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A shout box?

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Cid, Sep 20, 2013.


Would you use a shoutbox if we had one?

  1. Yes

    3 vote(s)
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
  3. Only if I'm needed

    3 vote(s)
  4. Other (please specify)

    0 vote(s)
  1. I wouldn't say that we are struggling for activity, first of all. I think that things are slow mostly because people are just hitting the time of their lives where school and other life commitments weigh down at their heaviest. That said, ZEJ has certainly had great times this past year, and some rough times. I am not entirely convinced that bringing in a shoutbox would be a solution. I think that having the IRC is sufficient, but I do know that keeping our Skype group and #CoE separate is not conducive to creating one 'whole' out of two major 'parts.'

    If we were getting a shoutbox, I would expect that would be abolishing #CoE. And I know for a fact that, as a community that detests big changes on principle, the #CoEsters will be very adamantly against that. The platform of IRC gives us a lot more control, and it's nicer to work with. I don't know what the rest of #CoE would think if we tried to neuter it.

    So I guess to that end, I'd like more input. Do we do a shoutbox at the cost of giving up the IRC channel? It would not be conducive to have both.
  2. If I may give my two cents, I don't agree with the addition of a shoutbox. We already have two things that basically perform that purpose: The IRC chat, and the Twittering thread, which doesn't really get used as often as it should.

    So... Yeah.
  3. Basically everything that Nate said. IRC serves its purpose better than most shoutbox plugins do, too; I haven't seen a shoutbox that autoupdates and has the command flexibility of IRC. Name changes, highlighting, probably /me with most places...

    Plus, it's easier to switch between #CoE and our "serious discussion channel" than it is to be on the shoutbox and have someone somewhere try to round us up to the other channel.

    Due to things said in IRC, I have added a poll to this thread. Please answer it.
  5. re: @Eebit

    We don't need to get rid of the IRC, necessarily, in order to have a shout box.

    • The fact that there is a third party webchat that is being used for the main "portal" to IRC allows for a resource coming directly from the forum itself to be afforded to a shoutbox. There is nothing technologically prohibiting this, seeing as how mybb is a highly customizable forum.
    • Conductivity isn't really an issue here; the main reason for adding a shoutbox is to make us more appealing to newcomers. The IRC "community" is and has been its own separate clique since the fabled days of CoU, which to be quite honest, I have no intention of disrupting. As such, this separation of the two should really make the addition a nonissue, since they have really made it to be their own "thing" anyway. When I first joined here a year and a half ago (damn), the look and feel of the channel really hasn't changed all that much, nor do I see it changing in the foreseeable future. CoE is kind of its own sentient being in a way, so to speak, so any form of integration of any outside source would not be conductive. In saying that, a separate shoutbox should be quite effective. Most staff including yourself have told me in the past that there is no official "ZEJ" channel anyway, so we should have some form of that which is really open to just anyone. To speak metaphorically, it should feel less like going from one country to another when I want to go to a chat, IRC or not.

    re: @The Kakuzato

    All two things. Mmkay.

    • The IRC chat does serve a more rounded purpose, yes, and I never ever said or suggested to abolish it altogether. I'm just saying that it would not only be more convenient to have a more accessible chat for users to be able to utilize on the main page rather than having to go to an entirely separate tab if they are not IRC literate, but it would also be quite beneficial as any amount of traffic on the main page of the site would be absolutely wonderful in perhaps getting some sparks of discussion started. Who's to say that we can't have both? I know I just didn't, nor have I ever.
    • IRC is declining, and it is declining rapidly. As we get into more programs that can be individualized with greater ease, the real "need" for a standalone program that can't even be integrated into our forum is also dwindling down, for sure. Why are we going to fuss about activity when, quite frankly, we are doing nothing to generate it but sitting off, sequestered in our own little bubble of IRC, which the forum never sees the vast majority of activity that goes on in there. While I'm not saying that your opinion is wrong, not supporting a mere addition without more than the "don't fix what isn't broken" approach behind it just doesn't sit well with me. I don't think that's good enough.

    re: @Kudamon

    Oh boy.

    • Well, if you really haven't, go look at RPH's. It has a refresh rate of 1 refresh per second, which certainly is not exactly what IRC's is, but for a forum our size, it's perfectly fine. It's not like we'll ever have a bustling chat in either place, certainly (lol #freenode), so I don't think this is even an issue.
    • You don't need to change your nick; and even if you did, the administrators of this board has allowed that through the UCP, so that is also a nonissue.
    • * Gist is incorporated widely, even in chatango applets, with italicized text.
    • By definition you would already be both places, since you are logged into it from the time you log into the forum, and it would not really bother anyone it doesn't need to.

    I don't see anything wrong at all with having one; it certainly can't harm us.
  6. Do we -need- it though? We could do without more distractions and clutter, and @Eebit makes a fair point in that the forum is already suffering in terms of activity.

    In that sense, yes, it can harm us.
  7. Never once have I addressed the issue of switching from one thing for the other.

    I have merely said that adding a shoutbox would be a very cluster-y, redundant thing to do. I personally dislike seeing shoutboxes on forums, myself, as they just don't look "right," Arpegi's shoutbox is perhaps the most well-oriented shoutbox I've seen, but I still think it looks quite clustered in there.

    And the redundancy comes from already having THREE things related to ZEJ that fulfill the same purpose as (the main purpose of) a Shoutbox. We have, of course, the IRC. Contrary to what you may think, the IRC IS a part of ZEJ. It's linked to not just in a thread, but on the top. Second, we have the Twittering thread, which is even closer, in my opinion, to a shoutbox. It's there for one or two-post discussions and for people to go "Hey this is a thing that happened" or whatever. Third is the General Chat Thread, which is for longer discussions that may not exactly warrant an entire thread.

