Hey, I'm excited about this one! At a meeting yesterday we were considering additional places we could stick our MeeboMe widget (you may recall we've had it embedded in our catalogue since the beginning of October, 2007). Someone wondered if we could embed it on the desktop, and I recalled that Microsoft has something called Active Desktop that allows websites to be displayed on the desktop. So this morning I did some quick checking and it works!
So first you'll need to create a MeeboMe widget, and then you'll need to create a basic html file on your hard drive, OR you can point to a live website. Just remember that folks will still want to use their desktop icons, so if you do use a live webpage, make sure it's not too cluttered.
Information on how to turn on Active Desktop is here.
And, um, that's it!
Here it is in action:
I don't know if there might be any security or other implications for this - haven't yet checked on that...
Update: My colleague David pointed out that we have over 200 machines in our InfoCommons, and wonders what having them always connected to our Meebo account might mean. Good question - does anyone have any idea if there's a limit to the number of folks who can be simultaneously connected to a Meebo account? I'm going to check their FAQ's and maybe send them an email. Still, the above should work well for a small library...
Update #2: The Meebo Wiki says 100 people can be simultaneously connected via widgets:
"How many people can talk to me at any given time? Is there a limit?
Right now we have set the limit to 100 people who can see you online through your widget. In the future, we may make it a preference to help you do some crowd control. If you’ve got 100 peeps IMing you at any given time, you’re pretty popular and might wanna hit that Invisible mode! You can also disable a widget in the meebo pref pane."