HOWTO: Chat August 14, 2018 10:39 AM   Subscribe

As one of the MetaFilter Chat Cabal (There is no Chat Cabal), we would like to introduce everyone to MetaFilter Chat!

I get it, new places are scary, you're frightened just by reading the first sentence. I'm here to help.

WHO:
Well, you silly! MetaFilter Chat is a great place to banter with your fellow Metafilter users. Right now, there's a group of about 15 of us that show up most days (US M-F workday schedules, across at least 3 time zones), and there's people in over the USA night, some of MetaFilter's Euro contingent. During at least one MeTaTalkTail night a month, I'm making a personal point of being around, for nothing other than a familiar face, but I'm there in no official capacity other than lover of MetaFilter. This MeTa is just here to say come join us and hang out! We like new faces, we don't bite, and there's always something interesting going on.

WHAT:
If there's some huge noteworthy thing in the news (and when is there not nowadays), you may see a lot of people in chat, and we're generally discussing whatever terribleness has been thrown upon us. If there's nothing newsworthy happening, Chat really is a place to hang out, just talk and get to know each other. There are often cat/dog/chicken pictures, silly links, food, collaboration over new FPP's (my last one was built there, and this post came from a discussion we had in the room), and stories about work and life. Now, I know some of you might poke your head in, see nothing is chatted in the last 30 seconds and duck on out. I get that, talking is scary. But come in and either lurk a bit, or say "Hi" and you'll more than likely get a hello back sometime in the next 5 to 10 minutes, if not much sooner. Most of us are trying to do something resembling work, despite our best efforts. If you've got something you want to talk about, come out with it, or if we're deep in something, feel free to wait until there's a natural break in conversation.

WHERE:
Scroll up to the top of the page, click More, and click Chat, unless you’re not using the modern theme, and for that may shame be brought upon you. You'll be presented with the log in page for chat, and it takes your MeFi username and password. Only times I've seen a username not work is if they're super long. I believe 32 characters is the limit. If that's you, contact the mods about possibly setting up a second MeFi username that is shorter for use in chat. There's a couple of people that already have this done.

WHY:
I'm writing this out of the fact that we're under-utilizing a great resource the mods have set up for us. I love Chat, I'm in there more days of the month than I am not, and the group of us that frequent it always like some fresh blood in there. Yes, we want your blood.

WHEN:
NOW! Come on! Click here and start chatting!

HOW (can we make chat better?):
Post suggestions here. My big one is the scrollback buffer when you enter the chat. Right now it’s 25 lines. If it could be double that (a nice, pretty 50), that might be handy if the discussion is really rolling along. There’s been a thought tossed around about a possible second room just for politics discussions in another tab. I have not vetted if these changes are feasible with anyone on the tech side, but starting the talk about it here never hurts.

More resources can be found here:
Chat on MeFiWiki
What is MetaFilter Chat?
posted by deezil to MetaFilter-Related at 10:39 AM (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Tips for a busy room!

Just next to the Send button, there are a series of icons.

A smiley, a speaker, a scroll, and a circle i.

Smiley: emoticons
Speaker: Sound off or on
Scroll: Turns autoscroll on or off
Circle i: Disables the "joined the room"/"left the room" notices (this can be very annoying when the room is full or someone is having technical difficulties and keeps popping in/out)

The last two are very handy when things are busy.

Hope to see you in chat sometime!
posted by slipthought at 10:52 AM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


A suggestion. The cryptic posts lately in metatalk make it kind of unwelcoming as reading them I get a feeling that I don't get the joke and therefore not really wanted. Maybe more posts like this that explain what it is and are explicit about newbies welcomed would help.

A question: can someone access it via their phone? I think a lot of mefites are mobile only these days and that might help.
posted by kanata at 11:04 AM on August 14, 2018 [7 favorites]

A suggestion. The cryptic posts lately in metatalk make it kind of unwelcoming as reading them I get a feeling that I don't get the joke and therefore not really wanted.
I don't think this post is cryptic at all - to me it reads as informational.
posted by winterhill at 11:13 AM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


kanata: I tried to make this one as noncryptic as I can, but also if anything came across more in-jokey other than the cabal thing, it wasn't my intention. As far as on phone, there are some links and instructions in the MeFiWiki link. There are clients for iPhone and Android, and I haven't used them, but I have heard people in chat using them to varying degrees of success.
posted by deezil at 11:18 AM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Maybe more posts like this that explain what it is and are explicit about newbies welcomed would help.

