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isomage
05-07-2009, 04:16 AM
I thought it might be fun if the community had a chat room, so I took the liberty of setting one up as an experiment. If people are interested, and the Cartographers' Guild admins are okay with it, maybe we can make it official.

If you're familiar with IRC and have a client, the server is irc.otherworlders.org and the channel is #cartography

If you don't have an IRC client, I've set up a mibbit widget you can use instead: all you need to do is click this link, choose a nickname (your Guild forum username would be perfect), and click "Connect": http://widget.mibbit.com/?settings=85bf2b6f8d4822051ddf4c9ec341e9ec&server=irc.otherworlders.org&channel=%23cartography

I'm not sure how well that widget works with Internet Explorer, but it seems fine with Firefox. It doesn't need Flash or Java or anything. It does have a Google text ad at the top, unfortunately, but hey, it's free. If you're interested in doing much chatting you'll want to get a proper IRC client eventually, but in the meantime this will at least get you there.

I'll leave myself logged in whether I'm at the computer or not, just so that someone's there, so if I'm the only one there and I don't say hi I'm not ignoring you :) Feel free to hang around and see if others turn up; you won't get kicked out for idling or anything.

Maybe I'll see some of you there!

Ascension
05-07-2009, 05:07 PM
Not a bad idea, I think I could be counted on to be there regularly...tho my typing is extremely horrible with this new keyboard (too small and I'm all thumbs). Where do I get an IRC thingy?

Gandwarf
05-07-2009, 05:22 PM
http://www.mirc.com/

IRC is pretty old school I think. Spent way too much time on the Undernet :D

RPMiller
05-07-2009, 05:51 PM
We have actually discussed adding in the chat room feature to the Guild, but IMS, it wasn't well received so I would be curious to hear how this one works out.

Steel General
05-07-2009, 06:11 PM
I'd be willing to at least give it a shot.

Ascension
05-07-2009, 09:44 PM
There are only two things that I can see as a real problem, spammers of course and civility. The major drawback I would see is that most of us wouldn't have a lot of time to hang around in the chat room chatting about stuff. I certainly would not be a stickler for keeping it just to maps but I would put the kill on numerous topics like which version of D&D rules the most or which political party kicks the most butt or why one sports team is better than another. I have my views on said topics but I wouldn't talk about that here.

The more I think about, the more I think that it should just be about maps or the whole flame war thing starts up.

Greason Wolfe
05-08-2009, 09:16 AM
If I remember correctly (and it's been about 6 years or so since I bothered with IRC) for a fee, a chat room can be registered to a particular user who can set up scripts and grant "room kick" abilities to select individuals to prevent the spam problems. As I said, it's been some time since I messed with IRC, so all of that may have changed. One of the few problems I remember from IRC, however, is that the servers (if they get enough complaints) sometimes ban certain ISP (i.e. AOL users) from being able to access the chat rooms.

Another possibility would be AIM (a free chat app and most modern versions allow for the creation of an internet chat), I suppose, or possibly Yahoo though I have no experience with it.

GW

Gandwarf
05-08-2009, 10:29 AM
Without integrating some kind of chat applet in this site, I don't think it will catch on. And even then it probably still wouldn't catch on. Yeah, I know I sound negative (sorry isomage!)... I do have some experience with these kind of things however.

RPMiller
05-08-2009, 11:09 AM
Yes, there is a vBulletin chat feature which can be turned on and that is what I was referring to above. It places a chat window at the top of the forums and is visible everywhere within the forum. The idea is that you can participate in the chat at the same time you are browsing threads. Other sites that use it, seem to have someone chatting constantly throughout the day, but when we discussed it, it wasn't really something that got any love; however, it was never actually turned on here. It was only discussed.

Gamerprinter
05-08-2009, 12:14 PM
I'm not so much in favor of chat.

Regarding the VBulletin chat, like on theCBG.org site. I've posted to that 3 times in the past year as a member there. It never really attracted me to post, and I got not thrill in having posted.

That said, there was discussion to have an IRC setup for use with the CWBP, while that has some merit. I'm not a chatter, so may not even use, even it were available.

My last point, is how the D&D 4e verdict thread went to "hell in a hand basket" real fast, I am afraid things like that might occur in a chatline here. I personally think that "closed thread" only had one person to blame - and he should be banned from the site for his behavior there. I'm afraid, I'd find more people to ban for using a chatline wrong. I don't want to think of members that way.

