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Saru

Chat room changes [May '08]

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GUNNARY SEARGENT HARTMAN

People like Melvintheparanoidandroid, who I know on chat, know how this started. I, StagnantTempest and others (can't remember now) had an argument with mods about how we were talking. I can't really remeber, but what I do remember, was me stressing how there is no rule to stop us from talking off topic. It seems they have taken it to heart. I really haven't been able to see it because I am banned from chat (Although, I've waited over 3 months and still no access!). I think the mods are now becoming to immersed in their powers, and backing up each other when the truth is in their faces. I'm not slagging them off, but these rules are here to control what we do, a little freedom please. I liked the old way, so did others. If you guys aren't carefull, petitions will begin. This isn't a threat, and I'm not saying to anyone "Do this", all I am saying is, people won't likemore andf more rules. All I am saying is: some freedom please? We come on here to rest from all the rules we follow daily, Some go to school, others, like myself, work. We go on here to layback and have a nice convo on the general chat. I think it's folly to instate more rules, to stop us from having a nice chat about how people are. Just my views...

Thanks, GUNNARYSEARGENTHARTMAN

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crtDzyn
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.

I miss that too, Iams. The chatroom environment indeed seems to have changed.

I would like to add that a lot of what MissMelsWell has mentioned reflects my feelings on the matter, for whatever it's worth. I am attracted to her idea of scheduling and promoting chat events. That would definitely hook me to come in more and I'm sure it would also pique the interest of new members.

I am not in chat as much as I used to be due to lack of java updating at work. When I'm out of work, there's not much drawing me in besides the occasional case of "nothing better to do." To be honest, this new change doesn't really appeal to me.

Regardless, I'll still give it a chance when I get the opportunity. I'd like to personally thank the fellow members who have come out and commented on this change. I've read a lot of good posts and ideas in this thread. Keep 'em comin! :)

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Saru

Just a general reminder, please avoid inflammatory comments or bashing the moderators; this thread is here for constructive criticism on the changes that have been outlined in the opening post.

a little freedom please.

We're not trying to control what people do, we're simply looking to steer the chat room back towards topical discussion. Again I stress that off-topic chat is not disallowed and you have the freedom to bring up most any topic you like. It is not a paranormal-only chat room.

I am attracted to her idea of scheduling and promoting chat events.

This has been considered, we haven't come up with any specifics for it yet however. I am hoping to integrate the chat room in to the main site so as to attract new members and provide a means with which to check chat room user numbers and possibly even the topic of discussion on the front page. It's still a work in progress though. We want to get more people involved and some great debates going in there.

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IamsSon
We're not trying to control what people do, we're simply looking to steer the chat room back towards topical discussion. Again I stress that off-topic chat is not disallowed and you have the freedom to bring up most any topic you like. It is not a paranormal-only chat room.
Saru, this may be where the main issue is. I first came to chat in July of 2006 (almost 2 years ago) and there was little if any topical discussion at the time. Yes, occasionally we all by ourselves chose paranormal topics to discuss, but it was mostly just different chat topics. From talking to people who had been there before me, I got the very strong impression, chat had been like that all along. So, maybe part of what we're trying to point out is that there was never a "back towards topical discussion" to return chat to.

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Saru

We've had a chat room here since the very early days, at least five years. It was founded originally with the view of being an extension of the forum, a place to discuss topical subjects in real time with other members while getting to meet some new people and chat at the same time and it worked very well.

This is what we're working to bring back, the new room is an amalgamation of topical and off-topic chat.

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IamsSon
We've had a chat room here since the very early days, at least five years. It was founded originally with the view of being an extension of the forum, a place to discuss topical subjects in real time with other members while getting to meet some new people and chat at the same time and it worked very well.

This is what we're working to bring back, the new room is an amalgamation of topical and off-topic chat.

Did users have the ability to PM in chat? Was the automatic chat sensor and the few mod chats considered enough policing? Like I said, when I came to chat 2 years ago, we did have topical chats all on our own without being guided into them by a mod.

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Saru

This thread is about the chat room as it is now, not about what it was like years ago.

Different time, different people, different moderators, different set up entirely.

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IamsSon
This thread is about the chat room as it is now, not about what it was like years ago.

Different time, different people, different set up entirely.

But if that's what you're trying to get back to, isn't it important to really look at what it was like... otherwise, you're not really getting back to it.

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Saru

There was no special significance to the words "back to" in my statement, the point is we used to focus more on topical discussion and that its something we'd like to do again.

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She-ra

I'm not sure if this is a silly idea or not but why don't people get the email's or IM addy's to talk to others if you don't like the paranormal/unexplained topics? Just a thought.

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MissMelsWell
I'm not sure if this is a silly idea or not but why don't people get the email's or IM addy's to talk to others if you don't like the paranormal/unexplained topics? Just a thought.

Because it's not the same as a flowing group conversation? Just a thought.

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IamsSon
Because it's not the same as a flowing group conversation? Just a thought.

:tu:

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Sporkling

Well flowing room conversations are better than PMs. I remember the time I went in, everyone was PM each other I was left mumbling to myself

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She-ra
Because it's not the same as a flowing group conversation? Just a thought.

Sorry Mels. I sense the sarcasm. I will refrain from posting any more ideas.