I think from the above that kanata meant that this one is an exception.

kanata, yes you can access it on mobile, but it kinda sucks! You have to keep the tab open to stay logged in, which is just not practical. I think there are chat clients you can use, but I have yet to figure that out.
posted by slipthought at 11:22 AM on August 14, 2018


Yeah this one is clear and welcoming! High pain day makes my writing not clear. This one is great.
posted by kanata at 12:34 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've used chat on mobile in the past using Xabber on Android. Once it's set up, it's great, and certainly beats using the site-based chat.

Thanks for putting this meta together! I love chat - it's my favourite part of MeFi!

Deezil's idea of hanging out in chat during the weekly MeTaTalkTail is excellent. I think we should start there!
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 7:16 PM on August 14, 2018


OK, it looks like chat works. People type friendly chatty stuff at each other. No pressure. No mystery.

Are there multiple chats or just one eternal chat?
posted by pracowity at 6:15 AM on August 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


One eternal ever-encompassing chat.
posted by deezil at 7:19 AM on August 15, 2018 [4 favorites]


For the record I understood what kanata said, and that it wasn't critical of this post.
posted by terrapin at 9:38 AM on August 15, 2018 [5 favorites]


FAQ: Logging into Chat has links to iOS, Android, and desktop clients that are compatible with the Jabber/XMPP protocol, and instructions for how to set them up.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:07 AM on August 15, 2018


One eternal ever-encompassing chat.
... now with bunnies and the metafilter hyrax.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 1:00 PM on August 15, 2018


Insomniacs, chat is in need of a late night crew.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 5:43 PM on August 15, 2018 [2 favorites]


> kanata: "A question: can someone access it via their phone? I think a lot of mefites are mobile only these days and that might help."

Yes. You can use 'XMPP' as a search term. I know Conversations will work for Android, although you need to make sure that you aren't spamming the channel with your entrances and exits (just be sure to actually sign out/exit after each talk session), and this seems to highlight a few iPhone options.
posted by WCityMike at 7:52 AM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just logged into chat but nothing was moving for ten minutes... was there a glitch?
posted by jj's.mama at 8:44 PM on August 16, 2018

I just logged into chat but nothing was moving for ten minutes... was there a glitch?
Probably not. Folks whose names appear on the sidebar of chat tend not to actually be sitting and looking at the chat window or tab at that precise moment, but are logged in. Usually it's in the background while doing something else, and users pop in occasionally. There's no notification to logged-in users that someone entered.

It's common for it not to move for a few hours at quiet times but if you say hi someone will likely say hello back. :)
posted by winterhill at 1:58 AM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is that OK, then? One reason I've tended not to log in to chat rooms is that I'd want to let it tick past for a while if only to get the temperature of the room, but worry that logging in and not saying anything would be Performing Creepiness. I also often get into states where it's interesting to follow conversations but a lot of effort gathering my thoughts enough to join in.
posted by Grangousier at 5:12 AM on August 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is that OK, then?

Of course. Anything short of being an asshat is ok, in my opinion.

There are people who are daily lurkers. It isn’t that weird.

It’s nice when someone new shows up and says anything. Hi. My day is sucking. This funny thing happened. I need help with something. The weather is good/bad/weird.

Doesn’t matter. It’s all* good.

All that is not being an asshat is good
posted by slipthought at 6:06 AM on August 17, 2018


Ah, asshat is my default setting. All the more reason to keep my mouth shut, but thanks! I'll bear it in mind as an option when I need ongoing stuff on the side of my screen while I'm doing boring work stuff.

(Twitter used to be fun for that, but now it's not.)
posted by Grangousier at 6:13 AM on August 17, 2018


Eh, I just looked up “asshat.” It doesn’t mean what I thought it meant.

What I meant was don’t be mean or rude, etc.
posted by slipthought at 6:17 AM on August 17, 2018


Yes, that's what I thought you meant. I also just looked it up, and either definition works for me, so it's all good.

Sometimes I have a problem whereby completely unrelated anger manifests via my fingers while I'm not paying attention, so it's a good idea to put an embargo on typing, but reading is fine. So I think I conform to the definition of Asshat type A or type B.

Anyway, Lurking is OK, that's the main thing. I live to lurk.
posted by Grangousier at 6:24 AM on August 17, 2018


Ok, I said hello and still no response. Oh well :)
posted by jj's.mama at 4:39 PM on August 17, 2018


Has anyone had any luck using Colloquy's jabber support for this? It's telling me taht my username with a space (\20) character in it is invalid because it contains 'spaces or other non-alphanumeric characters.' I'd much rather use Colloquy than Messages since I'm already in a few IRC channels.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:22 AM on August 19, 2018


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