Chat Clarification

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Posted by Todd ( on August 28, 2000 at 16:47:29:

Recently, there have been a couple of posts implying that chat rooms are the appropriate venue for joking, having fun, cutting up and touchy-feely stuff. While I agree with this completely (without the corresponding belief that such things do not belong on the board), I'm concerned that people who haven't tried chat might misunderstand.

Elaine's chat is full of fun and frivolity quite often. It is also the site of frequent serious discussions about meds, triggers, side effects, doctors, diagnoses, etc. There are very few 'rules', other than be polite and this one:

Whenever anyone has a 'serious' question, or needs advice, input or support, all joking around ceases immediately.

This rule isn't posted anywhere, and no moderator enforces it. It simply is. In the several months that the chat room has been open (24/7, btw, Shawna :-), I have yet to see a person enter without being greeted. I have never seen a question go unanswered. I have never once seen the entire room fail to instantly drop all the tom-foolery and help anyone who asked.

As responsive as this board is, there are times when people need real-time interaction with others. That's the purpose of chat, as opposed to a message board. Chat is instant, but fleeting in that no permanent public record of the comments exists. Message boards and chat don't compete, nor do they contradict one another. Rather, they fulfill different needs and co-exist very happily.

If anyone hasn't tried chat, please do. If you've thought that chat was all play and nothing serious, give it a try. I think you'll be surprised. In Elaine's chat, if you have a question, type :a (colon then a) at the start of your post and a ? icon will show in the chatroom, signalling everyone that you have a question and need answers.

Oh, and if you just feel like a bit of tom-foolery, c'mon by! Most of the folks in chat can be rather amusing on occasion. (Suitably understated, Simon? :-)

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