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Online Chat Platform Option Suggestions?

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Apr 2, 2006
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10,457
Many years ago, Kenny posted this thread:

https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/watch-baby-owls-hatch-live-webcam.139547/#post-136904. The web cam was broadcast on a platform called ustream, which also offered the ability to interact with others watching in real time, via a text “chat” stream.

I started watching the owl box, and before long I was interacting with other owl watchers and even getting to know some of them. It was a large community, and we had a lot of fun! After the owl box broadcasts ended another “owl watcher” and I started weekly on-line Friday night get-together so folks could stay in touch.

Now, ten years later, there are still a handful of people who gather pretty faithfully twice a week to chat. Until this week. Ustream, which was bought out by IBM several years ago, finally pulled the plug on its free chat function.

Does anyone know of a safe, free online site where I could set up a new chat room? Preferably, it would be a meeting place I could set up and forget, that doesn’t require meetings to be set up or invites to be sent out for every get-together, and that doesn’t require active administration. Unfortunately a few of the regulars don’t use Facebook, and I suspect interaction by text would be preferable to voice or video.

I get the sense that these weekly gatherings are a very important social outlet for some of them remaining participants. While I only participate sporadically myself, I do feel a responsibility to help find an alternative meeting place.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
 

alexah

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Such a sweet story, VR!

DISCORD is great. https://discord.com/brand-new

They should talk you through setting up the chat room. It's free and easy. I'm a member of some great communities in there and there are no ads or anything.

Good luck!
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Such a sweet story, VR!

DISCORD is great. https://discord.com/brand-new

They should talk you through setting up the chat room. It's free and easy. I'm a member of some great communities in there and there are no ads or anything.

Good luck!

Thank you for the suggestion, alexah! I’ve checked out the link you provided, and I’m impressed with the moderator support resources I’m seeing on the website, and with the reviews I’m seeing online.

one quick question, if you know: do all chat room participants have to download an app, or just the moderator? (Is it possible to participate solely through a web browser?) The existing group has a wide variety of equipment and comfort with new technology - and most don’t have ready access to tech-savvy teenagers!
 

PreRaphaelite

Ideal_Rock
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Feb 2, 2015
Messages
3,036
Another vote for Discord. I'm on there all day and night with gamer friends and the platform offers everything we need, from live phone chat to live video to text.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Another vote for Discord. I'm on there all day and night with gamer friends and the platform offers everything we need, from live phone chat to live video to text.

Thanks, PR! It’s good to get input from people I trust - including of course both you and alexah!

I’ve put the the possibility out to my little group. Via email. So far I’ve seen only positive reviews for discord but I do want to give them a chance to weigh in. It’ll be nice when we have a chat room again so we don’t have to keep track of email etc responses!
 

alexah

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Messages
1,220
Thank you for the suggestion, alexah! I’ve checked out the link you provided, and I’m impressed with the moderator support resources I’m seeing on the website, and with the reviews I’m seeing online.

one quick question, if you know: do all chat room participants have to download an app, or just the moderator? (Is it possible to participate solely through a web browser?) The existing group has a wide variety of equipment and comfort with new technology - and most don’t have ready access to tech-savvy teenagers!

No need to download the app - participants can simply use the web browser. You invite them and they click on the link and it brings them there.

Hopefully it works really well for all involved!

ETA: They will need to create a Discord account. It's not a big deal though...
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 4, 2008
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11,373
proboards simple text board simular in function to PS but with optional PMs the board admin can turn on.
Has banner adds.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,457
proboards simple text board simular in function to PS but with optional PMs the board admin can turn on.
Has banner adds.

Thank you, Karl. I’ve started a chat room in Discord, and we’ll see how it goes. But it’s good to have options, I’ll try proboards if discord doesn’t work out for some reason.

I haven’t done anything like this in a long time, and none of it is intuitive to me! Also, some of the participants are very leery of new technologies and apps generally. That said, about half of the group has now created accounts and signed on, so I’m hopeful that this solution will work for everyone.
 
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