...chat room for members only, with Moderators to ensure the privacy, etc., etc. of its users is protected...
I know very little about it, but I know my Mum is a member of an online community and they have a chat room provided by www.everywherechat.com... I believe they have Moderators, assigned by the management of the community, to ensure frequenter's are respectful...
I have been thinking about this myself recently. I'll check the site you mentioned. I'm not sure how we would manage to moderate such discussions though - it is a huge task to sit and watch as people chit chat It's enough work making sure dodgy stuff doesn't stick on the forums!
I guess ideally I'd like to make it so that one of the Travel Gurus / Respected Members would have to be in a chat for it to be active. They would have the power to boot people out or something similar. Something like that would require tailoring the program though.. must look into it a little more!
This is what I was thinking, too... As I say, I'm not exactly sure and don't know too much about it (I'm certainly no expert), but I looked at the website before posting the message last night, knowing that the chat room and community my Mum uses doesn't allow swearing, etc.... Apparently there are moderators, i.e. room creators and appointed moderators.... The appointed moderators could be respected members of the TP Community... It seems to be busy enough, it's just a case, I guess, of whether or not there is a respected member (e.g. Travel Guru, but at your descretion, obviously) online and free frequently enough to moderate such a room... Personally, I don't think it would be enough to simply be a 'Travel Guru'... I don't mean to disrespect travel guru's, but take myself having created the thread "Anyone for a quick game of..."... You only need to post a few replies on there for your status to go up and automatically you become a travel guru and, thus, a moderator...??
One of the other online communities I visit, www.mtb-wales.com, has a list at the side showing who is active at the community at any one time... Maybe this could be monitored before the chat room was created, and respected, trustworthy members could be asked if they could contribute to the moderation of the chat room, etc., and maybe it could be created and moderated this way... In effect then, there wouldn't need to be specific 'moderators' doing just that, but the respected chatters would be its moderators...
I guess it's all according to how many members this community has and how many of its members or visitors are active at any one time... And of course, if any of the other members would want a chat room...
hey my bro creates web sites and did one for his band and they created a chat room! i dont know how much he knows about it but if there's anything you wanna know i can only ask!!
To build a chatroom is relatively easy. The main obstacle is to have an effective monitoring and supervision mechanism. And this involves manpower.
To overcome this manpower problem (when there's no appointed moderators available), I suggest that we have a "voting system" to kick a person out of a room. Chatroom users will be able to initiate a user kick-out procedure when a substantial amount of votes is gathered. Of course, if there is a moderator present, he can kick a user out of the room immediately. To prevent abuse of the feature, votes by users will be weighted. Travel Gurus will have the heaviest vote, followed by Respected Users, Full Members, and so on. Once a certain weight is achieved, the user will be kicked out and temporarily banned for a period of time before he can come in again. We can also suspend the user's account if he has been kicked out for a number of times.
What do you guys think? Brilliant?
I think a chat room is a great idea.
Yes, monitoring may be a problem. I sometimes use Telstra chat and they have monitors that can kick people out for a short time period (5 minutes), or kick them out for a few days.
The only issue I have with the Telstra moderators is that they are super-sensitive and kick people out for typing in capitals or whatever.
The problem with having a travel guru present is that two up and coming members cannot chat by themselves. Plus I can't see a whole lot of people chatting at the same time; this is quite a specific virtual community and people are not really just going to drop in.
My suggestion? Don't worry about moderators having to be present. From a legal perspective, simply have the user press a button acknowledging the fact that the forum is an unmoderated area and that "TP does is not liable for blah, blah."
Good ideas guys. I do see an issue with the very real possibility that the room will end up being empty a lot of the time. We could do some chat events and such though, which would be a good way to get a lot of people online at the same time.. I think it would be good if any old member could set up a 'private' chat as well - where moderation wouldn't be an issue.
Sounds good. It's the sort of thing which does run the risk of being empty though. A couple of places i know have set them up, and for a few weeks/couple of months there has been quite a few people in there and they've been good. But they've then fizzled out into empty rooms.
However, that would at least be partly compensated for by:
We could do some chat events and such though, which would be a good way to get a lot of people online at the same time..
Which sounds like a great idea.
I think it would be good if any old member could set up a 'private' chat as well - where moderation wouldn't be an issue
That's a good idea, but could be refined even better if there was a list of "who's currently online at TP" somewhere, so people could see that there friends/whoever is on, and invite there and then instead of having to pre arrange a time for example.
On final note - an easy way for a starting point or until it's implicated, would just be to amend the user profiles so there is a gap where people could put up their MSN Msg/AIM etc addresses. In that instance, everyubody could accept/bloack whoever they wanted, so there's no moderation/spamming/etc issue. I already talk to a couple of people i've met on TP on MSM &/or via email.
Ok people, I think we found a pretty good piece of software and so we've installed it on our server for testing purposes. For those wanting to test this (you get logged out after ten minutes until we've decided to pay for it), please visit this page
All I can say after just testing this is that I think it's really neat. Definitely one of the better ones I have seen out there!
A particularly nice thing is that you don't have to log on separately which means that usernames and such are all the same as on Travellerspoint. That saves a lot of confusion occurring me thinks