Our site uses an open source chat program called AJAX Chat. It’s a third-party program maintained by lots of committed developers and that integrates with our web site software. Our chat program can be used as a “shoutbox” (a mini public chat box that will stay open as you visit the site) or a full size chat (a much larger browser window that lets you customize your chat experience).
When you click “shoutbox” or “chat” in the gray bar at the top of the page, you will automatically join the general site chat. This is public to all members and chat content is saved. In other words, whatever you write in the default chat will be readable by any of our site members.
You may also join chats for any of the groups you’ve joined. You can do this in two ways. One, by opening the larger chat window and choosing which channel you want to join as in the screenshot below. (Some browsers make it a little trickier to open the chat window especially if you’ve blocked popups. But you should get a page with a message that gives you a link to force the chat window to open for you.
As you can see, every group you’ve joined will have its own channel. If you are not a member of a group. you won’t see the channel.
Let’s look at the menu in the large chat window, which you can see there on the left.
Logout: Lets you logout of the chat.
List online users: You can use this to see who else is visiting chat.
List ignored users: You can click this to see who is on that you’ve added to your ignored list.
List available channels: This is another way to see all the chat rooms available to you.
Describe action: Puts whatever you type next into italics. Like this: throws hands up in despair
Roll dice: This literally makes you roll a virtual dice. For example, click it and hit submit and you might get: admin rolls 1d6 and gets 5.
Change username: This doesn’t actually change your username so don’t worry about it.
Enter private room: You will start a private chat that is in your name.
List banned users: Lists users online that you’ve banned from your chat.
Below the menu you’ll see a list of names — these are people on the chat channel with you.
Not all of the menu commands will work in every chat channel. For example, enter private room isn’t the best way to start a private chat. There’s a better way and here’s how.
First of all, let’s be totally frank — there is NOTHING that’s truly private on the internet. Do not assume that because you are in a private chat that whatever you say there will remain private. For one thing, you can’t always know for sure who is on the other end chatting with you. For another, people can take screen shots of chats and share them. Finally there is always user error. You may think you’ve shared something privately only to discover — too late! — that you actually sent it to everyone on the chat channel. In other words, we urge you to use commonsense caution when chatting. Ok, that said, let’s talk about private chats.
You can see on the left the same menu that we’ve used above only this time we’ve clicked the name at the bottom of the menu. Now you see you have a number of options in chatting with Dawn. You can send her a private message or a private action. You can also open a private channel. Now if SHE also opens a private channel under YOUR name, you will meet up in — theoretical — privacy.
This is also where you can ignore or ban members or accept them if you’ve forgiven them for whatever made you ignore them in the first place.
Finally you can display the IP address of the person with whom you are chatting just in case you want to see where they’re chatting from.
If you have questions about the chat program, let us know. We’re still getting the hang of it, too!