Campfire update: Free-for-life plan, higher plan limits, and more Jason 14 Mar 2006

36 comments Latest by matt Carey

True to our Getting Real suggestion to release a significant update in 30 days, we have some new stuff we wanted to announce for Campfire.

  • The free 30 day trial account is now a free-for-life account. You can use the free plan for as long as you’d like. This brings Campfire on par with our other products offering free-for-life entry-level plans.
  • We’ve upped the limits for all accounts. Free plans can now chat with up to 5 people. Basic is now 12 (from 10). Plus is now 25 (from 20). And Premium is now 60 (from 50). We are planning larger accounts for events, conferences, and special heavily-attended gatherings. If you’re interested in this please let us know.
  • Paid accounts can now upload their logo (or any other image) that will display at the top of the Lobby screen (here’s an example of our Lobby).
  • We’ve made the color picker easier to use and moved it to the top of the sidebar so you don’t have to scroll to see the instant color changes.
  • We added the # of unread messages to the tab title in Safari and Firefox so you can quickly spot if there are new messages in a room you aren’t currently looking at.
  • And a few weeks ago we added sounds for received messages and file uploads.
  • A variety of under the hood optimizations and Javascript tweaks.

We have more planned, including Basecamp integration, so stay tuned. If you don’t already have a Campfire account, get one today and discover how useful persistent group chat can really be. Need some reasons to us Campfire? Check out how some businesses are using Campfire to communicate internally, with clients, and with customers in real-time.

36 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Jack 14 Mar 06

I’m assuming that if you are a paying Basecamp customer that the integration won’t up out monthly rates.

The MZA 14 Mar 06

Excellent news. 5 free simultaneous chatters is perfect for small teams who are just getting started, and can really make use of the effective, persistant communication that Campfire offers, without the (admittedly modest) outlay of a full account.

This is really going to help a lot of fresh teams Get Real.

Thanks 37s!

JF 14 Mar 06

Iím assuming that if you are a paying Basecamp customer that the integration wonít up out monthly rates.

Campfire and Basecamp will continue to be completely separate products, but they’ll play real nice together. If you want to use them together you’ll need to have accounts on each product.

We may offer discounts to Basecamp members, or other options, but it’s way too early to 1. know, 2. discuss, 3. say yes/no to anything.

Rob 14 Mar 06

How soon until Basecamp integration? While standalone Campfire is nice, I feel it deserves to be another tab in Basecamp. Except for some unique events, Campfire standalone doesn’t seem too useful to me. Plus more URLs and logins for clients == too confusing. Now, Campfire as integral part of Basecamp…now that’s a killer feature.

Sam 14 Mar 06

awesome guys, nice update

JF 14 Mar 06

Rob, we don’t know. We never know how soon until anything. We release things when they are ready.

This could be months out, it’s too early to tell.

Maurice Calhoun 14 Mar 06

What about a Backpack integration, any plans for that.

JF 14 Mar 06

No plans for Backpack integration, but remember, Campfire is “integrated” with everything — each chat room has it’s own URL. Just create a room and post the guest URL to a Backpack page to invite people to chat.

Brad 14 Mar 06

We never know how soon until anything. We release things when they are ready.

How does this reconcile with what you said as SxSW regarding setting time tables for release and then sticking to it?

Greg 14 Mar 06

From what Jason said, it sounds like they might integrate Campfire into Basecamp when their next product (CRM?) is released (get the most money out of Campfire as you can without giving it away for free when you don’t have too).

JF 14 Mar 06

How does this reconcile with what you said as SxSW regarding setting time tables for release and then sticking to it?

It all depends on how good you are at managing scope. For companies that can’t manage scope well they should pick a day and release.

We’re pretty good dealing with creep so we don’t don’t set release dates until we’re pretty comfortable with the quality of app. Then we’ll pick a day and release. But we don’t pick a day more than a week or so in advance because we don’t have to. It all depends on how you are set up and how you work.

Frank 14 Mar 06

[Jason] I’m confused, the post states:

We have more planned, including Basecamp integration, so stay tuned.

But you later write, “No plans for Backpack integration…

Which is it?

Also, with regards you the article post stating:

True to our Getting Real suggestion to release a significant update in 30 days, we have some new stuff we wanted to announce for Campfire.

If your customers know that - then why don’t we all wait 30 days before purchasing your product.

It’s much like how Apple’s sales drop drastically the week before a Developer Conference because people always antisicpate a new product release.

JF 14 Mar 06

Frank, I said we have plans for Basecamp integration, not Backpack integration.

If your customers know that - then why donít we all wait 30 days before purchasing your product.

If you want to wait 30 days then wait 30 days. Most people would prefer to derive value immediately and then get some new stuff “for free” in 30 days. We don’t release products that are broken at launch but then work 30 days later. We release products that work great at launch and continue to get better over time.