    And perhaps my biggest issue would be how much the shoutbox gets used. I know that I would only use it if I were SPECIFICALLY needed. Otherwise I'd pretty much ignore it, probably even hiding it if I had the option. Now, I'm not sure how other people view this issue, which is why I put the poll up. I'd say that if there are enough yeses, it would perhaps be a thing to consider, but otherwise, I don't think it would be worth the bother.
  8. Cluttered and busy (maybe not with human interaction, but perhaps something like forum posts or announcements or something), I think, is better than clean and empty, which is at the point we're at now.
  9. Would like to bring up a point made by Gist to Eebit in a private conversation earlier:

    [Tuesday 05:19:17 pm] Eebit She's insisting that ZEJ only exists in the IRC. She is honestly not terribly wrong on that.

    I'd like to note that the forum does get a fair amount of activity, however small and however much it doesn't meet expectation. However, in order to accomplish what we've been trying to do and raise forum activity, we'd need to overcome the lethargy of posting to the forum itself; installing a shoutbox'd do nothing to ameliorate the situation. As pointed out earlier, a Shoutbox would draw attention mostly to itself—either that, or it would be empty 24/7. Regardless, it would still be ridiculously cluttered and a bit of an eyesore, frankly.

    EDIT: ninja'd.

    Let's not compromise. We want it at clean and busy. The IRC, which most certainly is a part of ZEJ, or at least an extension thereof, to state my frank and earnest opinion, is already stealing a lot of activity because it is literally one big Shoutbox in form and function, just with funky commands. Let's make things a lot easier on ourselves, and make things clean and streamlined by, I don't know, using the forum more.

    …I'm channelling Eebit here is2g.
  10. Sorry to bother you, don't mean to cause heated discussion, apologies and condolences to those damaged.
  11. Remember the Shoutbox at Magnolia? It basically functioned as an IRC. It wasn't empty 24/7 for the most part, at least someone was on it at one point or another, but I don't know if it's really useful. I never really saw the IRC as very useful, because I never could get the hang of the commands and stuff. The Magnolia shoutbox was clean for the most part and not cluttered, but I fear that the IRC is taking most of the activity in the form of posts away for IMs. I'd like to stress this right now.

    We. Are. A. Roleplay. Forum.

    Not an IRC. Not a general chat and forum game land. Not any Instant Messaging system.

    A. Roleplay. Forum.

    In case you haven't noticed these past few weeks, I've barely been active mainly because a) I'm busy with debate (which I just won state champs for. Boo yah) and school (exams are gross) and b ) I know I'm not missing any posts or crises. Because they don't seem to happen here anymore. I hate this slump of activity and limbo that we always seem to be in, the fact that face it, ZEJ is a lame duck. The only use I would see a shoutbox for is telling people "Hey, go post in this RP." If it encourages people to post and do shit and not sit in the IRC and not pay attention, go for it. If it's going to turn into it's own little useless bubble, don't.

    If this turned into a tangent rant to you, I'm sorry. I hope I made my point well enough though.
  12. Something that hasn't been mentioned is that it's common in the IRC to tell people to post. Every so often you'll see someone go "person roleplay," and usually that person acknowledges they need to post, and through no fault of the IRC, they still never do. I'm heavily guilty of this myself, with RtW, and seeing a shoutbox filled with "Nate RtW probably wouldn't make me any more likely to post than being told once on IRC.

    ...That sounds like I don't plan to post. Which I do, I'm just having trouble for whatever reason. Been having trouble for however long now.

    But anyway, my point is that in my opinion, the chat isn't a distraction in and of itself. The distractions come from video games, youtube videos, image sites like Cheezburger, and places like Reddit. At least, that's what I see, since much of the time the IRC is about as empty as the forum... Then when the IRC gets activity, it usually ends up in forum activity somehow.

    Hm... I might just do something with this. Another post sooncoming on another thread.
  13. (Ninja'd by nate but whatever)

    We prod each other to post both in the OoC threads and the IRC; I can't see a shoutbox being any different.

    Actually if it wasn't for IRC to draw my attention I'd probably spend a lot more time idling on the online list while I go do other things on the internet. Just me personally, but getting rid of the IRC or using it less would not help my activity; might even hurt it.
  14. I actually like the shoutbox idea. Given I personally have had issues with this Light IRC nonsense built into the site over Mibbit now (lel 2lazy5ircplugin at the moment), especially, it could prove as a functional little alternative, as well as a place for people to immediately announce that they're in IRC. Small announcements could be made there too, so it could operate halfway as a not-as-annoying news ticker in its own right.

    Supposing it could be set to the side of the forums on the main page alongside the activity and members browsing tabs, it would be tucked into the corner for those who want to use it to use it, and not looking all too shabby for those who usually won't. Not every member that we has uses IRC for whatever reason. It would be an opportunity to engage more of our users in the idea of conversing and making ZEJ a more cohesive piece of their lives without really getting in the way of IRC itself.

    It's a yes from me by default.

    Do we NEED it, though? No. No we do not.

    If it ends up just cluttering the place without having much use beyond looking pretty and barren, we don't need it. If all it'll be used for is trying to shame people into posting in RPs like others have argued above, albeit months ago, I'd rather not have it.

  15. The issue there is that Paradox changed the port for their Flash Policy service on most of their boxes, which, given lightIRC is a Flash-based client, is required for it to connect to any IRC server. Go yell at them. :p

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