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Live Chat feature

3378 Views 19 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Gary
Given that it may be possible to include a "Live Chat" feature at Model Rail Forum what are member thoughts about such a service?

It could of course mean that you give up even more time to forum life as "Live" chatting can be addictive.

Is it possible to "Live" chat about model railways for hours on end?

And there will be little moderation and record keeping so things could be said that might cause upset between participating members!

So pros and cons really.

Happy modelling
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Sorry, not interested.

We tried it on SlotForum a couple of years ago. It just attracted a bunch if idiots who took pleasure in causing trouble. It is not to be used for constructive communication. The forums are better for that where there is more accountability and traceability.

If you wan to chat, you can use Skype, Yahoo, MSN or another similar system. You can add your chat identities to you profile here if you like.
I'd rather follow the conversations on forum as I do now. I can log in at any time and catch up then post my twopenny'th if I have something to add. Live conversations need a constant eye on the screen rather than just logging on while awaiting glue or paint to dry.
I completely agree with Doug.

We had that feature in our forum in Turkey and nobody used it so we eventually had to take it away.

People who want to chat with each other can use other means; MSN, Yahoo...etc

I also agree. Although the one over at the other forum I frequent at seems to be okay, (I'm a Chat mod right now

Skype, Yahoo, MSNM suits me fine really
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Actually I would like it. I enjoyed the chat on Slot Car Illustrated until they switched software and it became unusable.
I've never used a feature like that before. I would imagine it would be fatal ion this forum if Hornby digital was discussed!
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I find that most people tend to act pretty much as they do in threads. What is nice about chat is that it can go in many areas. We could be talking about a certain locomotive and from there talk about a railfan trip and then about travel in general.

If anybody want to chat in general about model railroads, travel or photography feel free to add me to your Yahoo IM; dennis_a_david
QUOTE I find that most people tend to act pretty much as they do in threads. Thats what concerned me
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No thank you!

Not for me either thank you - things get hairy enough on here when you have time to think about what you are saying. I dread to think what would happen if it were live.


it's like people feel that can't control themselves. I look at it this way if you can't then you shouldn't post as well. In other forums chat is used by a small subset of people. the rest stay away and so they should.
Dear Gary,

I was the moderator of a Yahoo Group that did run a number of chat sessions that did not get out of control. What we did was that we would have a regular Friday evening session advertised at a time set by the person running the chat session. We posted a timetable with a topic for each Friday night, several weeks in advance. You obviously poll the members for what topics they would like to have or just add new ones as they are suggested (whichever method of deciding the subjects works best). You could just choose the topic on the forum that received most views and/or posts in the last few weeks.

By deciding the subject in advance, this had the advantage that members were encouraged to research the topic and post photos to an album ready for the Friday night session. We started off with a few quiz photos at an obscure location that we had to guess. This helps break the ice and gives newcomers some time to get comfortable with the s/w.

By structuring the Chat sessions and focussing on a subject or a group of photos, you can then ask that chatters to stay on topic or quit. That seems to stop idle or silly chat. I don't know if these ideas would work in this forum, but it may be worth a try. Until you try the idea, you don't know if it would really work. Of course, if it produces the negative behavious reported by others in this thread, then you can easily turn it off. Who knows, we might turn out to be a bunch of mature adults that only behave like schoolboys when playing trains
(sorry, but I could not resist saying that!).

Just my 2 eurocents worth.
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Hi John

That was exactly how I was thinking!

A structured live chat on a pre-arranged subject with a specialist on hand to keep things on topic may be of interest to members.

Doug's experience with Scalextric slot car racers may not be replicated among a group of railway modellers!

There could be sessions where a model railway club member introduces his club and a group of club members particpate.

Or there could be a session on a specific DCC manufacturer or subject.

Or on a certain prototypical theme.

Or on an aspect of modelling.

And so on.

Happy modelling
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If you want to move on the idea of a structured chat, why not try it out. Yahoo, Skype and other systems offer the technology. We don't have to integrate it into our forum.

If it works out, let us know.
Wouldnt that be a bit like a forum thread?
But on a thread we han accomodate the huge variation in time zones! on a chat we cant.

QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 18 Apr 2007, 14:33) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Wouldnt that be a bit like a forum thread?
But on a thread we han accomodate the huge variation in time zones! on a chat we cant.

very good point!
Sometime past, I joined a Computer related help chat show - regrettably this chat line proved a disaster as all the participants chatted in all subjects with the exception of Computer matters. In some cases, discussions became entirely filthy in content and answers most past remarkable. It may be worth a trial in this Forum - though a watch to subject content would probably require some form of censoreship and ensure that only "chats" relate to railway modeling and this service allowed only to registered members of this Forum.
I maybe again, treading in dangerous ground - at another "Forum" I suggested a similar scheme, unfortunately left out one or two railway modeling gauge. The response to my suggestion was immediately received with sarcasm and most hurtful comments from members of that Forum.
Choosing carefully subjects or help topics would I imagine be a must, if Model Rail Forum decide to introduce a "chat line" and remain a popular feature.
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Don't go down the "Chat room" line. It will bring nothing but disrespect to the forum generally.
There is nothing wrong what -so-ever with the forums as they are.
Keeping the topics alive and sensible with good advice etc is what the forums are about
Plus of course its much easier to moderate the existing forums and keep it sensible too.
QUOTE Don't go down the "Chat room" line. It will bring nothing but disrespect to the forum generally.

That is a concern. It could encourage off topic chatting and I can see that point of view.

Happy modelling
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