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thump

I think the idea of being able to choose what you would like to chat about would be a good idea. As some of us are into ghosts, some not, some into ufo's , some not. If there was a room made for all, then it would keep topics in line and less confusing as the flow of conversations can change from one minute to another. So example make ur room lists something similar >

Ghosts / experiences

Ufo's

Debates politics, etc

Bigfoot / myths

Off topic / casual conversations.

Tho i have to b honest, most people will go to the off topic / casual conversations which is the same as the general chat. Some people come in to relax, and have fun, some get tired of reading and want a break from the forums for a while, and of course you have some who join the site just to chat, with there being no set amount of posts to enter chat, as we see people who just joined ' today ' are in chat with 0 posts, but with options of the rooms, we can decide if we want to join that particular conversation.

I myself is always into ghost convos, can never get enough of that subject or hearing others experiences. The next guy might love the bigfoot / myth conversations, we have alot of different type of people on here with different interests.

However most of the people will more likely want to join the off topic conversation, as it has been, in the general room, is people will be talking bout whatever... someone comes in and says something similar to.. i have a problem, can someone help me, there has been some weird things goin on... we tell them lets take it to the other room, and off we go, to listen and talk bout that particular subject.I thought it worked out quite well.

I have been to the room since the change, i have to admit it is far different than it was before, the subject can be on Ufo's ... sorry im not into that, know nothing of it, and not sure i believe there is a ' ufo ', so i am not involved as i was before the room changed. Talk bout some people feeling left out, this is where you will find ppl being left out when they dont have the interest in the subject,or know anything bout that particular subject or feel they cant say something cause its not on topic.

Just my opinion

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rassy

So, what's the big deal? I decided if I was going to post again, I'd first go to chat and see how it was all being handled. It seems to me that the flow of general chat is not diminished at all!! The topic isn't forced, and if anything, the mods seem to only steer the conversation towards paranormal as an addition to the chat as a suggestion, if they felt like mentioning anything at all. At no point did I see anything to indicate that it was even implied we HAD to talk about anything paranormal. The first night I was in chat, I really didn't have anything to contribute to the paranormal topic at hand and mostly stayed out of it and just general chatted, and at no point did any mod try to steer me or anyone else away from the general chat at hand except to make a suggestion. The second night I actually wanted to contribute to the topic at hand, and would have contributed more had anyone shown any interest in my story. But no one seemed like they did and the topic was changed later, to boot. I'm fairly sure as well, by watching the general flow of conversation, that had anyone joined chat and really wanted to talk about anything else paranormal that was off topic, that would have been welcome as well.

I don't understand what people are complaining about since general chat isn't being discouraged, nor is it diminished. Paranormalcy is being added back into chat, which should be exepcted on this site, anyhow.

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AtlantisRises

You've more or less summed it up perfectly Rassy.

We are NOT barring general chat, not what soever, we are merely attempting to bring more paranormal chat to the room. We are trying to attract new members and see the room used in a way that is more attuned to the site.

I have to say that it seems that it is quite succesful so far. I have seen more new members then I have seen in one period in years, I have seen some great topical discussions and I Have learnt more about the older members then I thought would be possible in such a small time. The truth is that the chat is becoming more what it should always have been. A paranormally themed chat room.

Thats NOT to say that you can't chat normally. That is not barred, its not been stopped its just that we have managed to encourage people to discuss the paranormal.

Feel free to chat generally but at the same time try to follow the paranormal topics, try to join in and do your best to be part. You might learn something and you might find that its more interesting then you think.

There are a lot of smart people on here and I'm always amazed at what I can learn. Certainly puts me in my space when I see all these people who know a lot more on a lot more subjects then I. Though i'm catching up I think.

Basically the chat room is an extension of the Forums and we'd like to make them representative of that fact.

AR

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Saru
I think the idea of being able to choose what you would like to chat about would be a good idea. As some of us are into ghosts, some not, some into ufo's , some not. If there was a room made for all, then it would keep topics in line and less confusing as the flow of conversations can change from one minute to another.

You can choose what you would like to chat about, the room title is only a suggestion, a guideline. We don't rigidly enforce discussion solely on one topic, please feel free to discuss an alternative if you'd prefer, that's not a problem. Don't feel you can't talk about something else.

I don't understand what people are complaining about since general chat isn't being discouraged, nor is it diminished. Paranormalcy is being added back into chat, which should be exepcted on this site, anyhow.

I think you've hit the nail on the head, this sums up my thoughts on the responses to this change as well.

The responses in this thread have blown this change way out of proportion.

Some have claimed we've taken away people's freedom to talk about what they want - no we haven't.

Some are saying we're forcing people to talk about specific things - no we're not.

Some are saying we are disallowing off-topic discussion - again, no we're not.

At the end of the day what we're talking about is trying to bring paranormal discussions in to the chat room of a paranormal web site, there is absolutely nothing unreasonable about this whatsoever and it is what most people would expect to find here in the first place.

To conclude I would like to thank all those who have posted their suggestions and comments, we appreciate all the feedback provided and will do our best best to continue prividing our members with a quality chat room service that caters to as many interests as possible.

In the meantime, in the interests of avoiding any further misconceptions i'll close this down.

If you have any specific questions please feel free to PM me. Thank you.

Closed.

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