When I came across this article at Tech Crunch about the 6 Biggest New Ideas in chat, I was giving it a cursory glance. That was until I came to a cute little "widget" like I've included in this post. The Meebo Me widget allows you to embed the widget on your site so people can send private chats with you!
You can then sign into your website and your visitors can chat directly WITH YOU!
Now, for those of you looking for something with students - this actually is a good tool - the chat is only between YOU and them. You don't have editing, previewing, or moderation.
But this is great for two things:
1) If you need an easy way to add chat capabilities to your site and chat with your users, this is a neat thing to try.
2) You could also attach it to your Skypecast (embed it in the talk page or your blog post about it) and have a chat for the skypecast in an easy way. (I haven't been able to figure out how to make it a group chat like techcrunch did but it should work.)
3) Wiki facilitation - I'm going to try embedding it in a wiki and it could enable a sidebar communications to facilitate the wiki. I'm fascinated with that opportunity. (I haven't tested but will this weekend!)
So, go for it, meebo me! Lots of potential, I'll post how to's when I get it all figured out!