Would Birmingham.IO benefit from a chat room?

I’ve avoided raising this question before, as I’m a little concerned about diluting the forums, but it’s something which has been playing on my mind, so I figured it’s worth asking.

As the title says, do you think we should set-up a community chat room?

  • If no, why?

  • If yes, what do you think is the best approach to take for it?

  • IRC (easy for the people that know how, difficult for everyone else)

  • remotely hosted (such as Slack, Gitter, etc…)

  • locally hosted (such as Rocket.Chat, Let’s Chat, etc…)

What do you think?

Yes it would. Either Slack or Gitter.

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I don’t think that the community needs a dedicated chat room. This forum provides enough timely interaction, why add another layer?

Also, not sure how many more distractions my puny human brain can handle - I have very little impulse control left.

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I agree with @mdouglasbrett . Adding a chat room would, IMHO, just increase the chance of an irritating clique forming with in-jokes to the detriment of the wider community.

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This is pretty much my opinion on the matter, but I wanted to see what other people thought.

OK, so that’s three against, one for… keep the opinions coming :smile:

Agreed with @mdouglasbrett.

Looking at the ‘reads’ stats on these forums, far more people are interested in the conversations than join in. Hopefully that means the conversations have value to people who are not involved so they are better than private messaging and people can come back when they realise something they saw is now relevant BUT maybe some people are put off from joining in because the forums feel too public, so they should speak up now if they want them.

This happened on Diaspora* too.

If there were an IRC channel, I’d definitely add it to my autojoins, but as has already been said, it would be another (perhaps pleasant) distraction.

If it were Slack or Gitter or something I deliberately have to go to rather than just letting my IRC client zap me in every morning, I don’t think I’d bother with that over just coming here. :smiley:

Slack offers IRC (and XMPP) integration… just sayin’ :wink:

I had forgotten about that! But the gist of my post still stands. :smile:

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If you have XMPP (done properly) then don’t you just need is to give people the option to share their XMPP address, along with their Twitter & email? It would be A Good Thing for Brum to try reversing the damage Google did by assimilating XMPP/Google Talk into Hangouts.

What if we were the first city with a functioning XMPP exchange? There’s a business opportunity right there - a gateway between popular proprietary IM protocols and XMPP, with everyone in Brum on the open protocol, communicating freely and charging for the gateway, like a toll-booth into the Silicon Birmingham Canal Network (all mashed-up Copyrights acknowledged.)

I argued fo XMPP at Diaspora*. They are still trying to add yet another parallel stream. Tech-heads like re-inventing wheels. I sometimes think Google and Facebook have broken people’s heads. We should all know by now that scalable distributed networks don’t have star/tree architecture. They are loopy. Every Powerhouse should have an XMPP exchange but Brum’s should be the best, obviously, because hubs go in the middle unless you are the BBC :slight_smile:

That sounds cool in theory - but I’d not know the first thing about how to implement it.

I have been wondering if it’s worth hosting a pod for Birmingham - but much like the XMPP stuff, I don’t really know much about it.

It’s a Jabber/XMPP server with an add-in for every protocol you want to support. I don’t know how much damage has been done to XMPP communities by Google & Skype though. My problem has always been that the few people I want ‘throw-away conversations’ with use something else.

Diaspora is a free download and I think it’s written in Ruby. I’ve always struggled to find documentation I can follow and there is always a promise that set-up is going to get better soon. There seem to be people who are deeply into it but haven’t bothered writing anything down.

Whenever I go on there I’m stuck for hours. There are many interesting/crazy people. I sometimes wish I could restrict the languages I see to ones I have a slight chance of understanding but many Americans would clearly just turn off anything but English then be rude to people trying their best in their third language, so maybe we all have to swallow the fire-hose.

Are these projects? Do we already have expertise in the community that we could pull in?

Or, is there any demand for such services? Are there Brum(mish) folk would rather use Open protocols and Free software solutions than continue to feed the data dragons and would be willing to pay for such a service with money rather than privacy? If your internal messaging was free XMPP would you pay to use a gateway that converted to proprietary IMs? I guess this extends as far as digital phone services too.

Or you could pay Microsoft to talk XMPP to their selected partners on your behalf

I wrote a Jabber/XMPP project post.

Now I’d better find out what my Jabber ID is before someone asks. I stopped using it when Google pretended Google Talk was going to support it.They lied. Facebook DID support it but they stopped because they wanted ALL our social graph to belong to them. Jabber/XMPP is a proper distributed system like phones, email, Diaspora* and regional politics when people decide for themselves if they want an elected mayor.

As for hosting chatrooms:

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