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Online chat - worth it?


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#1 Andrew Field

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 11:24 AM

I've been sent the bill for next year's service for the Online Chat - $120. I myself fully paid for last year's service, but thought it would be used much more that it is.

I would welcome your views and opinions. I realise that there are 'personal' alternatives such as MSN messenger and the like, but I personally steer well clear of them. I, in fact, despise messenger with all the fiddling around it does with your system when it is installed. I like that fact that this chat is server based and doesn't involve anything on your own system. I also like the fact that we control it so it doesn't include any external advertising or potential issues.

Anyway, I'd like your views on the Online Chat. Will you use it? Do you use it? Is it worth paying for again? I would fund it via the advertising monies I get for the site and I'm happy doing that, but then again if it is wasted I can use the money for other things. :woo:


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#2 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 01:52 PM

I'm not sure whether your money is well spent, Andrew. I do use Live Chat here quite often (but also use MSN to chat with other Forum members) and enjoy having the facility available. It has been useful to be able to discuss work-related matters: I know of at least one project that was planned via Chat and one or two members have used it to receive advice about forthcoming interviews and so on - so it does/can serve a really useful purpose. It's not all social chit-chat. ;)

On the other hand I can only think of half a dozen members who use it regularly. Perhaps not all our members are aware of its existence?

It would be good to have some more feedback from other members though.

#3 Andrew Field

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:08 AM

I have to pay the fee over the next week or so. If you'd like to keep the Online Chat please say. If not, it may well go...

Try it out - it is really good! Follow the link at the top right of the screen.


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#4 mikel

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 04:40 PM

I have to pay the fee over the next week or so.  If you'd like to keep the Online Chat please say.  If not, it may well go...

Try it out - it is really good!  Follow the link at the top right of the screen.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I've never used it, but I'll try it out and let you know. Potentially, I can see that it would be really useful.

I logged on but there's noone there. Maybe that's the problem. If noone uses it than noone can use it! Maybe some sort of advertising campaign is called for. I'd really appreciate the chance to chat live with some of the contributors living here in Spain -- I just got the exam results back and am not a happy chappy!
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#5 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 05:41 PM

What people who use Chat regularly usually do is to see who is online by looking at the 'users active in the last 15mins' section under Board Statistics (right at the bottom of the main page) and then sending the person they want to Chat to a PM asking if they'd like to Chat. Alternatively you can arrange to be in Chat at a specific time and contact the people you'd like to Chat to in advance.

You can tell if there is already anyone there by looking in the section below the active users.

I'm online quite a lot and am happy to Chat with anyone who would like to try it out.

I spotted you (mikel) in Chat a few secs. ago, but unfortunately you left just as I arrived. :(

#6 neil mcdonald

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 01:23 PM

I use it from time to time and think it is a valuable tool. I think one of the problems we face is that members for whatever reason do not use the chat or the forum a great deal. We have over 1000 members but the forum is chiefly used by a tiny group with a large number of forum members registering, the odd time posting and then lurking. That being the case, the forum does not suit the majority of members well. I think the one thing I would use it for is to speak to members about issues I would not wish to discuss on the forum due to the nature of the topic.
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#7 Andy L

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Posted 13 August 2004 - 02:17 PM

I've just tried chat for the first time and think that, with a few people on there, I'd find it really useful. The crucial thing, of course, is to get people using it...

I'm not sure whether your money is well spent, Andrew. I do use Live Chat here quite often (but also use MSN to chat with other Forum members) and enjoy having the facility available. It has been useful to be able to discuss work-related matters: I know of at least one project that was planned via Chat and one or two members have used it to receive advice about forthcoming interviews and so on - so it does/can serve a really useful purpose. It's not all social chit-chat. ;)

On the other hand I can only think of half a dozen members who use it regularly. Perhaps not all our members are aware of its existence?

It would be good to have some more feedback from other members though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



#8 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 15 August 2004 - 08:14 PM

Last year I made a promise to pass on cash I got from amazon via my site to help pay for the chat room. I'll still do that... just need to get to a payment threshold first!

I think Chat is fantastic, though agree that it is underused. There's a lot of potential in it as a medium that we haven't really explored yet - though there have been suggestions. Perhaps people offering their thoughts about how we could make best us of the chat facility would prompt higher take up rates. My starting suggestion would be to suggest times when people might want to chat, from my experience there are often people in there between 22.00 and 23.00 (GMT) during term time.

I'd be happy enough to contribute towards keeping the chat room going, with or without an amazon payout.

#9 Craig

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 05:51 PM

Like the idea of a specific chat time slot, could be really cool.
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#10 Andrew Field

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Posted 16 August 2004 - 05:57 PM

OK. This is certainly something we can do. Around the beginning of September we'll look at suggesting a few times to try the concept out. Jolly good!


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#11 Sarah Bamford

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 07:09 PM

I would try it to - can we think about slightly earlier for those of us in our first year of parenthood?? (10pm and the only thing I can think of is bed)

thanks
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#12 Dan Moorhouse

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 07:11 PM

This is my first year of parenthood as well. (I am an insomniac though)

How about 5 in the morning after the feed? :ill:

#13 Lesley Ann

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 10:34 PM

Over the last year I have used Online Chat to help members of the forum with lesson ideas for observations, job interviews etc....especially our PGCE student members. I have also found it useful myself to bounce ideas around with regular chat users. I see chat as an extremely valuable extension of this forum in the sharing of good practice. I am usually online later in the evenings and arrange to meet in the chat via the PM system.
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#14 Carole Faithorn

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Posted 17 August 2004 - 10:54 PM

Although having 'nominated times' for Chat is a good idea it could get a bit crowded in there and if you are not used to using Chat it can get a bit confusing if lots of people are all typing merrily away at the same time.

If you fancy giving Chat a try (at any time of the day or night!) then you can always look to see who else is online by checking the names which appear at the bottom of the main page immediately under the 'BoardStatistics' heading. What those of us who use Chat regularly often do is send the person they'd like to Chat to a quick Private Message (PM). You can do that quickly by clicking on the person's name in the 'Users online in the past 15mins' and then clicking on the 'Send a Private Message' button on their profile page which then opens. If you can't see that immediately, scroll down the page a bit. The only thing to be aware of is that since the Online users list is updated every 15 mins it is possible the person you are PMing has left the Forum. A good way of assessing whether that is likely is to click on 'Last Click' under the list of names. If someone seems to have done nothing for the last 10 mins it is quite probable that they have left the Forum.

To open Chat click on 'Live Chat' either at the top right on the main page or in the section showing 'Members in Live Chat' immediately below the 'Users online' one.

I'm online quite a lot and would be happy to Chat to anyone who'd like to try it out - as I feel sure would other members of the Admin Team. As Lesley Ann says, Chat can be used to seek help and support with situations which people might not wish to discuss on the open Forum.

#15 Andrew Field

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 06:22 PM

OK. Online chat now available for at least another year. :teacher:

With the developments to the forum over the next two weeks, it will be slightly more accessible. We'll also experiment with scheduled times.

I've been pleased to see various people give it a try over the last week or so though. Well done. Don't forget if you need to prove your use of ICT - using the forum and the online chat system all qualifies! :geek:


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