A few minutes ago we brought online a new chatroom for the ChristianBlog.Com website.
For those of you who frequent our chatroom you will notice a few differences between the old chatroom software and our new one - but nothing too drastic.
Over the last few months (6-8) we have been having larger and larger issues with the chatroom software we have been using so we have spent some time trying to find a new one to replace it with. When we came across the new one we immediately feel in love with it, even though it cost almost $150 bucks (one time fee, we hope.) Please help us offset the costs of the new chatroom by sending us a [internallinnk=http://www.christianblog.com/donate/]donation[/internallink] if you are a frequent chatroom member and have the means too!
Most importantly is how fast it is, especially for those outside the USA. In some initial testing we have done with a few members from outside the USA we have received reports that the chatroom is much faster.
Just as importantly is how stable the new chatroom is. We have always had issues with the old chatroom software kicking people out (for reasons we are baffled by) and would not let people back into the chatroom for 3-5 minutes sometimes. The new chatroom software will automatically mark somebody has "idle" if they do not post any messages for three minutes. If somebody is inactive for 10 minutes they are automatically logged out of the chatroom.
Fun New Features:
The new chatroom has some very fun new features... the best of which is that i can play sounds! ('yehaw' is our favorite)
Bible Verses! Some of our old time members will remember our old chatroom use to display random Bible verses. Previously we had to make major modifications to the chatroom in order to get it to do that, and anytime we had to update the chatroom software we had to do it all over again - not fun, so we just stopped doing it. But now we can do it with pretty much no effort at all! At this point the Bible verses are randomly rotating every three minutes and are setup to only work within the main chatroom. If you have a dozen or so Bible Verses you would like us to add post a reply to this blog and we will consider adding them (please, do not send them individual, and make sure you have at least 10 or so, to make it worth our time doing it - thanks!)
When you click on a members usersnames on the right side of the chatroom you will see some new features! The most important of which is "View Profile". We have now been able to link directly to a members ChristianBlog.Com profile page from within the chatroom!
We know folks are going to ask... we are working on getting all of the old smilies into the new chatroom. Our old chatroom had 100+ smilies and the new one only has 32. It is going to take us some time to get the others added into the new chatroom, but for now we have added some of the most popular ones
If you need help with understanding the chatroom features please see our chatroom help page.
Without a doubt the best new feature of our new chatroom is the ability to have multiple "rooms" which allow us to have different places for people interested in different type of chatting!
We are always going to have a few main "rooms" for all of our members to use, including the main "Lobby" and a "Prayer Room" where folks can go to ask for prayer and pray for others, an "Interviews" room where we will have "moderated" interviews with special people (maybe high profile CB members, maybe an author or two, a music artist, etc.) If you have an ideas for permanent rooms we should make let us know and we will consider adding them!
Special Events Rooms:
With the new chatroom we can create an unlimited about of 'rooms' and it takes less than 30 seconds to create a new room!
We have been talking about the potential use of the new chatroom to set up special rooms for special events.
For example: if one of the CB Group Owners wants to have a special get-together of their members we could create a room for them for a few hours.
Another example: If all of our members from NZ (or elsewhere) wanted to get together to have a special chatroom to celebrate a special NZ event going on, we could make them a room to come into and share with each other and not bother the rest of the folks in the other chatroom with their "localized chatter".
There are a lot of ideas for special rooms so if you have one/some let us know!
The new chatroom has additional security features for us (both ChristianBlog.Com and our members) as well, and these additional security features require everybody to log into the chatroom each time you want to go into the chatroom. We are going to try to find a way around not having to do this, but for now, it is not too much of an issue.
Now the first time you visit the new chatroom you are going to have to authorize the chatroom to use your main ChristianBlog.Com account credentials (usersname, email, password) so it can validate that you are who you say you are.
You will only have to do this the first time you access the new chatroom... but here is what you will have to do:
First, click on the "click here to authorize the chatroom" link at the top of the chatroom login page.
That will take you to the "Authorize Your Account" page which looks like this:
On this "Authorize Your Account" page you have to put in the SAME information as what you use for your main ChristianBlog.Com account.
Once you have complete the "Authorize Your Account" process you will be taken back to the main chatroom login page and it should show you a message that says "Success: Account Confirmed. Login Below!".
Once you get that message you will than be able to enter your usersname and password into the chatroom login form and gain access to the chatroom!
