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If you're a savvy geek--which, as a reader of this site, you totally are--you can turn to the powerful real-time text input and collaboration technology built in to Google Docs. With the recent announcement that Google's cloud-based productivity suite now boasts the ability to edit and collaborate on documents from Android and iOS devices, there's no excuse for not doing so!
You can set up your own private chatroom and message board by following these few simple steps:
If you don't already have a Google account, you're going to need one. The same goes for anyone you want to have access to your chat-room-on-the-cheap, or glorified instant message board. Don't worry, setting up a Google account is nothing but win. Aside from being able to use Google Docs, you'll have access to a free email address, an excellent blogging client and all the other bells and whistles that have made Google the tech giant it is today.
To set up your free Google account, just follow this link and answer any questions that the good people from Mountain View, CA. ask you.
Now that you have a Google account, it's time to put it to work. Navigate to Google Docs, located here, and sign in with your new credentials. Once signed in, look to the top left corner of your browser's window for a button marked "Create new" and click it. You'll be presented with a number of options for the different types of Google Doc files you can create. For this exercise, choose "Document".
You'll want to give your chat room document a name to set it apart from the other files that you'll no doubt dabble with moving forward. In the top left corner of your browser, click on the title field. A pop up box will open prompting you to give your document a title.
Once you've entered a title, enter a bit of text into the document, and click the save button.
With your chat room ready to go, you're gonna need some people to chat with. To invite a few folks over, turn your attention to the top right corner of the screen. Click the Share button and enter in the email addresses of the people that you want to chat with. An invitation will be send to the email addresses you enter.
With your Google Doc chat room set up, and all of your friends invited, all that's left is to start chatting. Thanks to Google Docs new fangled integration with Android and iOS handsets, as well as just about every browser under the sun, you'll be able to chat in real time with your friends, co-workers and clients with as much or as little privacy as you please. Once the conversation is done, you can preserve the document for prosterity's sake, erase it or even send it out via email.