So Folks, If you have logged into the site in the past week, you may have noticed our new chat system. Chat has been the #1 feature request on the site since launch, so anyone saying we don’t listen to our friends can bite my shiny metal ass 🙂
Since Flash died out some 10 years ago or so, I have been trying to find an alternative non-Flash chat system for our Members. Seriously, that is how long it has taken for development companies out there to come up with a system that wasn’t fuck ugly, that worked properly, and worked the way I wanted. Even the chat we have finally settled on is not entirely perfect. However, the chat provider has been really quite responsive about my various requests for tweaks, and have given an undertaking that any minor issues with the chat are being worked on. Close enough, so there we have it.
- Chat with other logged in Members who are available to chat
- Go busy or invisible if you are not in the mood for chatting
- Share files with other Members
- Audio and Video chat – finally!
- Mobile-friendly so you can chat on the go
- Hop straight to Member profiles from the chat so you know who you are talking to
- Stickers, smileys, all the usual bits
- Report problem users directly from the chat
- Persistent chat, so you can surf around the site without losing your chat history
The chat will remember your history next time you log in. This reduces the need for the original site messages, but it doesn’t hurt to have both if you need them.
For those who prefer a bigger chat interface, you will find a more traditional chat presentation on the Petlove Chat page. You will find the link under COMMUNITY once you have logged in.
You can find the handful of chat rules here. Polite conduct and common sense is all that is really required.
HOW TO USE THE CHAT
You can find some instructions on the various chat tools and features here. It’s not complicated and you should get the hang of it quite easily.
I understand the video feature is fairly new to the chat system, and is not quite 100% perfect. Our tests have shown that it works quite well mobile-to-mobile. On the desktop, sometimes it works, sometimes not. Again, the chat provider is aware of this issue and will hopefully have it fully functional soon enough.
On mobile, some of you using e.g. Chrome may find that some devices will default to the back camera instead of the front-facing one. Great if you wanted to chat with someone whilst showing them your bits. Not so great for face to face chatting. Again, the provider is working on this issue.
We can now verify Members directly from the chat without needing to connect with you on external messengers. As mentioned the video chat is not quite 100%, so if we are having problems we may still just pop over to Skype or Wire and verify you there intead. If you want to get verified, just pop into The Lounge and mention that you would like to get verified – any Admins present will attend to you.
The chat has some fun little features you might use from time to time:
MAGIC 8 BALL
Type “@magic8ball question” (e.g. @magic8ball will I get some hot doggy action today?) to get the 8 ball prediction
Type “@giphy topic” (e.g. @giphy boobs) to pull up a random gif on your chosen topic
There are several other functions like this, and I will add them once I have gotten familiar with them.
Upgraded versions of this chat system have a built in real-time translator, to make it easy for you to chat with other petlovers around the world.
In the meantime, please have a play around with the translation tool at the top of each page. It’s not perfect, since it’s not entirely designed for this purpose – but it does seem to go some way to translating chat texts too.
Also, don’t forget I have already added specific language chat rooms, and will add others as we go.
I will be appointing chat moderators as I see people hanging out in the chat regularly and maintaining proper conduct. I’m not expecting Moderators to be in the chat all the time, but it doesn’t hurt to have some responsible eyes on the chat during any time you are in there.
As explained there are a few minor issues with the chat but nothing that should really impair your enjoyment too much. Those items have been flagged and are being dealt with by the chat developers. To avoid you folks keep sending us mails about the same issues, these are the issues we know about currently:
- Video chat on desktop is a touch flaky, sometimes it works sometimes it does not
- Front/back camera selector on mobile defaults to back camera on some browsers
The chat polling (message pulling) can be a bit flaky at times, you may or may not notice this. To be fair I have seen the same behavior on Skype, if Bill thinks it’s acceptable I guess it’s good enough for us 🙂
If everything goes well with this chat system, we can upgrade it and get our own mobile app 🙂 Not sure how well that will go down on the various app stores, I guess there is one way to find out! Also, if things go better, we can upgrade to an end-to-end encrypted chat. If things go very well indeed, we will build our own chat system, the system I have had in mind for us for about 12 years. That would be nice.
One step at a time though, and happy chatting 🙂Published in