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Chat - An interactive, online discussion (by keyboard) about a specific topic that is hosted on the Internet or on a BBS. On the Internet, chat rooms are available from major services such as AOL, individual Web sites and the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) system, the Net's traditional computer conferencing.
Chat rooms are set up to handle group discussions, and everyone sees what everyone else types in, although two people can decide to break off and have their own keyboard chat. "Instant messaging," a similar concept, works in an opposite manner. With instant messaging, two people normally interact back and forth and must specifically invite others to join in.
Some chat rooms go beyond text messages incorporating 2D and 3D graphics with avatars (these types of systems are also referred to as visual chat or virtual chat). These environments are capable of incorporating elements such as games and educational material most often developed by individual site owners, who in general are simply more advanced users of the systems.
Some chatroom sites incorporate audio and video communications. People may chat in audio and watch each other there.
Last Updated - 22nd November 2005
Tips on chat room rules & etiquette or netiquette: People have been chatting online for over a decade. And new people come online every day. Many chat veterans have their own vernacular. Just like in real life, the chat world has its own set of social norms. Many of these rules, often referred to as "netiquette," are universal. Others are specific to the chat software or service. There are some general rules of thumb, though.
- When you enter a room, don´t just jump in and blurt "hey, what´s going on?" Take a moment to see what folks are discussing and then join in.
- Make sure your caps lock key isn´t engaged. When you type in all capital letters, you appear to be shouting. It´s a guaranteed way to irritate chat regulars.
- If you’re trying out new fonts, colors, emoticons, gestures, or anything else that might be completely irrelevant to the conversation in the chat room, go to a different room, or a private room, to test things out.
- Sitting in a chat room interrupting the flow of chat is never well-received.
Singles chat rooms
You might think Singles chat rooms is the same as romance chat rooms, but it´s not. There is overlap, for sure, but singles chat rooms tend to be oriented more toward casual hookups, and many are mostly devoted to cybersex. When you visit these rooms, keep in mind that famous "New Yorker" cartoon - "On the Internet, no one knows you´re a dog". Just like no one on the internet really knows who you are, you can´t know who others are either. People´s true identity may have very little to do with their online persona. It´s extremely common for chatters to lie about their age, gender, race, and/or sexual identity. Actually, anything another chatter tells you can be fabricated. This isn´t necessarily bad or dangerous in any way. Playing with different identities can be lots of fun, as long as you´re not being malicious or really misleading anyone. And of course, regardless of whether or not you´re using your real life persona, be careful never to give anyone real information about yourself while chatting in singles chat rooms.
One-to-one voice chat
Voice chat tips: Most voice chat systems use peer-to-peer communications for 2-person conversations. Peer to peer means one computer to another. In other words, rather than connecting to a central server through which all the data flows, you connect directly to another chatter or chatters. When you set up a peer to peer connection with another chatter, you will be exposing your IP number to the other chatter. This isn´t necessarily a problem in any way, but do make sure you have adequate firewall protection installed on your computer. Many computers have microphones and speakers built in, but your best bet is to buy a microphone and headset, or a combination microphone/headset.
Learn about chat room software: Virtual Places chat, or Vpchat, is standalone (i.e. you must download and install it) avatar-based chat software. It’s very graphically oriented. People sit in chat rooms that have an html background. The background might be a landscape scene or an actual image of some kind of room, or it may be someone’s home page. You can use any URL as a chat room background. The software includes 7 games, tours (group browsing), instant messaging, gestures, emoticons, file transfer, voice chat, and an auditorium. Vpchat is a subscription-based service, and they offer a free 2-week trial. Full members also get free web space, member pages, game ladders, and an alert service.
Avatar is one of those words that different sites use in different ways. Some chats allow you to choose from a pre-defined set of icons that are associated with your user name. The icon sits next to your chat name or in your instant messaging windows. Other chats let you use a custom avatar that actually represents your persona graphically while chatting. Some communities, such allow you to customize your avatar with different clothing and physical attributes. Others, such, let you create your own avatar. These chat avatars don’t necessarily look like people – they might be pictures or illustrations of animals or places or just about anything you can think of. Each chat service has its own specifications for creating custom avatars.
Room / Small Events
Most chat services offer chat events. Small chat events are often run by members of the chat community or by the staff of the chat services. These small chat events are usually held in a regular chat room that holds anywhere from 25 to 40. They often take the form of games, such as sports trivia, film trivia, and general trivia. Others are support-oriented, such as tech support chat or chats to help you build web pages. Other popular room events include poetry chat, psychic chat, and truth or dare. Room events can be lots of fun, because everyone in the room can participate. Large events usually require you to submit your questions. The questions are put into a queue and selected by the people on stage to answer at some point in the event. Room events, with everyone taking part, can get very lively.
Gaming ladders are all about ranking. The better you play, the more rungs you climb in the ladder. Game ladders can be used to track any kind of game, from online tournaments to regattas along the coast. In terms of chat, game ladders usually refer to ranking systems that relate to casual or parlor games, such as board games and card games. Let´s use a backgammon ladder as an example. If I have a backgammon ladder with 100 members, each member has a ranking from 1 to 100. If you beat a ladder member with a higher ranking than you, your ranking improves and theirs declines. Some sites offer ladders exclusively, leaving it to you to choose the game vendors and chat clients. Other chats integrate the ladders right into their service, so you can chat, play games, and create and join ladders all at one place. The integrated sites usually automatically track the game scores so all you have to do is chat and play games :)
Chat acronyms (G-rated)
Acronyms abound in chat and instant messaging. Since chatting is so inherently text intensive, it’s understandable that chatters would find shortcuts for the most commonly used phrases. You probably already know what acronym LOL stands for, but what about the other chat acronyms? Here is a list of common chat acronyms (also often called internet acronyms) – it’s the G-Rated version.
- LOL - Laughing Out Loud
- ROFLOL - Rolling On Floor Laughing Out Loud
- TTYL - Talk To You Later
- TTFN - Ta Ta For Now
- BRB - Be Right Back
- AFK - Away From Keyboard
- TY - Thank You
- TYVM - Thank You Very Much
- YW - You’re Welcome
- YVW - You’re Very Welcome
- mhm - not really an acronym – more of a sound effect
- HB - Hurry Back
- WB - Welcome Back
- NVM - Never Mind
- GMTA - Great Minds Think Alike
- NP - No Problem
- IMO - In My Opinion
- IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
- IMNSHO - In My Not So Humble Opinion
The ancient game of chess continues to thrive off and online. Most game sites offer chess with some type of chat included on the site. It is also common for game sites to offer tournaments and leagues to their members. Some chat sites integrate chess and game ladders with their chat programs. Choose the game or chess chat site that´s right for you. If you are looking for a casual game with an emphasis on good conversation a chat site that offers chess is right for you. If you are looking for a serious game with no chit-chat there are a number of game sites that focus strictly on the game. Most chess lovers fall somewhere in the middle. Any good game or chat site will offer potential customers a free trial period with no strings attached. Take a look around and choose the site that suits you best. If you are interested in tournament play, the site you choose should offer game ladders. Game ladders allow you to join other kindred chess players in competitively ranked play.
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