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Thread: Is there any value to having a chat room bolted on here?

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  1. #1
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default Is there any value to having a chat room bolted on here?

    This is a somewhat rhetorical question, but I ask it because I do not recall seeing too much in the way of commentary on how a chat room might support the larger effort of the Council.

    Two other boards I frequent make use of a chat room feature, and more popular social networking sites such as Facebook utilize it (although I think it is only point-to-point) to improve communications. There are for sure plenty of times when the room gets bogged down by silly banter, but there are always periods when serious discussion and collaboration occurs

    First, is it technically feasible, given the architecture, and second, is it desired?

  2. #2
    Council Member
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    Feb 2010


    Regarding feasibility, it would be pretty simple. There are a number of javascript chat clients that can simply be slapped into the main template.

  3. #3
    Council Member
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    Aug 2010


    It is possible to do group chat on Facebook. Some sort of independent chat might be better suited to the site however. There's some value associated with pseudo-anonymity, as what ends up mattering is what people say when you can't tell if they answer to Fido irl.

  4. #4
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Dec 2006


    I see no functional benefit and often think people need time to cool off before spewing. PM gets the job done and permits a little time between time zones

    I vote no.
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  5. #5
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    Concur with Stan's reasoning. Chat clients are interesting, of course, but having that "cooling off" period that comes from composing a PM or even refreshing posts can be worthwhile. Also, some places specifically block chat clients. Adding one here might unintentionally limit access.
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  6. #6
    Council Member
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    Mar 2008


    I agree with Stan, though I think chat functionality could be useful for virtual meetings, conferences and the like. In other words, chat (or even voice comms) could be great for for virtual events but as a 24/7 function I think it's counterproductive. I know that I wouldn't participate unless it was for an event or some other explicit purpose.
    Supporting "time-limited, scope limited military actions" for 20 years.

  7. #7
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    ...commentary on how a chat room might support the larger effort of the Council.

    First, is it technically feasible, given the architecture, and second, is it desired?
    Yes it is technically feasible. I've done this for a couple very large boards and scaling becomes an issue, and without breakout rooms the scroll can become a blur. One example we had several thousand people in a chat room without moderation.

    One site that created a chatroom found that it was heavily used and another website found it was rarely used. One group finally broke away from chatrooms and integrated an IRC server into their network. That worked quite nicely even if I was skeptical.

    Now though, and today specifically, chatrooms are becoming passe' A live stream video channel with a scrolling IRC chat for feedback is becoming the standard. For the best example look up the TwitLive stream. I can see doing something similar with weekly or monthly roundtables. If the viewership is there. With this audience that might not be possible.
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