I spent some time this week working on this newsletter's genealogy chat room. The newly installed software from ParaChat offers many new functions not available in the previous chat room software. The new features include:
- MUCH faster operation.
- A better capability for private one-on-one conversations.
- A profanity filter.
- A customizable selection of colors to make the chat room and its text look the way that YOU want it.
- The new software can handle larger crowds in the chat room at any one time.
- It will let us host online classroom instruction and "surf the web" together. The conference moderator can display the same web pages to everyone simultaneously. This will work well for lectures on "how to use a certain web site."
- Multiple language support.
In addition, the software can optionally handle audio and video chats. I have not yet enabled these as I haven't had many requests for audio or video, and those features cost me a bit more money for the extra software. However, if you would use audio or video, please let me know.
The chat room is available for your use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Most of the time, the chat room is empty, waiting for you to use it. However, we do have scheduled chats every Tuesday evening at 10:00 PM Eastern time, 7:00 PM Pacific. Please feel free to join us then.
The Tuesday evening chats usually feature at least three highly-experienced genealogists and sometimes more in attendance. We usually have no set agenda or plans for the chat topic. The Tuesday evening topic of conversation usually is "whatever you want to talk about."
Some Tuesday evenings we talk about genealogy. Other times we chat about the weather, computers, travel plans, barbershop quartets, choir singing, digital cameras, or other non-genealogy topics. However, one rule is always in effect: all off-topic chit-chat is halted when someone asks a genealogy question. We then focus on that topic alone for as long as we can help. The topic may drift back to other topics later.
If you would like to check out the new, improved genealogy chat room, go to http://www.eogn.com at any time and click on CHAT ROOM in the Navigation menu. To join a group, enter the chat room around 10:00 PM Eastern/7:00 PM Pacific on any Tuesday evening.
I welcome your suggestions about any use of this chat room that you would like to see as we all get familiar with its features.