Frank 14 Mar 06

Thanks for the clarification. For some reason when I read “Backpack” in my head I read it as “Basecamp”

Rahul 14 Mar 06

Frank, Basecamp and Backpack are not the same thing (…).

Nice work on the permanent free version, guys!

JF 14 Mar 06

No worries, Frank! Glad it’s cleared up now.

Rabbit 14 Mar 06

I can see my kind a mile away (hi Brad). I used to deconstruct the words of my “enemies” and throw them back in their faces.

Brad said: How does this reconcile with what you said as SxSW regarding setting time tables for release and then sticking to it?

Meanwhile, JF also said at SXSW:

Not everything needs a software solution. Sometimes the human brain is the solution. I can capitalize my own words and decide when something is a bullet point.

And isn’t that what you’re asking for, Brad? Another software solution to a problem you could solve with your mind and some effort on your part?

Anyway, like JF said, it IS integrated. It’s a link. Learn to use it.

And hooray for free-for-life Campfire accounts! I’m opening mine back up on my blog!

Thomas 14 Mar 06

[Rabbit] With regards to your comments about how Basecamp and Campfire are integrated,

“Anyway, like JF said, it IS integrated. Itís a link. Learn to use it.”

That’s like saying, post a link from inside Basecamp to Slashdot. Hey, now Slashdot and Basecamp are integrated.

Posting a “link” does not make something integrated.

Just my 2 cents.

Hank 14 Mar 06

can make anything “integrated” :) :) :)

Hank 14 Mar 06

FRAMES that is (from the previous post). Not so funny now :(

Pat 14 Mar 06

Very cool. Thanks from a “low end” user.

Pat 14 Mar 06

I do miss the SVN room though ;-)

pwb 14 Mar 06

Am I the only one who cannot remember my Campfire URL? 37s has a strange policy whereby it doesn’t offer customers any login assistance from the service’s home page. Weird.

Matt 14 Mar 06

pwb- that’s because two people can have the same login name, on different subdomains. That is true in BC and CF. If you can’t remember your subdomain, then your login name and password are worthless.

-Matt

Brad 14 Mar 06

@RABBIT

I wasn’t talking about software. Sorry if it sounded like I was throwing anything in anyone’s face. I was hearing mixed messages from Jason and because I value his input, wanted clarification on ‘setting time tables and sticking to it’ vs. ‘we never know when we’re going to release anything’.

Gayle 14 Mar 06

You guys. Awesome. I am a single website freelancer working mainly for single, independent artists, so the paid accounts weren’t feasible for me… but now if I need to, I can chat with my less technically-inclined clients who wouldn’t know messenger if it slapped them upside the head :)

I totally heart your products.

Rabbit 14 Mar 06

Ah, okies. My apologies to you Brad. =)

I tend to get heated really quickly (made painfully obvious in some past comments I’ve made).

Chris 14 Mar 06

Does this imply that transcripts will be kept forever, and files (up to 10 meg) even if the user drops back down to the free plan at some point? That might make people more likely to sign up, knowing they won’t lose their records at some point if they fail to pay.

Bill 14 Mar 06

I have to second Chris’ question, I would also like to know with regards to the chat transcript.

Noah 14 Mar 06

Is there a way for Campfire to display inline images that you link to like Basecamp message where you write !http://www.website.com/image.jpg!

I have tons of images uploaded to Basecamp and would prefer to just link to those existing images than upload new ones.

Thanks,
noah

Tyler Smith 14 Mar 06

We are interested in one of the “higher-end” accounts you mentioned for use as an event-based, real-time support tool for a large pool of users; where do I get more information on that?

Thank you,

: Tyler

jonto 15 Mar 06

Is it me, or is Campfire really really fast? ;)

Stanley 15 Mar 06

I think it’s a cool app, but it has not found its way into our work flow . . too hard to get people around the fire at the same time … IF you have to email and call to get someone into a chat room, it ain’t workin’.

Not 37Sig’s fault, just the way it is.

Stanley 15 Mar 06

Follow up:

What I might find VERY cool is a way for Basecamp to acknowledge who is using the site and allow for spontaneous chat promps …

This site has a cool system/idea that probably will be how all sites work in some way in the future . . basing it all around the community.

teknision.com

Lee 15 Mar 06

I can’t get into my previously expired account and I can’t sign up again using the same url. Any chance of deleting expired accounts please.

matt Carey 16 Mar 06

hopefully future enhancements will include room based permissions. guest access works fine, but once a guest goes away they can miss the chat. we’ve got a new project about to start with clients traveling who will log in from australia, USA etc to see designs in progress. going to be great but they might miss things as guest users. we don’t want to make them ‘members’ because they will see our other rooms, including our internal one!

but apart from that we are loving it!

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