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Opinionated Community Chat

The Guidelines to using Chat during the DooYoo Team Chat nights are slightly different to the regular chat procedures.

Because there are more users, and also because the topics may be somewhat more likely to spark a lively debate, the room can rapidly become almost unreadable as everyone types at once. Unless special procedures are applied.

The basic procedure is that we allow users to be responsible for their own actions. We ask that general "hi everyone" messages and such normal 'chatty' stuff be done via private messages (see chat help) or notices. To send a private notice to a user type:
/notice [nickname] [message]

/notice is a command that tells chat to send the message only the the person who's nickname matches the one you specify.

[nickname] must be replaced by you with the exact name used by the person you wish to send the message to. The spelling must be exactly the same as it appears in the list of names to the right-side of the chat - please note: do not use the '[' or ']' brackets.

[message] should be replaced by whatever words you want to say to the person.

Another, simpler, way to begin a private chat is simply to double-click a user's name from the nickname list to the right of the main chat window. This will open a new chat window that is shared only by you and the person you clicked. If you use Microsoft Comic Chat, you will instead need to right-click on the user and select 'Whisper' from the menu that appears.

Be careful when opening new chat windows to others, as you can't tell how many windows they already have open, or how many their system will take before windows decides to crash. If 40 people all open a new window to say "hi" when a new user enters the room then there is a very strong chance you'll crash their PC.

I advise you to use the /notice [name] [message] approach instead, which doesn't open new windows. You can always use this method to ask if they would like to open a private chat window with you.

Only chat relating to the debate should be spoken into the main room, and even then protocol should be followed. The protocol for these 'Serious Chat' events is as follows.

At the beginning of the chat session the room moderator will ask if a Chair for the meeting is to be elected. He/she will ask for an aye/nay vote on whether the users present at that time wish to elect a person to 'chair' the meeting. Should they not wish to do so, the moderator will chair the meeting or will appoint someone to do so.

If those present do decide to elect a Chair-person, then the moderator will then open the floor to proposals of candidates. Proposals need to be seconded and each person present can nominate or second only one candidate.

Should there be more than one candidate the moderator will call for an Aye vote for each candidate in turn. Those present may only vote 'Aye' for one of the candidates. Whichever candidate gets the largest number of 'Aye' votes will be the elected Chair of the debate.

It will often be the case that TheKnight or an elected chair-person will be conducting the chat rather like chairing a meeting. In such cases, wait until that person indicates they are ready for the next speaker to be heard. The chair of the meeting must always wait their turn to speak their piece on the point of debate just as others must, and is always assumed to be last in the queue.

The Chair or the moderator may still speak freely in so far as is needed to facilitate the running of the debate and proposals. It is only speaking on the topic in the manner of a person making their point, suggestion or proposal regarding the current point that must wait until all others have spoken.

When a member of the chat has 'been given the floor' (i.e. is speaking), please do not interrupt at all. Not even to request your own turn to speak. Instead, wait until that person has finished making their points and then request your turn to speak.

Once you have requested a turn to speak, there is no need to repeat it. The 'chair' or else the moderators of the room will be keeping track of who requested to speak. The order will be according to the order of who first asked to speak, so please wait your turn one you have asked for one.

In all cases, a further request will negate prior requests that have not yet been granted. This is so that should what you wanted to say be said by another before your turn, you can request not to speak. However it means that if you do repeat your request to speak, your turn will be according to the order of your last request, and so you'd have put yourself further back down the queue.

Try to be certain of the current point on debate. Use private notices or private messages to ask the current point if you are unsure. A topic will often cover several points and it is far better to deal with them one point at a time rather than keep jumping backwards and forwards.

If (for example) the broad topic of a given chat were "The Ratings System" and the points to be covered were "How well is the current system working" before moving on to "What simple changes might improve the current system" and finally moving on to "What other systems may be better", it would not be appropriate to speak mainly about other systems while the point on discussion was How well is the current system working".

By covering a point at a time it keeps the whole discussion more organised and far easier to follow. It also helps to keep the 'queue' to speak shorter. Please only request to speak on the current topic and current point at the time of your asking. The 'chair' will move to the next point once all persons have spoken on the current point.

Occassionally (and possibly without much warning) the room will be 'moderated' which means that no-one can speak without being given a 'voice' by the room moderator. At such times, use the private messages and notices as described above to request a turn to speak, or to ask the moderator to post a question to the room for you.

Moderating the room is something we strive to avoid, and is a sign that the protocols are not being followed or not working. We know that being silent in a moderated room is not the greatest fun. It is no fun to have to do the moderating either. If it happens then it happens. If you can't stand it, feel free to leave and catch up with the transcript of the chat next day.

If you do stay, then you'll find that a moderated room is pretty much the same deal as the proper protocol anyway, its simply that with a moderated room you are forced to follow the protocol rather than choosing to do so. We much prefer people to act by free choice.

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