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Saru

Chat room changes [May '08]

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Saru

Again, we're not looking to completely disallow off-topic discussion nor to force people to discuss any one thing; the news is a sensible and constructive topic for discussion so that wouldn't be a problem.

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Sporkling

Ok. But the first time I came into the chatroom, Almost a year ago, the chatroom was like that right? The topic would be given and all that. Right?

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Saru

One year ago there was one room I believe but no specific set up apart from that.

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Sporkling
One year ago there was one room I believe but no specific set up apart from that.

There was a specific set up

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bradleigh

im ure greatest fan but i dont agree with what ure doing its controling.

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She-ra

Hello all-

I was the point person on working with Saru to get the second ((paranormal)) room originally started. Initially, the second room was a "passcode protected" room which then later turned into a open room for specific paranormal/unexplained discussions.

I know many of you may NOT agree with me but I prefer paranormal/unexplained discussions.

I have been in the chatroom lately and have thoroghly enjoyed my experiences.

I think others need to know the room is not "nazi" controlled. There is crosstalk and personal/funny interjections. It has been run quite well by the Moderating team and only is brought back to topic if "chatters" start rambling about something that is either either nonsense, immature or inappropriate.

I ask all to try it out and give it a chance. Let's just see what happens. Change is good and change is constant. It is the ones who can "roll with it" that will gain the most benefit.

To be honest, I have met 5 to 6 members on UM who have NEVER been in chat before!! I have heard their paranormal/ unexplained stories and I am thrilled. It has made me (personally) feel better to have open discussions about these topics.

Also, I need to say, the Mod's to not FORCE members to stay on certain topic's unless the chat gets out of hand. For instance, yesterday's topic was tarot, ouijia and basically divination tools, however, many of us spoke about ghosts, spirits, exorcisms and hauntings. We were NOT told we could not discuss that because it was NOT the actual topic given. Indeed we were encouraged to speak freely about another topic as long as it was constructive and everyone was intruigued.

I have to tell you some of the "regular" chat members, WOW, I had no idea of some of their paranormal experiences and I love the fact that I've learned a different side to their persona. Some of the younger members blew me away with their awareness and knowledge. I so enjoyed my experiences and it has shed a light AND a higher respect towards some of our younger members in that regards.

So anyway, I know not everyone will agree, but hey... give it a chance. It's open and casual. It's a positive thing NOT a negative. We still "catch up" with each other as members and friends.

Well, anyways, those are just my feelings; for what they're worth.

Take care ♥ Jody

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Wolf MacCanine

I can understand both sides of the issue at hand,and I see good points being raised on both sides.

Having spent a lot of time in the Chat for a while when I first started coming to UM,I had the opportunity to discuss several subjects with others in Chat which were of the paranormal/unexplained type.I've also been involved in a few which were along the lines of conspiracy theories,politics,evolution...etc. The only problem that I see with having a specific topic at any time is that some do lead to arguments,which then leads to the Mods having to take some form of action against the chatters who are having the overheated discussion.

Too,there are times when the Chat can be fun if it's just a free-for-all.Like some have mentioned,Chat can be an escape from the same old arguments/debates/discussions going on all over the forums...but only if everyone is able to freely interject a topic which is on their mind (which isn't always along the lines of the paranormal/unexplained).

Now,I do not believe that Saru or any of the Mods would like to "guide" or "force" those in Chat into a particular discussion,nor do I believe that it's an issue of control.They just want to see the Chat being used for real time discussions on the many topics which are found here on UM.As I said though,this can lead (and has led) to overheated discussions.The opposite,the free-for-all,also has it's problems...with many different conversations going on at once.

I have had experiences in the Chat where several of us were just talking about general stuff,when in comes another member of UM who wishes to ask a question regarding a certain subject of the paranormal/unexplained type.Many of us,if it's a topic which we are familiar with,will get onto the topic and have a good discussion with the person who brought up the topic...while the rest either continue on their previous train of thought...or they too read the ongoing conversation and interject their ideas and thoughts into the conversation when they have something to say.In fact,some who go into Chat will enter in any casual conversation until a topic is brought up (of the paranormal/unexplained type) which interests them,which they will then enter.

