Displaying chat activity pre-login?

Currently chat displays a login message until a user enters a Name and Email.

The problem I see with this is it just comes across as another opt-in screen which could be misconstrued as an attempt to get an email address.

What would be great is if the full chat of what's happening now was displayed but when the user goes to type or wants to join in they are prompted to login themselves as per normal.

This would significantly increase initial participation and greatly reduce people using dummy emails through lack of trust.

Is this possible?

One would assume that the option: Chat Messages and User Lists. (default) would have done the trick but when I select this all I see is my welcome line and a blank canvas beneath. It's also considerably hard to find the login form through the settings button.

Thanks!

  • Paul

    @Chris

    The problem I see with this is it just comes across as another opt-in screen which could be misconstrued as an attempt to get an email address.

    On any of the Chat > Settings Page, Settings Site or Settings Widget then the Authentication tab you have control control of what the user sees prior to authentication. See image. There are basically two option 1) showing the messages and user list but not the message input. 2) showing only the login form. In this section you also have control over the message showing to the user so you can change this working to remove any concerns on harvesting emails.

    What would be great is if the full chat of what's happening now was displayed but when the user goes to type or wants to join in they are prompted to login themselves as per normal.

    While I like that idea there are two issues. 1) how does this make your previous point any better? The user still needs to login using an email address. 2) I don't like having the message entry area shown until the user is authenticated. But again I do like that idea. Maybe we will do a third option in the future.

    This would significantly increase initial participation and greatly reduce people using dummy emails through lack of trust.

    Again I have to point out this does not solve anything. Wether you are showing the login form initially or having with the email address, or showing the login form after they attempt to post a chat message. This will not deter or prevent users from using dummy email addresses. If you really want to deter this then require the user to create WP login. Then you at least have that level of email verification. Then once the user is authenticated via WP they can participate in chat. Note you would need to setup chat to only be visible to WP authenticated users.

    One would assume that the option: Chat Messages and User Lists. (default) would have done the trick but when I select this all I see is my welcome line and a blank canvas beneath. It's also considerably hard to find the login form through the settings button.

    You are welcome to you own assumptions and opinions as always. The login option was moved to the settings menu because many of the beta test members thought having the form/button below the chat like the previous version took up too much space. In the consideration of the bottom corner chat the screen real estate is key. But moving it to the setting menu the chat area is now very clean.

    It's also considerably hard to find the login form through the settings button.

    Again you have control over the message for this. Instead of the default "You must login to participate in chat" message shown. You can change the message to something more instructive to the user telling them specifically to click the gear icon to access the login form. Or just set the other option with the chat settings to show the login form on the initial view. Seems that would be the preferred since you don't want users seeing chat messages until they login. But then again that is my assumptions

  • Chris

    On any of the Chat > Settings Page, Settings Site or Settings Widget then the Authentication tab you have control control of what the user sees prior to authentication. See image. There are basically two option 1) showing the messages and user list but not the message input. 2) showing only the login form. In this section you also have control over the message showing to the user so you can change this working to remove any concerns on harvesting emails.

    Here in lies a problem for me: When I choose the setting to show messages and users I just see the custom display message and a white box below it. You can't see any chat messages?

    Again I have to point out this does not solve anything. Wether you are showing the login form initially or having with the email address, or showing the login form after they attempt to post a chat message. This will not deter or prevent users from using dummy email addresses. If you really want to deter this then require the user to create WP login. Then you at least have that level of email verification. Then once the user is authenticated via WP they can participate in chat. Note you would need to setup chat to only be visible to WP authenticated users.

    Ok - that's fine. I guess my point was and is that if you can't really tell that it's a chat box (as I can't at the moment if I flick that setting on) then it just looks like a sneaky optin. If I saw the messages it would be different.

    You are welcome to you own assumptions and opinions as always. The login option was moved to the settings menu because many of the beta test members thought having the form/button below the chat like the previous version took up too much space. In the consideration of the bottom corner chat the screen real estate is key. But moving it to the setting menu the chat area is now very clean.

    I would probably agree with this but it's not how it works for me.

    So it seems a feature to kind of do what I want does exist.. But it's not working how it should do. I can show you the live site but obviously I've turned it to the other setting for now whilst I figure out what's going on with it not showing messages if I disable the login screen.

    I'll somehow have to show you when you're online if you need an example?

  • Paul

    @Chris,

    When I initially view the page as a non-autheticated user I see the following image. I login as a public user and then the view changes and I see the standard chat output with your previous messages and the chat input message (text area). see second image.

    On your image. Is that what you see as a WordPress authenticated user? I'm not sure why your screen is showing just the message. I'm assuming you are authenticated via WordPress.

  • Chris

    Yeah it's set up to get authentication first at the moment because I didn't want the lack of a chat box to confuse people.

    Since it's not really getting any action at the moment I'll switch Authentication over to: Chat Messages and User Lists. (default) and you'll see what I mean.

    Head back over to the site and few it without cookies as if you were a new user and you'll the problem I screenshot above is replicated. There's no chat box. Just the hello message.

  • Paul

    @Chris,

    Just a side note.. If it's possible ever to but a break or whatever in the welcome message box that would help clean up the text a little bit if anyone like me writes a fair few sentences by way of introduction.

    It was somewhat assumed that the intro/instruction text would be a short one liner. Hence the text is wrapped into a <p></p> set of HTML. However there is nothing in the code that removes HTML. So you should be able to add
    where needed to force new lines.

    We have some plans coming up to add 'Support Chat'. This will be a private chat between the user and some backend admin/moderator group. The though was instead of showing the initial chat box it would be kicked off from say a sidebar widget image you have more control over. Similar to what you would see on some site with the 'Operators are standing by. Chat now!' type messages. This is because we are aware the chat ares is probably not the best place to have lots of text.

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