When we moved to Xenforo, we decided to install a fully featured chatroom instead of just a shoutbox but to treat it like the familiar shouty we all knew and loved. This gave us some extra features for staff that we thought would be useful, and the possibility to change how we use the feature in the future. Recently, we've decided it's worth the experiment of opening shouty up to more possible uses.
What new features will you now be able to try out?
- Private Messages
You can send private chat room messages to other users! Perhaps it's something quick, or silly, or not needing a whole conversation thread - just send them a quick direct chat!
- Create new chat rooms
Maybe you've always wanted a room where you can chat about what you had for lunch and thought such light fare didn't need its own topic, or you wanted its history to be as ephemeral as possible - why not create your own chat room?
Perhaps you'd like to coordinate a roleplay topic with a bunch of people and find conversations to be onerous in how they don't refresh instantly - why not make a private chat room with only those roleplayers involved in the topic invited to join? (Noting, of course, that like anything on the board - inappropriate content can be reported and then moderated.)
Perhaps you just want to chat with your friends on the community about something going on in your life that doesn't need to be shared in the main shouty room - well, now you can do that too!
As said in the title, this is an experiment - we don't know if these features will be useful or distracting, if they'll encourage more activity on the board or less - so we want to trial it, see what new and creative ideas you come up with (often we find features get used in ways we don't expect!), and what that means for our community. We'll be consistently evaluating how it's going, and if we decide to end the experiment and revert the changes we'll give you a couple of weeks' heads up - and if these changes become permanent, we'll share that in a future Bi-Weekly Update!
One final note on the shoutbox - the best place to ask questions about the board is the FAQ forum. This is not only because it will likely get you higher quality answers than posting in the shoutbox, but also because your question might help future users find their way on the site, as well!
We're excited to see how this experiment goes, and hope you enjoy testing out the newly enabled features!