Basically,I see a way to have it all without resorting to any extreme.Keep the Chat as a General Discussion,yet allow the Mods who are in Chat see if anyone wishes to discuss a particular subject regarding the paranormal/unexplained.Have the Mods ask which topics are interesting to those currently in Chat...and go with the one which the majority are interested in.But,allow for plenty of time between discussions for the general free-for-all.In this way,you will be able to please pretty much everyone with a minimum of fuss.The only other viable option would be to keep the two rooms,but make the Unexplained Discussion the primary and the General Discussion secondary.This way,any new members who check out Chat will be sent directly to any paranormal/unexplained discussions going on...while those who want a break from those discussions can socialize freely with others in the General Discussion.

It's just my two cents,but I hope that it helps in some way...for I like both the general discussions and the topic discussions.

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MissMelsWell

This is where I'm concerned. Some of the all time BEST conversations on chat have been about ... music, travel, pets, computers, and food. They're completely non-paranormal conversations, and very good social fun.

I'll try chat again, but honestly, last night, I popped in there and there was a conversation going on that raised my hackles... I wanted to challenge a few folks and be the skeptic I am. I didn't feel that would have been welcomed at all. I had to self-censor and leave; I like to think before I post to someone, live chat requires an immediate and not necessarily well thought out response. The forums allow me to quote people and think carefully about my words before posting. I can also go back and edit a forum post if I realize that my comment may have crossed a line. It's MUCH harder to do live time, and in fact, sometimes impossible. I chose to leave because I'm not really interested in being banned because I accidentally offended someone.

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tigger

i dont see why you cant give ppl the choice.. when they log into chat they go into a lobby where they can choose which room they want to be in.. and then you can direct them in paranormal what they are going to speak about.. (if they chose that given room)

this way they dont feel like big brother is constantly keeping his eye on them.. and prodding them to talk about the weird and wonderful... there is only so many topics related to the paranormal.. pretty soon you'll run out and everyone will be talking about the same ol palava.. and it will get old and boring..

edit: added a little bit more :)

Edited by tigger

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grither
i dont see why you cant give ppl the choice.. when they log into chat they go into a lobby where they can choose which room they want to be in.. and then you can direct them in paranormal what they are going to speak about.. (if they chose that given room)

this way they dont feel like big brother is constantly keeping his eye on them.. and prodding them to talk about the weird and wonderful... there is only so many topics related to the paranormal.. pretty soon you'll run out and everyone will be talking about the same ol palava.. and it will get old and boring..

edit: added a little bit more :)

I agree Tigger. I think a lobby that lets you decide which room to go in is a good idea. I enjoy general chat and do not see why all of the sudden why it is so bad.

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Superman
I'll try chat again, but honestly, last night, I popped in there and there was a conversation going on that raised my hackles... I wanted to challenge a few folks and be the skeptic I am.

I'm a skeptical believer. I'm skeptical of a majority of what others say. There is nothing wrong with being skeptical, nor trying to challenge/debate someone's point of view. Just keep it tactful. I do this in chat often.

this way they dont feel like big brother is constantly keeping his eye on them.. and prodding them to talk about the weird and wonderful...

edit: added a little bit more :)

Nothing "Big Brother" about it. We put up topics for discussion, but other people can bring up other topics as well. It isn't like we're saying 'You must talk about this, if you deviate in any way, you're banned from chat.' No, we're saying, "keep the majority of the talk on Paranormal topics." We're keeping the personal drama out of chat. And since we've changed the format of the chat room? A lot of serious conversations have taken place, a lot of people are coming in taking part of it, quite a few people are happy about this. And no-one has really offended one another in chat. I am aware some people are unhappy with this change, but all I can say is, give this a chance. If you don't like it, sorry to hear that.

there is only so many topics related to the paranormal.. pretty soon you'll run out and everyone will be talking about the same ol palava.. and it will get old and boring..

There are only so many topics about life, period. Whether it be movies, books, cooking, what you did last weekend, music, childhood experiences. There is a finite amount of topics that people who routinely talk to one another have to talk about. It is inevitable that conversations will be repeated, just like they were back when we had the General and Unexplained rooms. Having said that, however, the world is a huge place, the unseen world is even bigger. We also have new members coming in, with their own experiences, opinions, questions and answers. I don't see us running out of topics to talk about any time soon. And this is coming from someone who has dedicated his entire adult life and career to the 'paranormal.'

-Akaebeel

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Sporkling

Any idea why I got disconnected from chat?

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Saru

We all did, the server must be experiencing technical difficulties.

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Sporkling

sigh. They must be checking again.

Edited by Sporkling

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AtlantisRises

Well the chats up again now Spork.

