Real-time Text/Voice Chat

The Text/Voice Chat Interface
The Text/Voice Chat Interface

Using text/voice chat, the Gong system allows people all over the world to talk to each other on the Internet. In addition to the Internet telephony functionality, the system also offers the ability to store the conversations on the board. That means you can listen to or reply to any previous conversations at any time.

How it works

The Gong real-time feature works by sending all the voice and text through the Gong server. The advantage of this is that Gong can easily record any chat conversation. The disadvantage is that, compared to peer to peer voice systems such as Skype, there is relatively more delay.

The Chat Session

A chat conversation, or as we call it a chat session, is configurable. You can choose to have a simple text chat or a voice chat; it can be recorded or not recorded; it can be a group discussion or a lecture (only one person can speak); it can be a private session (only people you have invited) or a public session (anybody on the system).

Chat Configuration
Configuration of a New Chat Session

To keep it simple the system provides a few predefined profiles to choose from. The following table shows the description of these profiles.

Profile Description
Text Create a chat session with text only
Voice Create a chat session with text and voice without recording
Full Voice Create a chat session with text and voice with recording
Broadcast Create a chat session where only the person who create the chat can broadcast his/her voice while others can do the chat only by using text

As well as predefined profiles the system also allows detailed configuration of chat options. The following image shows the available options that can be selected for a chat session.

Detailed Options for a New Chat Session
Detailed Options for a New Chat Session (the current options are from the "Full Voice" profile)

Recordable Chat Conversation

The Gong system offers a recordable chat conversation so that users can listen to the conversation at a later time on a discussion board. The recording can be started or stopped during a conversation which means you can record only a portion of the conversation. In addition to the recorded conversation, the system can optionally record separate speech of each participant.

In the system any posted chat conversation would appear similar to the one in the following image depending on the configurations. The image is a posted message of a chat conversation with separate speech recorded as well.

A Posted Chat Conversation
A Posted Chat Conversation

From the image we know that there are three people. The whole recorded conversation lasted for 1 minute and 20 seconds. Apart from that, we can see the information of separate speech for each person. The yellow rectangle is an indication of how long that person has participated in the recorded conversation relative to the total recorded length. It shows that dave has come in after the conversation has been started and he talked for 24 seconds. With these separate speeches we can choose to listen to the conversation as a whole or the track where only one person is speaking.