Chat rooms that are user initiated are temporary in nature and can be started between any number of members. A permanent chat room can be established in each community to provide a predictable meeting location in the context of a community member base.
To start a temporary chat, select the "start a new chat room" link on the main page of the Chat area. A new chat room will open and will immediately be ready to invite additional participants (See invite below). Temporary chat rooms support multi-community participation and therefore the initiator of the chat room can invite participants from any community of which they are member.
The Chat tab displays a list of all permanent chat rooms in each community as well as any temporary chat rooms that a user is currently part of (or has been in the same session). Permanent and temporary chat rooms are represented by links on the chat tab and are differentiated by name. A permanent chat room link will include the name of the chat room and its community alias. Example: Weekly Meeting (sales-marketing) - 8 members. (See Chat for more information on permanent chat rooms)
Temporary chat room links are called "Active Chat Room (unique numeric identifier)". Each active chat room will be associated with a unique number that is automatically generated and will be used as a reference for related transcripts in the history area of the Community Messenger.
A count indicator of the number of participants will be displayed next to each active and permanent chat room. Active chat rooms will remain visible on the Chat area main page until the session is closed. A temporary chat is officially closed when all users have left the conversation. Once there are no more participants in the room, the chat room will not longer be active on the chat tab and all related transcripts will be stored in the History tab.
Main chat area in Community Messenger
The participants list area provides a visual display of the number of participants currently in the room and their level of status. Depending on the permission rights of a participant, different options will be available. By default, each room has one room owner and any number of participants that are all clearly indicated. Room managers in temporary chat rooms are optional. To access the participants list area, click on the "participants" link located in the upper right corner of the chat room.
By default, the user who initiates the chat is the room owner of the temporary chat room. Room owners have the following rights:
Room owners have the permission to invite or remove members from the chat room. Room owners can remove room managers from the chat, however room managers cannot remove other room managers or the room owner. To remove a participant or room manager from the chat room click on the delete icon next to the user name. The user will be automatically removed from the chat room and will receive a message on the next refresh of that userís screen stating that they have been removed. Only the room owner or room managers will see the remove option.
Room managers can appoint room management to other users in the room. To promote a user to room manager, select the user name in the participants list and click on the "Promote" button. The user will be moved from the Participants section to the Room Managers manger section of the participants list area. Only room owners and managers will see the "Promote" option.
Room owners only have the right to view the history tab of the chat room.
Room managers of a temporary chat room share the same rights as room owners except the following:
Room managers cannot remove other room managers or the room owner.
Participants of a chat room have basic chat rights and can directly contribute to the conversation by adding messages. However, participants do not have the right to remove other participants from the chat or have the right to promote other participants to room manager.
Members can be added to or removed from your favorites member list during an open chat session. To add a member to your favorites list, click the empty star next to the user name. To remove a member from your favorites list, click on the filled-in star next to the user name.
Members can be can blocked or unblocked during an open chat session. Blocked users are clearly indicated; their user name is crossed out in red text. To unblock a user, select the "Unblock" link that is displayed next to blocked user. Once unblocked, the user name will appear normally with the crossed out text removed. To block a user, select their user name and press the "Block" button displayed at the bottom of the participants list area.
The "Invite" link located at the top right of the participants list area of the active chat room provides the ability to invite additional members to the conversation. The initial view of the participants list area displays the current participants and their level of status in the chat room. If the chat room is new and no participants have been invited, the only participant listed in the view will be the room owner. Click the "Invite" link, to display a list of online users that can be invited to the chat room.
Initial participants area before inviting participants
Please note: when the "Invite" link is selected the link will immediately be changed to "List Participants". The "List Participants" link when selected will switch the view back to participants list area.
Inviting users to the chat room will essentially start a chat session. To invite users to a chat session, select user names from the invite list in participants area press the "Send chat invitation" button.
Participants invite area
In temporary chat rooms, users displayed in the invite tab includes all online members of that userís communities and favourites.
When a member is invited to chat, a pop-up message box will appear to that member containing an invitation message from the room owner or manager with the option to either "Accept Invitation" or "Decline Invitation".
If you choose to accept the invitation you will automatically be entered in the chat room as a participant and can immediately contribute to the discussion. If you decline the invitation the pop-up message box will close and nothing further will be initiated.
The live chat view is the default view for the chat room where all current messages of the participating members are displayed. In this view, all messages are ordered with the most recent message appearing at the top and your messages will be visually distinct from the messages of the other users. Also, any change in the current status of a user will be displayed (e.g. "Mary Smith is idle" or "Mary Smith is back").
Live Chat view in a temporary chat room
The live chat view also provides additional features such as an option to expand the message input area and a couple of options for handling new messages.
Expand message input area
Above the message input area located at the top of the page, a link is provided to expand the input area. By selecting this option the message input area will expand to allow multiple line message entries. Please note that the chat window does not support HTML and if used, the HTML tags are rendered as text. However, URLs entered as text will be hyperlinked. Once the input area is expanded, the link above the message area will be changed to "Collapse input areaĒ that allows the setting to be reverted back to its original state.
New message options
To be notified of each new message you are provided with the option to set the following two features: Bring to top and Play sound. The Bring to top option sets individual message windows to automatically gain focus when a new message is received. The Play sound option provides an audio cue when a new message is received and can be set to beep only when the window is not in focus. Changes to these settings are retained as a preference in the user's session for all other message windows.
The History area of a temporary chat room displays the entire chat room conversation during an active session. The conversation is recorded from the beginning of the chat and each message is displayed with the user name, date and time, sorted in reverse chronological order.
Only the room owner or manager of the chat room has access to the messages in the History view. By default, participants will not have access to the history tab unless they are given permission rights to view chat transcripts.