Tokbox is one of those exciting startups that you are eager to see create applications that work with the WordPress platform. With cool ideas, a well-documented API, easy use/installation, and a strong support network, Tokbox is a great new addition to the market.
But what does Tokbox do? Basically, Tokbox creates applications that make face-to-face video chatting (as opposed to an IRC-style chat) an integral part of your website. Installation and the first 25,000 minutes are free. After that, they start to charge (the pricing information is here, for the curious).
Here are descriptions of their existing applications (in their own words):
- TokShow: Host your own virtual talk show for hundreds of fans right on your site
- Group Chat Embed: Teach a class or host a video meeting online
- Community Bar: Build your site’s community by allowing free face to face engagement across your site
- Group Chat Button: Let your readers discuss your content face to face with each other right on your blog or news site.
There is another exciting application that they have in the works and I have had my eye on for a little while now. Tokbox has been beta-testing (link here) a very smooth, slick, and high-quality webcam recorder that would be a real treat to work with. Tokbox, if you’re reading this, please make an app out of this. I am not asking. I am begging.
The easiest way to get Tokbox on your WordPress site is to simply install their OpenTok Video Chat plugin. It will allow you to initiate conversations with as many of your users as would like to speak with you (up to ten at one time …).
Another way to implement the Tokbox API on your site is to use their Plug-n-Play applications (the ones profiled above in Specific Applications). To get started, just submit your email address. You will be immediately emailed an embed code and a secret code with which to manage the conversation as an admin user.
The final option for installation is to use their API to configure your own, unique, applications. To see some examples of what others have done, check out this gallery. To learn more about how to turn your website into a lively community, check out WPMU Dev’s Communities plugin or the Buddypress plugin.