11-20-2015, 01:52 PM
#1
  • MHWood
  • Artisan Brush Maker
  • Illinois
User Info
I've seen on some of my guitar forums I'm on that they have a pretty cool "Chat" feature. Its cool to be able to quickly chat with everyone that's online at the time and have a fluid conversation with everyone. I have no idea how that all works on the backend of a forum but just throwing out the idea? 

Tom

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 11-20-2015, 01:58 PM
#2
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I have no idea what would go into something like that - a yahoo-group I hung out at 12-13 years ago had it's own IRC-channel, but that would require users to login with a separate client.

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 11-20-2015, 02:41 PM
#3
  • RobinK
  • I like things that work.
  • Munich, Germany
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Not necessarily. There are web clients to various irc networks, e.g. https://webchat.freenode.net/. And there are plugins for mybb which might even allow for theming.

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 11-20-2015, 02:51 PM
#4
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There may be a plugin for MYBB, which if so would be a simple install that wouldn't require any editing or manual modifications. I found AJAX Chat doing a simple search for compatible chat software. It is implemented using Asynchronous JavaScript and XML on the client side and PHP, MySQL, and XML on the server side. I haven't used MyBB but used to have a couple Wordpress blogs I ran and there were plugins for almost everything. I would search the plugins first and see what it has to offer for simplicity's sake, but even using an open source software shouldn't be too difficult.

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 11-20-2015, 02:58 PM
#5
  • RobinK
  • I like things that work.
  • Munich, Germany
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Speaking from past experience, moderating theses chats is a major pain. The one I set up for another major shaving forum was quickly overrun by vendors. I killed and permanbanned them, but since they paid for the server software through adverts, that did not go down well with the owners of the forum. Overall, it was a bad idea. The chat, that is, not k-lining the vendors. That was quite enjoyable.

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 11-20-2015, 02:59 PM
#6
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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(11-20-2015, 02:58 PM)RobinK Wrote: Speaking from past experience, moderating theses chats is a major pain. The one I set up for another major shaving forum was quickly overrun by vendors. I killed and permanbanned them, but since they paid for the server software through adverts, that did not go down well with the owners of the forum. Overall, it was a bad idea. The chat, that is, not k-lining the vendors. That was quite enjoyable.

Yes.

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 11-20-2015, 03:04 PM
#7
  • leefish
  • Pisciform Cavalry
  • The Netherlands
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I use a chat on my own variant of MyBB. I knew when I installed it that the forum usage would drop dramatically - and it did. It also significantly increased my server load.

People end up chatting more than posting, and it is bad for the site long term (in my opinion) as chatmessages are not saved at all, and so its not possible to browse and learn as it is with a forum post. 

I think that if members are at the point where they would like to chat with each other then try out google hangouts or skype. Yes, there are SOME plugins for MyBB, but a chat is a usually a good attack vector for hackers wanting to harm the site and I do not wish to risk the main site for a chat; the ajax chat I use on leefish is secure, but a heck of a resource hog.

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 11-20-2015, 03:04 PM
#8
  • Agravic
  • Super Moderator
  • Pennsylvania, USA
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Thanks, Lee.

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 11-20-2015, 09:28 PM
#9
  • bullgoose
  • The Enabler
  • Redondo Beach, California, U.S.A
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Great points RobinK and Lee. Thank you.

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 11-20-2015, 09:58 PM
#10
  • MHWood
  • Artisan Brush Maker
  • Illinois
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By no means did I mean for this thread to be taken the wrong way or anything negative at all. I had no idea that there were so many negative side effects from having a chat feature.

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 11-20-2015, 11:50 PM
#11
  • RobinK
  • I like things that work.
  • Munich, Germany
User Info
Horses for courses, I'd say. If you analyse a "shaving forum", you will find that it actually consists of several media.

  1. Questions and answers. In theory, that is what a forum is about. You may want to call it "discussion", but more often than not, it simply is not. The German shaving forums are quite good in this regard. They are heavily moderated, and the number of threads is kept to a minimum. There is one thread about, say, Mitchell's Wool Fat. This leads to endless threads, but at least newcomers stand a chance to search for a specific product, or technique. 
  2. Knowledge base. In theory, this is what should result, organically, from discussion. I happen to have built roughly 50% of SRP's so called "Library", because as a beginner, that forum was basically useless for me. The information was all there, and it was good information for the most part, but it was buried under tens of thousands of meaningless "ooooh, that's pretty", "gimme dat", "I'm jealous", and "no, no, no, Mitchell's Wool Fat! Dubl Duck! Filarmonica!!!!" replies. It took months to extract the salient bits, but it was worth it. However, you need a small, dedicated group to build something like that, otherwise... well, let's not go there. [OpEd: A knowledge base is the natural enemy of the fanboy brigade, and it will make them very, very unhappy. Therefore, building one that is as objective as can be will make you many enemies, especially from the honing fraction, whose business model involves smokes, mirrors, and a lot of completely nonsensical mystique.]
  3. Reviews. Writing a high quality review is an art form, and often takes days. In reality, most reviews are meaningless. No context, no experience, no benchmarks. Is Mitchell's Wool Fat (yes, that product is a personal trauma) really that good? If all you know are certain "artisan" products, it will be heaven. But too few people know fifty or more high quality products. However, I do believe that you need that sort of context to pass a meaningful judgement - unless you clearly mark your review as a consumer review focusing on that product alone. As an aside, I find these types of review entirely meaningless. 
  4. Marketplace. That one works almost everywhere. Some forums had to pay a heavy reputational price when they let people who suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth list a few dozen high price items, but that is a risk that exists in any marketplace.
  5. Last, chit-chat. You can use a dedicated off topic sub-forum for that purpose. Or a shoutbox. Or a chat. As stated previously, this feature will eat into your overall relevant post count. And most forums want a high post count to keep members interested in the forum. 
So, no, there is no easy answer. There is, however, one thing that works quite nicely, and that is dedicated chats. SRP has a weekly(?) restoration chat. People come there for a few hours for one particular purpose. However, technology has moved on a little since it was implemented, and by rights, it should be a Google Hangout with video chat. But it is a feature worth discussing, I think.

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