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Alright. So here's something I've run into myself when I've been on the hunt for a site. I look at a site, and they have a cbox, but the cbox doesn't look to active. You ask a question, but it takes a while to get an answer, or, worst yet, those that are there dance around you because they're waiting for an actual staff member to answer leaving you thinking that you're being ignored. It's not the most welcoming environment, and can turn you off joining. If it doesn't turn you off joining, it is certainly a turn off when it comes to posting more often because it feels like you're having issues connecting to people. Some sites have upgraded to using Discord, by some I mean it's quickly becoming a vastly used resource for many RP sites. The thing about this is that it's pretty difficult for some users to judge a sites activity, or level of friendliness and welcoming, when there isn't any apparent chat ON the website. I've seen a bot, recently, utilized on a site I'm a part of that I -adore- that slaps the Discord main chat channel right onto the jcink forum. It's a GREAT resource, but you still cannot chat in it from the site. Not to mention you can't ghost as a guest, you have to actually join it just to talk. Not that I'm saying "nay" to Discord, because I"m a HUGE pro-Discord user. It's an AMAZING resource in my opinion that helps staff immensely and makes things easier. So what I'm asking is..basically...what are your feelings on chats visible and useable on the forum? What about swapping out cbox entirely for Discord? How do you feel about that? Other options I'm missing?
I've been thinking over the last couple of days about what would happen if a forum didn't have a cbox. I've seen similar discussions before, and know that sites without cboxes just make more use of their OOC forums for discussion. (As I came to forum RP from Neopets, this isn't all that strange an idea to me, since there are no cboxes there and via forums and private messages was how we kept in touch.) But I'm curious! What do you guys think about the subject? Some questions for answering or thinking about, maybe: Do you think all sites should have cboxes? Would you ever join a site that doesn't have a cbox? What problems does having a cbox cause? Can you see benefits in not having a cbox? What are they? If you don't see any benefits in it- why not? What are the cons of not having a cbox? Why are cboxes important, do you think? How did they become so prevalent? Why are they important to you? If they're not important to you, why not? As a guest, what do you use cboxes on other sites for? Could you not do those things in a guest-friendly forum? Why or why not? As an admin, would it be possible for you to set up a guest-friendly forum and still get back to things posted in that forum quickly? Why or why not? Would you join a site without a cbox? Why or why not? Feel free to bring up anything else about the topic that you'd like to discuss! I'm sure there are other facets of the topic to consider. What problems does having a cbox cause? Personally, I would get pretty down and frustrated when I had a cbox on my site and people weren't posting in it as often as I wanted them to. Although we spoke very often through other means (IM), it bothered me when the cbox wasn't active because I felt it could make the site look inactive, from a glance. So for me, cboxes can actually be a source of stress. I think that cboxes can also sometimes make people feel pressured into interacting with others, or make them feel bad if they're not socially adept. On the flip side, some people who don't have much in the way of a filter can make the cbox an awkward place with their complaining, negativity, or simply by steamrolling over the conversation happening in the cbox. Can you see benefits in not having a cbox? What are they? If you don't see any benefits in it- why not? I think that there are maybe some benefits to a cbox, but I can't be certain. Some of the pressure behind interacting in it might be alleviated without one. It's likely more difficult to lose track of a conversation or get steamrolled in one too, since they take place in threads and that tends to take a bit more time to respond to. It might lead to some more thoughtful discussions as well, though I don't know. What are the cons of not having a cbox? The only thing I can think of is that it makes it slightly more difficult for guests to post things if they need to, but my forums also always have a help forum, so... Why are cboxes important, do you think? How did they become so prevalent? I don't think cboxes are important, actually, but I'm very interested in the story of how they became a thing (which I'm unfamiliar with). It's become a standard for RPs, but cboxes are an outside source that every forum has to go out and get if they want one. So it's kind of fascinating that pretty much all of them do that, in my opinion. I suppose they're popular because they simply provide a quick way for people to chat with each other. Why are they important to you? If they're not important to you, why not? They aren't important to me because I'm fine with talking in threads on a forum instead of in a cbox. In fact, on a forum where it was more normal to talk in threads I might be more inclined to be social on a forum that I don't own. It's not uncommon for me to be a little more quiet in that case, because As a guest, what do you use cboxes on other sites for? Could you not do those things in a guest-friendly forum? Why or why not? I bother people in the cbox alllll the time as a guest. I just stop by to have a chat sometimes, because I want to get to know the people involved. But if there was a forum where guests could post and participate in conversations as well, then I'd totally do that without a problem. Why not? As an admin, would it be possible for you to set up a guest-friendly forum and still get back to things posted in that forum quickly? Why or why not? Totally possible on a MyBB forum, and I frequently have a quest-friendly forum for questions and things like that. I subscribe to those forums, so I get notifications if there's a new thread posted there. There's also a plugin for viewing the latest posts, so it'd be totally feasible to get back to someone quickly if they posted there. Would you join a site without a cbox? Why or why not? Of all the things that turn me away from a site, whether or not they have a cbox is so far down on the list that someone else has probably already turned me away from the site by the time I'd notice LOL. The placement of cboxes often bothers me, actually, so being on a site without one would possibly be an improvement.
So here's something I've been mulling over today - a lot of sites have a cbox and.or Discord server in addition to the their out of character forums. For sites that you are run, or have run in the past, or will run in the future, what instant messaging clients do you like to use for your communities, and why? And if you don't like having an IM client on your site, why is that? Please someone make a Slack RP group so that I can be more subtle at work....
Hey guys! I've seen a few option for this in different locations. Cbox is the most popular, even though they require you to pay for their premium service for really any kind of protection, security, or true personalization. I've also seen SmartChatBox used, and I've used this myself. SmartchatBox is actually pretty nice, they allow for more options without paying for the premium. With premium you get more options, like personal messaging system through the chat box, but that's hardly needed on a forum. It also allows for a lot more security, plus admin and mod positions without paying for it first. So far it's the option I've found with the MOST versatility for someone on a budget. What chat do you use, or have you seen used? Which one offers the MOST options, or is the cheapest alternative chat to be implanted on your forum? Once they give me the ability to embed Discord I'll never use another chat. lmfao.