Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Google's Gmail Video Chat instability - Google is listening, please post

When I recently posted to the Gmail Help group about the extreme instability of Google Video Chat over the past week (connection half-life is now < 10 minutes) I didn't expect any response.

I got one: Video Chat problems - Chats and Contacts.

... We've had a few anecdotal reports of more-frequent disconnects in the
past few days. We're looking into on our side.

When you get the "Click here to upload" prompt, are you uploading your
log? We can investigate your issue specifically if so.

If necessary, you can send more details to my Gmail address...

So it turns out Google engineers are monitoring those discussion groups. That's encouraging.

I think the way to get their attention is to

  1. Look for anyone else posting on the topic.
  2. Click the five star ranking on what they posted.
  3. Add a new message with as much detail as possible and rename the subject to make it as clear as possible.

The key is to find a related post and star it. Unfortunately there's no dedicated forum for the Video Chat help and there are a lot of low content questions and posts. Given the instability we've seen with GVC current users are either very tolerant or rather dispirited.

So if you're a GVC user and experiencing connection or stability issues, please be sure to post in the currently applicable help forum:

Use a clear description and include the string "Video Chat" in the subject line. I'll be monitoring for posts with that heading in my feed reader and I'll star any that I find relevant. (This is the feed for the Google Alert I created to track new posts: -- couldn't get that one to work!)

Update 3/14/09: Things are better today. Google is working hard ...

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