TR Chat Box

Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.

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TR Chat Box

Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:20 am

I'm curious if you guys would consider adding a chat box to the web page? I know it sounds cheesy at first, but if it's hidden by default and you have to login and flip a switch (just like with the coloring/spacing) to turn it on I think it could be an interesting feature to add to the community.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:37 am

I would also like to see this be done since i believe it will reduce the amount of posts&threads, especially the ones that aren't very interesting. Well that is unless TR wants them and sees no reason for reduction. I mean hey, they might be useless but they might still generate income from adds and the like.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:52 am

TR has an IRC channel for chat and twitter and facebook for time wasting.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:57 am

dragmor wrote:TR has an IRC channel

This. Although I don't see the link to it on the front page anymore.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:55 pm

A chatbox that automatically logs you into the IRC channel through a JAVA applet then? I've seen those done before.

Most people don't want to go out of their way to start up another program just to talk to people. I've seen chatboxes like this implemented on other websites and they're usually highly successful.

I'm surprised this didn't get more negative feedback as it's something pretty new age. Just make it optional and turned off by default so it doesn't clutter up the page for people who aren't interested in it. It would most definitely help with the 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING' threads and people who just like to chat on the news posts, like myself.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:48 am

Bensam123 wrote:A chatbox that automatically logs you into the IRC channel through a JAVA applet then? I've seen those done .


http://www.qwebirc.org/ is quite a nice (and free) JavaScript based IRC client.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:19 am

There are two different things being discussed. One is the IRC channel and the other is a chatbox. A Chatbox is not used to log into IRC. Instead it is a discussion box that appears on the web page and is a near real time communication. So it doesn't depend on someone being able to use IRC (some might not be able to connect while at work, but they could toss up a quick question in a chatbox that might get a quick response. If no one responds there's no problem.) Also many more people are likely to see a chatbox than are likely to start up the IRC app.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:05 pm

Yeah, there are also java applets that act like chatboxes too... I was just throwing it into the mix for flavor as there are multiple solutions to just one problem in this case.

With a forum integrated chatbox it's possible to see relevant posts on new topics in the forums or if there is a new topic. You can use it like a feed as well as a chat box, there is a lot of community integration you can do with such a device. A IRC java applet would be much harder as you'd need a bot relaying forum events into the IRC channel with clickable links. Although someone could write something like that without TR ever getting involved. It would just come down to them enabling such an applet on the front page so people would actually join the IRC channel... I personally have no interest in starting another program to idle in a IRC channel though.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 5:47 pm

Bensam123 wrote: a JAVA applet then?

Just say NO!
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:22 pm

envolve is meant for this.

envolve

Basically you register, copy a few lines of html to the site, and you're set. I think it can even have a different conversation for every page (so new articles could have a separate window to discuss the article). The new thing they just released is called Firebase (shameless plug for them, but I know the creators and it actually is a really cool product) which can also integrate chat functionality. That said I think if it were done having it disabled by default would be a good idea.

*Edit: Although it may be fun to see what happens when a brand new processor review goes live
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:36 pm

The advantage and drawback of a chatbox is that if somebody has a problem and they ask about it when there are a decent number of other gerbils online, they may get the problem resolved pretty quickly...but there is no archive of the discussion to inform or help people who come along later. This is particularly damaging to people whose schedules don't every coincide with that critical mass, as well as the lurkers, who may be as numerous as the active participants.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:43 pm

ludi wrote:The drawback of a chatbox is that.. there is no archive of the discussion to inform or help people who come along later.
That's one of the main reasons that I don't answer tech questions in PMs, but instead encourage folks to post in the forums.

The other reason is that it is very likely that a more-informed gerbil will happen along to add more to a message thread in the forums than I could manage on my own in a PM.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:46 pm

Some questions are really easy to answer and don't require an in depth explanation. I don't think a chat box would be used inlieu of the forums, I most definitely think they would compliment one another.

I don't think news articles and reviews should have their own chat boxes though. That could easily lead to flaming. Things get heated fast, especially concerning opinionated topics, when you can talk to people live. People don't have time to think things out as well too. Some subjects are most definitely left to the forums or threaded posts on the news page (which is awesome).

