 37s folks were guests in the room. It’s not an open chat server — keep in mind this is not social software- it’s a business collaboration tool. So, no, you can’t ‘chat’ with anyone, or even see users not on your account or that you haven’t explicitly invited.

    It’s stand alone, although I can see it possbily linked to BaseCamp somehow. It will be priced seperately and have it’s own logo/domain/etc.

    ** All speculation and observation on my part- the product isn’t final yet and I’m not an employee of 37s 😉 **

  • theCreator Says:

    Arggg…. stop the teasing. I need to see it. Can’t stand it any longer. 🙂

  • Ryan Says:

    campfire sounds like an interesting product..wondering if its anything like what has on ground..when will this product be released to the public? also i would like to know the benefits of such a product to a corporation that has an intranet/vpn banks, government and online universities already have chat facilities in their portal software for communicating with their network, blackboard, etc..why would an organization want to pay extra for instant messaging? what are the benefits of deploying im in an organization that already has chat integrated into its portal software?

  • ryan Says:

    what is the advantage of deploying an enterprise instant messaging service if a corporation already has vpn/extranet? most vpns or extranets have a way of communicating with other members but what is the advantage im has over this conventional way of communicating in firms??

  • Nick Says:

    Almost all 37signals products are aimed at small to medium business. These companies don’t usually have an enterprise extranet/vpn/etc.

    So no, most big corps won’t buy it, and that’s fine. There’s plenty of small shops and freelancers itching to usie it as they don’t have the resources for a full blown extranet, and in fact need something smaller and simpler than an ectranet.

    Why is BaseCamp so sucessful? It plugs a gap: Most project managment software was overkill for small to medium businesses. Campfire plugs the same gap in chat.

  • The Fluid Imagination Blog » Things I Learned During the Week of Jan. 29 - Feb. 3 Says:

    […] That the folks at 37Signals are coming out with a new chat application, called Campfire. Apparently, they’re conceiving chat as a collaboration tool. And because there’s no software to install, this may be my chance to get Adam onto some sort of instant messenger. […]

  • Just a Memo Says:

    Was I Right or Was I Right?!

    Oh man, I forgot I wrote this this past December 14 after hearing great news on 37signals’ new product, Campfire. Sweetness! =p Speaking of predictions and the new year, I wonder how new products such as Microsoft’s Expression, Kaboodle…

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