I'm just not in favor of the idea at all.

GP

Yoscha
05-08-2009, 04:03 PM
If I remember correctly (and it's been about 6 years or so since I bothered with IRC) for a fee, a chat room can be registered to a particular user who can set up scripts and grant "room kick" abilities to select individuals to prevent the spam problems.

There are IRC servers where no fee is required to register a chatroom.
I know it, because I am the owner of an IRC chatroom at quakenet ;).

We never encountered any significant problems with spammers.
The "biggest" problem is to keep on topic all the time. But even though there are times when smalltalk takes over, but there are more than enough interesting talks on topic (world building btw ;)).

So I would give an IRC chatroom a cahnce, but different timezones...

isomage
05-08-2009, 05:15 PM
Well, we've had several visitors so far, but unfortunately I haven't been around much the last couple of days.

To address some of the points that have been raised:

The IRC service I've used here is free, and we can indeed have moderators capable of enforcing order (and while I currently have ownership of the channel because I registered it, that ownership, along with moderator-creating ability, can be transferred to Cartographers' Guild admins on request).

I personally prefer IRC to the various forum-based chats I've seen, as it tends to be more robust and doesn't tie visitors down to a single interface; people are free to use their preferred chat clients.

We can embed the mibbit widget in the site so that there'd be a link at the top and when you clicked it you'd get a separate Cartographers' Guild page complete with menus and branding, with the chat area in the middle. We could also provide information to help people get connected with various other popular clients.

On the other hand, a built-in vBulletin chat would presumably enforce forum membership as a requirement to join, which might be desirable.

Random spammers shouldn't be much of a problem, as they can be with public IRC channels; this channel is not advertised on the IRC network's channel list, so you'd have to know about it already via the forum (or make a lucky guess) in order to find it.

There's another advantage to IRC in this particular case: the channel I've set up is on the same network as the Campaign Builders' Guild's channel, and there is probably a fair amount of overlapping interest (I've seen their members here on our forum). If we stayed there, then once you were in our channel you could join their channel in a different tab and switch back and forth.

As for being on or off topic, it's my personal view that some off-topic is a good thing (and would be one of the reasons for having a chat in the first place). On other forums for which I've set up chats, the conversation tends to split somewhere around 50/50 between on-topic and off-topic conversation. It becomes a more social place where you can find out more about each other and your shared interests, and build friendships rather than passing acquaintances. I know that roleplaying games are a significant common interest here and it would be a shame if they couldn't be discussed. IRC allows all users to create temporary channels simply by attempting to join them (if you join a channel that doesn't exist, it gets created, and will vanish after everyone leaves), so people could be encouraged to take discussions out of channel if they were interfering with the main chat.

If disruptions happen, they can be dealt with in the same way they are on the forums: warnings can be given, chat moderators can remove users from chat temporarily or permanently, and repercussions for continued disruption could even be extended to the forums (civility would obviously be expected anywhere under the Guild's umbrella -- you don't get to act like a jerk in chat and not have it count). The moderator's life is occasionally challenging, but the benefits seem to make it worth it.

I think the biggest obstacle might be the small ratio of users to time zones. Visitors so far have been scattered around the US and Canada, and even Finland, and there hasn't been much overlap. If we did manage to get a core group of lurkers from various places, however, then people would be more likely to find someone active when they stopped by. But it may just turn out that there aren't enough people for the thing to work.

Notsonoble
05-08-2009, 06:28 PM
Well, we've had several visitors so far, but unfortunately I haven't been around much the last couple of days.

To address some of the points that have been raised:

The IRC service I've used here is free, and we can indeed have moderators capable of enforcing order (and while I currently have ownership of the channel because I registered it, that ownership, along with moderator-creating ability, can be transferred to Cartographers' Guild admins on request).

I personally prefer IRC to the various forum-based chats I've seen, as it tends to be more robust and doesn't tie visitors down to a single interface; people are free to use their preferred chat clients.

We can embed the mibbit widget in the site so that there'd be a link at the top and when you clicked it you'd get a separate Cartographers' Guild page complete with menus and branding, with the chat area in the middle. We could also provide information to help people get connected with various other popular clients.

On the other hand, a built-in vBulletin chat would presumably enforce forum membership as a requirement to join, which might be desirable.

