Bob Zumbrunnen Friday, 02/01/02 11:34:02 AM Re: Mattu post# 12 Post # of 66 Actually, we'll need to make it next week. I've been logging chat activity (not what's said in chat -- just people going in and out of chat) and will compile and present the stats here next week, then insert a reminder into the LiveChat code telling people they need to visit this thread to share their thoughts on the value of Chat, how to make it more valuable, and how to make it worthwhile for the site to offer. The stats I've seen so far are extremely discouraging. I just checked, and since I started this tracking a few days ago, the LiveChat link has been hit 1704 times by 240 different people. Of those 240 different people, 140 of them have done nothing else on the site since their entrance into chat. No posting, no reading, no nothing. They go to the home page, log in, hit the LiveChat link, and we never see them again. It's just a free browser-based IRC to them. The thought that was offered before about how Chat pays us back by bringing people to the site and them using the site as a result just isn't supported by the raw data. When I present the final stats next week, and put the reminder in the Chat link, I'm going to play Devil's Advocate and ask that people look at me as someone with their hand on the power cord for Chat, getting ready to yank it out of the wall, and ask for reasons I shouldn't or ideas to make it not seem necessary to yank the cord. It'd be tough to even make a case for it currently as a "loss leader". The idea behind a loss leader is that you lure people into the store by selling something so cheap that you lose money on it, but make the money back because they make other purchases while they're there. I like the idea of having chat because it's unique among message boards and is a big part of what BBSes were about; it's yet another way to foster a sense of "community", which is important to me. What I don't like is that it's so expensive for us and could end up being quite a bit more expensive (software, new server, more money to the ISP monthly) and doesn't appear to contribute at all to offsetting its cost, even indirectly. I have some ideas, but will wait and post them when the stats are compiled and the chat folks get their invites to join this discussion. I'll also temporarily move this board to the Free Zone so non-subscribers can participate.