I am looking for a module that allows me to integrate a simple chat / shout box for the members of my EE site - Any suggestions apart from writing it myself?
You could try Cometchat. That's EE ready and you can either integrate it yourself or get them to do it for you. I've heard there are a few EE users successfully using this.
I just installed Cometchat and it works great. I use the basic version so far, but it still can be adjusted, so that you can allow only logged in members to chat and create rooms, send files in one-2-one chat etc. Very usefull, even the basic version that costs only 49 dollars.
AND, if you run issues like i did, just check the paths, and if no success, contact InScripts and they will for sure, help you out. (i did write to their facebook wall, and it took only 24 hours and all was running 110%).
Only downside there is, you have to manually (or some cronjob) clear chatrooms and other chat history, maybe they bring out more functions later? (Or maybe there is already in other versions).
But as far, i find it usefull (Cometchat) for users to take rapid chats on what ever is hot on forums/site. Saves a lot of non relevant post replies etc. if your members just are active enough to use chat also.