May 7, 2012

Hall – An Online War Room For Productive Teams

Teams that collaborate and work together on projects have the tendency to get better outcomes. In today’s workplace environment, however, it’s becoming less and less common for teams of coworkers to actually be present in the same room. Hall is a web-application that people can use to facilitate productive group meetings online using video chat and instant messaging.

Enter a work email address to begin using Hall, and then create a personal profile. Hall invites you to connect with colleagues by sharing your new Hall profile on Facebook or LinkedIn. To create your first war room, you’ll need to choose a room title and select a custom URL. This is the URL that colleagues will type into their browsers to find the room you’ve set up. You can also decide whether to make your room public or private, depending on the topics being discussed. War rooms are divided into multiple sections, with large chat-room like boards for immediate discussions and a video stream section where up to four people can chat face-to-face simultaneously. Rather than passing papers around the room, which you might do during a traditional war room meeting, Hall invites you to upload any files you wish to share with co-workers who’ve joined your discussion. These files can then be downloaded and reviewed at any time.

By setting up Hall’s desktop notifications, you can avoid ever being left out of important discussions; Google Chrome users can get pop-up icons that let them know each time new Hall events are going on or when their names have been mentioned. Hall users can also sign up for email digests, which summarize recent conversations and let absent team members know what they missed. For tech-savvy companies with remote workforces, Hall is a fantastic solution for brainstorming sessions and semi-regular meetings.

Practical Uses:

  • Hold a brainstorming sessions with the telecommuters in your office
  • Get email summaries of all the meetings you missed while you were sick
  • Share files with workers who aren’t in the office
  • Find out what your team of freelancers thinks about recent changes you’ve made

Insider Tips:

  • Individual war rooms can be public or private
  • Google Chrome users can get desktop notifications
  • Users can subscribe to Hall’s company email digests
  • War rooms are secured with 256-bit encryption

What we liked:

  • Hall offers a real-time, collaborative notepad for teams
  • Multiple colleagues can video chat at the same time
  • Telecommuters can participate in group chats without having to use the video feature
  • Users can respond to messages via email, or from within a war room

What we didn’t like:

  • Only four people can video chat at the same time


Company Info:

  • Launched: October 2011 (Beta)
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: Mountain View, California
  • Founded by: Brett Hellman
  • Web site:


  • Free


  1. Hi Stephanie,

    Do you ever think that there are too many startups targetting ‘tech-savvy companies with remote workforces’ ? I reckon its one of the most saturated spaces in StatupLand. Maybe not quite as saturated as the ‘Tools for Twitter’ space though.


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