So hop in :tu:

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Owlscrying
The chat room won't be fixed permanantly on one topic, we will cover a large range of topics as well as accomodating at least some level of non-topical discussion. Remember that this site is about the unexplained and therefore our chat room should reflect that, if you are looking for a purely off-topic general chat room then ours probably isn't the best place to go.

Being in chat on a continuous basis, the room was constantly being overrun by personal conflicts, drama, and role playing, pointless and idle conversations.

New members joining were excluded and left.

The topical room was rarely used, most times it was used for personal chats, and the general room followed interrupting any ongoing conversations with more pointless chatting, causing those there for topical discussion to leave as well.

The combination of general and topical conversations, ensures a balanced chat.

Having a topical theme, all participate, and no one is left out.

Instilling paranormal topics is an effective guide to keep chat UM reflective.

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wolfknight

I haven't not been is chat for 6 months. And will not be back. To much stupid stuiff. To many kids that wouldn't a ghost if they saw one.

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Sporkling

For your infomation, in these past 6 months, there are no believer talk going on.

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wolfknight
For your infomation, in these past 6 months, there are no believer talk going on.

I know

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Saru

If you haven't been in the room for six months how do you know what's been going on ?

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IamsSon

I must say, I agree with MissMels.

I first came to UM because of the forums, but I actually stayed in UM because of the friendships I built in chat.

I have found myself spending less and less time in there because of all the changes which have been made to increase control in there. I think the problem you are trying to address with this new change is a problem which was caused by all the other changes which have been implemented. People enjoyed being able to PM each other WHILE also participating in a general chat, but because a few users abused the feature every user was punished. This has been the ongoing way to address issues in chat: someone abuses it, the other users duly report it, and then all get punished by having things taken away or having generalized rules applied to everyone. Yes, dealing with the individual problem children is time-consuming, but it's the correct way to deal with issues. Setting up rules that punish everyone is the easy way out.

When I first joined chat there was a regular group of responsible adults in there who worked out of their own maturity and sense of responsibility to control the actions of the "wilder" people in there, as control was added, those regulars dropped out slowly, and so now you have a chat room which is mostly dead or given over to inane chatter.

A really good community was destroyed. I still miss the chat room I joined when I first came into UM and miss the great conversations and friendships I built there.

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Saru
People enjoyed being able to PM each other WHILE also participating in a general chat, but because a few users abused the feature every user was punished.

We're not going to risk the safety of our members for the sake of allowing a handful of people to use the private chat, I can't stress enough how important it was for that feature to be removed. The chat room is an environment for live chat with other members in the open, it is not intended as a live private messaging service.

This has been the ongoing way to address issues in chat: someone abuses it, the other users duly report it, and then all get punished by having things taken away or having generalized rules applied to everyone. Yes, dealing with the individual problem children is time-consuming, but it's the correct way to deal with issues. Setting up rules that punish everyone is the easy way out.

No feature of the chat room has been removed due to abuse apart from the private messaging system.

Dealing with an individual problem and not implementing any changes to address that issue as a whole and to stop it from disrupting the room again in future would be the 'easy way out', in my opinion. We've never implemented any chat room rules that 'punish' anyone, nor anything that wouldn't be expected on any moderated forum or chat room service.

A really good community was destroyed. I still miss the chat room I joined when I first came into UM and miss the great conversations and friendships I built there.

I beg to differ, the community was never 'destroyed'. The room is still there, it's always been there - people come and go all the time as they do in any chat service. There has never been anything to stop you or anyone else from using the chat room, you don't need to be able to send private messages to people in there in order to make friends , take part in a conversation or have fun.

The changes made in the chat room have been purely aimed at benefiting our members even if the exact reasoning might not be apparant to some. We can't please everyone, but those that do give it a chance should find that the chat room is still a friendly and interesting place to visit and well worth a look.

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IamsSon

Saru, we all know it's your site and you have all the power and authority to do what you decide is best for your site. I was merely posting my views based on my personal experience. When I joined the chat room there were usually anywhere from 14 to 20 people in there and the conversations were lively and did get out of hand sometimes, but there was also a feeling that the people chatting enjoyed the company and like I said, tried to insure things stayed on a "family friendly" basis as much as possible.

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wolfknight
If you haven't been in the room for six months how do you know what's been going on ?

People tell me what is going on.

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wolfknight

To be honest I don't need chatroom to enjoy this site. I like the forums much better. The topics are lots more interesting.

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