Random spammers shouldn't be much of a problem, as they can be with public IRC channels; this channel is not advertised on the IRC network's channel list, so you'd have to know about it already via the forum (or make a lucky guess) in order to find it.

There's another advantage to IRC in this particular case: the channel I've set up is on the same network as the Campaign Builders' Guild's channel, and there is probably a fair amount of overlapping interest (I've seen their members here on our forum). If we stayed there, then once you were in our channel you could join their channel in a different tab and switch back and forth.

As for being on or off topic, it's my personal view that some off-topic is a good thing (and would be one of the reasons for having a chat in the first place). On other forums for which I've set up chats, the conversation tends to split somewhere around 50/50 between on-topic and off-topic conversation. It becomes a more social place where you can find out more about each other and your shared interests, and build friendships rather than passing acquaintances. I know that roleplaying games are a significant common interest here and it would be a shame if they couldn't be discussed. IRC allows all users to create temporary channels simply by attempting to join them (if you join a channel that doesn't exist, it gets created, and will vanish after everyone leaves), so people could be encouraged to take discussions out of channel if they were interfering with the main chat.

If disruptions happen, they can be dealt with in the same way they are on the forums: warnings can be given, chat moderators can remove users from chat temporarily or permanently, and repercussions for continued disruption could even be extended to the forums (civility would obviously be expected anywhere under the Guild's umbrella -- you don't get to act like a jerk in chat and not have it count). The moderator's life is occasionally challenging, but the benefits seem to make it worth it.

I think the biggest obstacle might be the small ratio of users to time zones. Visitors so far have been scattered around the US and Canada, and even Finland, and there hasn't been much overlap. If we did manage to get a core group of lurkers from various places, however, then people would be more likely to find someone active when they stopped by. But it may just turn out that there aren't enough people for the thing to work.

+1 on all points except the forced membership of a vbulletin chat interface.

As for timezone issues and such... if the room is registered correctly, it would not be necessary for someone to be in it all the time for its existence to be maintained. Otherwise a dummy login can hold topics and such.

As for off-topic, chats are really almost better for that than some segment of the board...

isomage
05-08-2009, 06:30 PM
As for timezone issues and such... if the room is registered correctly, it would not be necessary for someone to be in it all the time for its existence to be maintained. Otherwise a dummy login can hold topics and such.

Yeah, it's all set up that way, but I think people are probably more likely to hang around if they're not alone, even if the other people happen to be away from their computers temporarily.

Nomadic
05-09-2009, 03:51 AM
If you guys want any help just let me know. I have way more IRC experience then a sane person aught to have accumulated in a lifetime.

RobA
02-03-2011, 02:45 PM
A little thread necromancy-

There is now an IRC menu item at the top that will open an IRC chat using mibbit to this IRC channel. It should default to your CG handle(but following IRC "rules" if someone has already claimed that name, too bad, so beleive who someone is with caution!)

-Rob A>

tilt
02-11-2011, 05:46 AM
I'm all for a chat room (which my fellow CL's know) :) ... and even though I'm in CET+1 and most of the guild is in US time zones I'm guessing I might catch someone now and then, especially since it works in a pop-up and thus can just "hang there". One of the things I like about chat rooms is that you don't have to stay on topic and don't have to be afraid of thread-jacking, since the stuff is not on the site permanent. Whereas when you have a "fun comment" in the threads inhere you sometimes don't write it cause you don't want to stear the thread away from its topic. :)
So - good idea with the new button :)

Gidde
02-13-2011, 12:38 AM
Just a little bumpity-bump of this thread to call folks' attention to the chat function. I've been trying to log onto chat whenever I sit at the computer, and I'd really love to have some real time conversations with guildies, so hop in and say hi!

tilt
02-13-2011, 02:12 AM
I did I did :) ... but you must have fallen asleep *lol*

Gidde
02-13-2011, 02:50 AM
lol, I went downstairs to watch some tv with the hubby and accidentally left it up. But there's a bunch of us in there now, come join us ;)

Rythal
02-13-2011, 11:02 AM
Ooh, chat! will join.

jtougas
02-23-2011, 06:40 PM
nobody in the chat any more?

Gidde
02-23-2011, 06:56 PM
I keep checking in, but no one's ever there. You in there now? I'll hop on :)

tilt
02-24-2011, 03:45 AM
been a little busy - but I try to check in now and then :)