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Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Would you like to have a chat page on the forum?

Yes please, I'd like to have a chat page on the forum.
15
83%
No thanks, a chat page doesn't interest me.
3
17%
 
Total votes : 18

Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby Dave » 28 Oct 2012 17:07

Tsarina wrote:We have this facility on other forums I'm a member of... it starts off well then it does dwindle off to being a ghost room. The novelty at first is very nice, but then mostly people slip away and forget about it, so if it costs loads I would have a rethink. This has happened to ALL the forums I've seen it on sorry.

Thanks Tsarina, you've raised a good point and I agree that's certainly a concern. I do wonder though whether our regular members are, well, more chatty than the average forum-goer (and I've seen plenty of forums where the whole place is a ghost room! ;) ).
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby Dave » 28 Oct 2012 17:28

I've been thinking about Tsarina's point about chat rooms fizzling out after the initial novelty wears off.

There are various features of the chat that weren't used during the trying-out yesterday which are worth mentioning:

The chat panel can be set to appear on the main forum index - either at the top or the bottom of the page. (If a member doesn't want to see it on the main page they can hide it using the User Control Panel.) I didn't put it on the main index because I think there's enough stuff there already and didn't want to have to explain about hiding it while we were testing.

More useful perhaps, is that new topics can appear as links in the chat panel. So if someone posts a new topic while you're chatting a message would pop up saying 'New Topic: (title)' and clicking it would take you to the topic.
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby jsb » 28 Oct 2012 18:28

I think it is a good way of getting to know each other a little better.
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby Wansbrough » 28 Oct 2012 18:39

I would say if its going to cause major upheaval then it would be prudent to stay as we are.
I can see why it is popular at the moment and do agree with what Tsarina has said.
Maybe a work round could be a Skype group?
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby avidcruiser » 28 Oct 2012 19:05

Is there an option to try it for a short period of time, say 3 months or less?

Time enough see if it continues to be supported after the initial novelty aspect.

I enjoyed the chance to try it out last night but I probably would not use it every time I pop on here as it's often just a couple of minutes to read new posts.
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby tomvet » 28 Oct 2012 21:06

I think the ability to have 2 or more individuals in a private chat would be good - not so much to create a select view club - but as a means for 2 to converse in real time esp if arranging a meet etc
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby Dave » 28 Oct 2012 22:40

Thanks for the comments so far and I'll try to deal with some of them here...

When I set up the forum back in February 2011 I didn't know what would happen. I chose SiteGround to host the website because I'd read excellent reviews about them and I chose their cheapest hosting option, and installed a free forum system called phpBB and linked it to a Coppermine gallery which is also free. After all, I didn't know if I'd be talking to myself, or whether others would want to join!

I didn't choose phpBB simply because it was free; I'd just left a forum that (without warning or explanation) suddenly changed from a nice phpBB forum to an ugly vBulletin system and I hated it - and said so! Also there's a community of people who create mods for people like me to install on their phpBB forums. Some mods are useful and others less so; some are easy to add and others a nightmare. But it's all free to use - which I like! I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that I can only add features that are actually available for phpbb and which have proved trouble-free for other people. Mini-Chat (mChat) is a good example. I can only use the settings that it offers, and unfortunately that doesn't include private chats. I believe a Skype mod is available but I think it's simply a Skype link added to a member's profile and I'm not sure how useful that would be. My main motivation for adding mods is to make the forum more user-friendly and to attract new members.

Six weeks after we started I could see we were here to stay and so I upgraded the hosting to what's called semi-dedicated hosting. This means that instead of the forum sharing a server with dozens (or hundreds) of other websites we now share a server with far fewer. This made our site more secure, much faster, and provided priority support and daily backups. Semi-dedicated hosting is good, but there are still limitations on what we can do with the site - a fact that was brought home to me when we exceeded our 'share' of the server's resources by adding a chat facility. The more I've thought about it, the more I suspect my interest in a further upgrade is as much about giving us headroom as about installing chat as such.

I agree it would be a good idea, but it's not really feasible to install the chat for a trial period of a few weeks because I'd still need to upgrade the hosting, but doing so on a per-month basis is more expensive (pro rata) than per-year.

Sorry about the rather lengthy reply! :oops:
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby Gemma » 29 Oct 2012 04:55

I think it would be fun and friendly but didn't realise all the implications.
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Re: Poll: Would you like a chat page on the forum?

Postby RobBar » 29 Oct 2012 05:40

Personally, it takes away from the threads reply and becomes a realtime chat of who ever is online. We did have a Facebook site which can be well used and allows folks to see who responded and respond immediately to the subject at hand.
I;m a member of a few like 'Cruise Lovers, Love Barbados, P * O ' this would work much better and can be controlled as a Closed group or open, you just ask to Join
When I sign on, all notifications come my way.
Facebook is a chat forum
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