Speaking of which, the community could benefit from a number of other enhancements too... Like being able to see new threads that have been recently posted or highlight them on the default view for the forums. I just posted a really good deal in the hot deals forum, but I'm pretty sure no one checks it... but if there was a chatbox on the front page that said "Bensam123 just posted "OCZ Agility 3 240gb on Newegg for $199" there would probably be quite a few more people checking it out. Allowing people to thank forum posts would be good too. That's a community feature that is rather nice to have.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:19 pm

Great. Just what we need. Yet another way to crank up the velocity of information distribution and further reduce attention spans below those of a highly-caffeinated hummingbird. God forbid anyone try to absorb and understand content before needing the next fix. And yes, get off my lawn.

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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:47 pm

Bensam123 wrote:Speaking of which, the community could benefit from a number of other enhancements too... Like being able to see new threads that have been recently posted or highlight them on the default view for the forums. I just posted a really good deal in the hot deals forum, but I'm pretty sure no one checks it... but if there was a chatbox on the front page that said "Bensam123 just posted "OCZ Agility 3 240gb on Newegg for $199" there would probably be quite a few more people checking it out.
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If you go to http://www.techreport.com/ and look near the top, you'll see a "Hot forum threads" list right below the navigation bar. I highly recommend that web site.

If you go to http://techreport.com/forums/ and look above the forum listing, you'll see a "View new posts" link. I recommend that link as well.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:14 pm

It doesn't stand out though. The idea being it presents information to people that they didn't even know they wanted, but find helpful. You could go on IRC as others said and chat with TR too, but not many people will go out of their way to do that.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:25 pm

Chat boxes are ugly and usually not used for anything but mindless drivel. I don't want more clutter on the front page.

You don't think people use "Hot Forum Threads" but you think they'll use a 3 square inch chat box for useful questions?
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:37 pm

I think it will be used for chat like material that you would find normally in 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW' threads, discussion of news posts that don't really fit in with the comments, daily life attributes, and general social undertakings. It doesn't need to be strictly a Q&A...

As per what I originally said, it could be hidden by default and only turned on if you're logged in too. That fixes all the issues with people finding them ugly or not wanting to participate in them.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:53 pm

Bensam123 wrote:It doesn't stand out though. The idea being it presents information to people that they didn't even know they wanted, but find helpful. You could go on IRC as others said and chat with TR too, but not many people will go out of their way to do that.
The hot forum threads section on the front page is in the centre column. I find it difficult to miss it. Don't know what you are saying it does not stand out. It certainly does for me (not to mention all the spammer threads if they sneaked in during the early morning window of most mods sleeping).

Bensam123 wrote:I think it will be used for chat like material that you would find normally in 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW' threads, discussion of news posts that don't really fit in with the comments, daily life attributes, and general social undertakings. It doesn't need to be strictly a Q&A...

As per what I originally said, it could be hidden by default and only turned on if you're logged in too. That fixes all the issues with people finding them ugly or not wanting to participate in them.
What is wrong with "chat like" threads in the Back Porch? It is not meant to be technical nor R&P.
The Back Porch forum description wrote:Hang out, sip some ice tea, and shoot the breeze with TR regulars.
IMO it is serving its stated purpose just fine.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:29 pm

Well, I don't know abut the utility, but I do know if it required Java or Flash I wouldn't use or even see it, since neither of those are installed on the system / browser I typically use when visiting TR.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:10 am

It sounds as if you don't want a chat box because you think it would kill off the forums? One isn't designed to replace the other, they would compliment eachother. The back porch would more then likely not disappear. If you do a little bit of researching your qualms will be put at rest, there are other websites with just such a setup and they florish (including off topic areas).

