Peter - I think it's excellent.
1. Will you have to be a member of TP to access the chat site?
2. If so, will you have to log on prior to accessing the site?
3. Once in the site, you can change your nickname. My only concern about this is that someone can log into the site, then change their nickname to mine and pass themselves off as me.
4. Similar to this, there's other chat sites that I go to where you can register your nickname. Therefore someone could register my logon name as their nickname, thus creating some confusion over identities.
You will have to be a member to log in and get a username asigned automatically but I believe you can also chat as a guest only... (get back to you on that one in a second since i have to log out to test it...)
2. see one.
3. if we get the license to run this, there is a module that we can include to stop people from being able to change their nicknames. I think we would have to go down that road exactly for the reasons you mention.
4. see three
More in a second...
Ok, just checked it out...
Currently you need to be a member and logged on to access the page the chat room is on. Guest accounts can be enabled though we probably won't do that untill we've disabled the 'change nickname' feature
We can actually choose whether or not guest access is allowed. I'm personally tempted to make it member only. Currently, I've set it up like that. People won't be able to register through the chat module - if you try to access it without being logged on, you will be sent to the login window, just like when you try to access your message center. I agree that nicknames shouldn't be allowed to change - too confusing in there.
I agree about the chatroom being for members only. One thing I would do as the site administrator/owner is to monitor the number of posts on a daily/weekly/monthly basis prior to the chat site going live, and then compare those numbers to the number of posts after the chat site goes live.
I'd be worried that there might be a material drop off, and the usefulness of the site may suffer as far as posts are concerned. I wouldn't want the site to turn into just another chat site. If this happened, I'm not sure how your sponsors/advertisers might react.
It seems pretty good to me. The only problem would be getting enough people on there at the same time.
You're right, we definitely would drop the chat site if it resulted in a serious drop off of forum posts which serve as good public content that anyone can 'use'.
And another issue is seeing how busy it does end up getting on the chat site as I could see it dropping off after a while.
It would be neat for example for people travelling who want to chat with their friends back at home who at that moment in time happen to be reading their diary (ok, chances could be slim in this regard but you get the picture) and this wouldn't take away from the forum either, just from the messaging center traffic a little.
A lot of considering to do
I have never been able to get into the chat. It takes me to a new screen, loads a bunch of stuff, sets up a window in which (presumably) a chat screen could appear, sits for a long time saying "Connecting the Server ..." and then comes up after a couple of minutes with the message "Connection failed! Maybe your network can't access the server, or the server is under maintenance, please try again later!"
It sounds like you have a firewall blocking the port needed to communicate with the server. The port is 51127, if you have any control over opening it up. I think it may also be possible for us to make it work on other ports as well, so I may look into that.