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WiscChat is a Jabber-based instant messaging service for UW-Madison faculty, students, and staff who have a WiscMail or WiscMail Plus account.

To start using WiscChat:

Instant Messaging is a real time communications tool. It allows people to communicate one-to-one or in groups
without the delays and overhead of email. Most instant messaging applications consist mainly of a roster (a.k.a. “buddy list”)
window, and smaller windows for each one-to-one chat and conference room.

There are many reasons that a department would consider WiscChat. WiscChat gives users the ability to interact with each
other in real time over a secure connection (SSL) without picking up the phone.

There are other widely used instant messaging services on the internet (AOL, MSN and Yahoo! are the most recognizable). They too also are free, but have significant drawbacks:

  • They are anonymous – meaning you may not know who you really are talking to.
  • Insecure – your password and messages are sent in plain text for evil people to intercept.
  • Your messages travel outside the campus internet – once they leave our borders, it is entirely possible your conversations are logged and personal information is sold.

None of these drawbacks apply to WiscChat.

We encourage you to explore WiscChat and the communication options it provides for you.