I work in a project with testers located on different sites. Additionally, at one site they are also located in different rooms. I always prefer face-to-face communication, but be honest, sometimes a group chat is also very effective to quickly find the answer for your question. Questions are, which team worked in this module, why are all automated test suites failing, etc.
We use Skype as communication tool and Skype has a feature to set up a group chat. We use this as a virtual test room, where testers can meet and ask questions. It is not intended for peer discussions.
In our last How-Did-We-Miss-That-Sessions we identified some tips for testers. I could send those tips to the testers once a week, or publish them somewhere on our intranet. However, I don’t believe testers will read a tip document on the intranet and I will forget to send the tips every week. The solution is to automatically send a chat with the tip of the day to the virtual test room, the Skype chat were all testers are present. I have created a small script with AutoIT, using the Skype API to send a tip of the day every day to the group chat. I have scheduled this script automatically with Windows Task scheduler and it reads the tip of the day from a text file.
I have included the script and text file I use in this zip file. Feel free to use it and adapt it to your own specific situation. For more information on how to use AutoIT and the Skype API read this thread on the AutoIT Forum.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me!