Again, the whole "Authorize Your Account" only has to be done once - but you do have to do it in order to gain access to the new chatroom!
Like before we are still going to require that anybody who wants to join the chatroom have their "biography" and "testimony" already shared within their account. This helps people get to know new members when they join the chatroom!
We are also going to continue to log access to the chatroom within the "My Wall" feature.
Here is a brief overview of the new chatroom features:
We have received one notice from one of the members who have been testing our new chatroom software that they were unable to gain access to the chatroom when using Internet Explorer because of "security warnings" from within IE itself.
We have not been able to determine the nature of the issue but from what we can tell it seems to be an issue with the security settings set too high within IE - at least, we think that is what the issue is.
If you encounter this we would really like to hear from you. Please let us know what browser you are using (IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera, etc) what version of the browser you are using (usually available under the "help->about" option).
We are confident in the security of the chatroom software itself but we did want to let everybody know there has been an issue with a browser-security-warning that we have been notified of.
Reporting Bad Behavior:
If you are within the chatroom and somebody is doing something they should not be doing, please click on their usersname (on the right side of the chatroom), click on the "View Profile" link - which will take you to their main profile page - than click on the "Report This Member" link and submit a report. We will respond as quickly as possible and take whatever action might be necessary.
We will ban people from the chatroom if they cannot behave.
Those who are a bit more adventurous can try some of the following chatroom commands to get special features:
In the message bar, type '/status message' (without the quotes). This command allows you to change your user status in the userlist. Example: type '/status brb' (without the quotes) to change your status in the userlist to 'username (brb)'. You can type any custom message to appear as your status (example: '/status on the phone').
3) /action message
In the message bar, type '/action message' (without the quotes). This command allows you to add fun action messages. Example: Type '/action flies around the room' (without the quotes) and a message will appear in the main chat window informing other users that 'username flies around the room'.
It is no secrete we like feedback and we go to great lengths to not stifle feedback. We love feedback (even when it hurts our feelings) so if you give our new chatroom a try please let us know what you think!
Blessings To All,
I was having a problem with IE security issue not letting me into the new chatroom. I corrected it by doing the following:
From desk top I went to "Control Panel"
At control panel I double-clicked "Internet Options"
At internet options I clicked 'security', then 'Trusted sites', then 'sites' where it allows me to add CB website address as one of my trusted sites
That solved the problem of IE stopping and allowed me to enter chatroom
John! You should have see me... The whole time I was reading the blog I was squealing and shouting "woohoo!"
And then when I went into the chatroom... jaw drop It is wonderful! I love the sound effects (although it's a little bizarre that the giggle sounds exactly like mine), and that we can choose a font, and there are so many color choices! I could go on, but suffice it to say that I really love this! I hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I do.
Thank you for this!
Woah!! This is sooo cool!
Although, that evil laugh is creepy. shudders
I like the new chat room. It would be nice to have some nicer sounds, like a purring cat, chirping birds or a good old fashioned horse laugh.
Thanks for this change. Sure is different from the first chat room when I joined.
John I'm liking the new chat room -even though I do miss all the smiles, I do like the other features -and maybe we will get some of the old smiles back someday
Just love the new chat room, John. I think it is just fantabulous!!!!!! Thanks for all the work which you put in here at CB. Once again, much appreciated. God will continue to bless C.B., as long as we continue to uphold his Holy Name, as He is Faithful.
I love the new chat room. But more than that I love the new prayer room.
Now I know we can still pray in the "lobby" ( not sure what a lobby is, always thought it was a cold marble hallway), but to be able to go into the prayer room for serious prayer is fantastic.
I have one concern though John and I noticed it shortly after my brothers and sisters enterd the Lobby. we seem to experience some sort of time warp when we enter. For the Lobby tends to act as a time machine and transport us all back ohhhh about 40 years!!! If you watch very carefully you will notice that the average age of the chat user plummets from around 48 to about... 6 !!!!!! and it happens as soon as they find the buttons for the various sounds... .
May God be glorified.
bethy if you ever went into a fancy hotel the lobby is where the front desk is. google it lol over here in american we have lobbies in big buildings where you find information about what is going on there and security..about the "star trek time machine lol... be blessed
I like the new software, especially the prayer "closet" and the new profiles. I had some minor aggravations with lags as I come in to the Lobby, but I know all new software has its glitches.. Thank you, John, for all the hard work!
Shadow aka S:coffee:
P.S. We need a cowboy smiley!