As an experiment, I have created a public chat room specifically for Spring Thing discussion available to all basic users. You should see a “chat bubble” icon appear on the upper right and you can join the public channel.
If you don’t see the icon, you may need to close the forum and reload, or possibly log out and back in again.
Please be aware we still prefer long-form reviews and discussion on the forums and we have the ability to pull interesting topics from chat to a permanent category. Public channel chat content will disappear within 90 days so don’t post anything you want to retain. However, we can also choose to archive the (last 90 days of) chat when the channel gets closed at the end of the festival.
Since you are authorized for public chat, you also will be able to chat privately one on one and create group chat with other authorized users. Be aware this will likely disappear after Spring Thing unless you happen to attain Regular status. Private chat is private but accessible to Mods and Admin - we won’t be digging into them for no reason unless content gets flagged for moderation.
The thing we’ve learned about public chat is it can move really fast so don’t feel obligated to keep up with all the messages. Chat is ephemeral discussion with those who are there at the time. You don’t need to use chat, but it’s there if you’d like to try it. If you have extensive Spring Thing discussion and content, please put it in the Forum. Chat is good for in-the-moment discussion, hints, and freeform thoughts. Don’t paste your review into chat! You can quote bits from chat by choosing the three-dots “kebab” icon, choosing “Select” and clicking the tick box next to relevant chat messages then “quote in topic” which will quote it into a new forum message for editing, or add it to a message you are already composing. You can, for example, pull inline quotes from chat into a forum message as supplement to a longer Essay or Review.
This is an experiment and subject to shutdown at any time due to abuse or lack of interest, or if Chat discourages people from forum participation. The Code of Conduct still applies, and you can flag content for moderation as always (click the three-dots kebab for select/flag/reply options), so please be on your normal good behavior in chat as you would on the regular forum.