Lessons learned from web chatting

So yesterday I ran the ‘what next for digital engagement’ web chat.

It went ok. You can find out for yourself by checking out the archive of the chat.

In the end not that many folk turned up – but that’s not a problem, after all, it’s the quality not the quantity that counts!

However, we ran into problems with the software I used, which was CoverItLive.

CiL allows the person running the chat to moderate what people are saying. Moderating every single message can be tiresome and adds lag to the process, so I tend to just whitelist people once they have said one, sensible thing.

However, one participant decided to be mischievous and realised that they could change the name they used within the chat, and started spoofing other chatsters and posting a couple of unpleasant images.

I must admit, it’s probably the first time such a thing has happened to one of my activities.

Anyway, so what would I do next time?

1) I’ve have a look for alternatives to CoverItLive

2) I’d seriously consider moderating every message to retain control

3) I’d make sure I knew exactly how to boot people from the chat before it started. During yesterday’s chat, I didn’t know how this was done.

4) These things might work better in less open spaces with more trust, like my community.