You don't see new forum threads when you're actually on the forums, unless you visit each individual sub forum. It's about increasing visability and inviting users to participate more in the community in general.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:50 am

Bensam123 wrote:You don't see new forum threads when you're actually on the forums, unless you visit each individual sub forum.
And it sounds like you need to do a little researching wrt the forums here. As was noted earlier in the thread, the Hot Forum Threads link on the front page leads to this listing (and the top 5 items from that list appear on the front page), which will show you all the newly created and newly updated threads, no visiting of subforums required. If you want to see just new topics, or topics without replies, there are searches for those right at the top of the main forums page along with another link to the active topics. (And if you're logged in, above that is a link to get a list of just the topics you've already posted in).
It's about increasing visability and inviting users to participate more in the community in general.
And how visible are chats from hours or days ago, that might have something that I missed? We often have forum topics that continue to be useful for weeks or months or even years, since they answer questions that people continue to add or answers that folks continue to add to, but that's not always obvious when they're first created. Can I query a chat box for topics from months ago? Are those chats categorized so I can go look for them? Do they get indexed by search engines so people who are using Google or whatever to answer a question will find their way here?

Of course I suppose it wouldn't be an issue if the chatbox were restricted to just shooting-the-breeze topics with no technical content whatsoever, but who enforces that? "Recreational" chatting tends to veer into shop talk a lot, especially when one of the main avenues of "recreation" for many of the folks here is gaming in particular and technology in general.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:45 pm

Yuh... and you have to click links to do it or go back to the news page or keep more then one tab open... That doesn't help accessibility and visibility, I already read the above comments and looked at what they're talking about.

I don't understand... You're using a hyperbole to argue your point. I'm not suggesting the forums should be removed. Live chat and forums have coexisted for quite a bit of time. Why do you even need to enforce what people talk about as long as it doesn't disrupt the community? No one requires you to participate in, answer questions, or even use a live chat.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:51 am

What is the address of the current IRC room?

I haven't been able to find it anywhere.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:12 am

theadder wrote:What is the address of the current IRC room?

I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

irc.freenode.net
#techreport
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:56 am

Bensam123 wrote:Yuh... and you have to click links to do it or go back to the news page or keep more then one tab open... That doesn't help accessibility and visibility--


.....wow. That is....wow.

I love TechReport, I really do, but every now and again I run into this really weird atmosphere of absolutely incredible laziness. Like people complaining about 2-3lbs laptops being too heavy, or in this case, where apparently clicking a link or opening tab is seen as unacceptable? Or too much effort? Or just something worth complaining about? I mean, really?

I got no problem with a chatbox, but arguing that its needed because the current site is too inaccessible seems really silly to me? Adding a chatbox won't really make the site anymore accessible, since using it will likely require you to login. Logging in requires clicking a link, and typing, both of which clearly hurt accessibility and visibility.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 21, 2012 3:14 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
theadder wrote:What is the address of the current IRC room?

I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

irc.freenode.net
#techreport


In that case, I had found it.

Currently it is me and Steel and that's it.

I'll assume that the room just isn't active I think.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 21, 2012 6:13 pm

theadder wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
theadder wrote:What is the address of the current IRC room?

I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

irc.freenode.net
#techreport


In that case, I had found it.

Currently it is me and Steel and that's it.

I'll assume that the room just isn't active I think.


The TR IRC has been a tomb for quite some time.
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:10 pm

Don't really see how this pointless feature would be "interesting"... All of the other forums I visit (including all the car-related or computer hardware-related) function just perfectly without it. For off-topic conversations the "Off-topic" forum sections work just perfectly, for more personal conversations the "Private Message" forum function also works perfectly. All of the front pages where I've seen such chatboxes implemented have had either some complete nonsense in these boxes (something like "what's up? how are you doing?" or "you suck dick" or some racist crap) or (most of the time) filled with spam links to some sites selling "$100 iPhones!!!111", and I don't see why TR's chatbox would be different in any way (since normal people interested in discussing some interesting topics or looking for answers/opinions can simply use appropriate forum sections)... If you're really bored and want to ask someone some nonsense like "what's up?" - that's what your smartphone's text messaging function is for :wink:
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Re: TR Chat Box

Postposted on Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:36 am

idchafee wrote:
Captain Ned wrote: irc.freenode.net
#techreport
The TR IRC has been a tomb for quite some time.
Internet Relay Chat seemed only moderately lame back in 1988.
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