WELCOME TO #foodiechats!

foodie chats is just another name for the aim blast chat that we have in the community. we know there are mixed feelings about the pros and the cons of this tool, so we wanted to address our opinion on it as well as a little FAQ to help our members out when it comes to not getting lost in the group!

A: in roleplay today, it's very easy to get distracted or comfortable interacting with just the people we know, either ooc or ic. getting to know new people, especially in smaller groups, can be difficult. the blast chat is a way for people to get to know one another informally, build collective friendships, and expand on common interests. it is not meant to prevent people from interacting outside the chat. in fact, it's meant to break the ice so that iming new members privately is less daunting or uncomfortable. while the blast chat isn't for everyone, we feel it has helped our community to grow thus far.

A: of course not! once you've made your introduction to the group, you may turn the chat off if that's the route you prefer.

A: if you would like to turn the chat off, you simply type !off as an IM message and message the group with it.

if you would like to turn the chat back on, you type !on as a message to the group and send it. you will be notified automatically when you do either to let you know that you have done this successfully.

A: for members who use trillian or pidgin, it can be difficult to tell who is who based off of screennames. for aim users, you can rename your buddies on your buddylist. but to help those members out with trillian or pidgin, we've found a helpful tip that allows you to put your own nickname ahead of your screenname.

similar to turning messages on or off, you simply type !alias nickname, instead of putting nickname, you would put your name.

the final product should look something like "nickname"screenname in the chatroom.

A: unfortunately, sometimes the chat moves rather quick. it can be easy to feel lost in the shuffle or even lost in general. in all honesty, we have found that the easiest way to interact if the chat is moving quick is to just jump in the convo at the best time you can. sometimes, it's not about being involved in every part of the conversation. sometimes it's just about tossing in your two cents when it matters. however, if you want to follow along, you will more than likely have to be actively paying attention to follow if the chat is moving quickly.

A: timing can be such a fickle thing sometimes, but we do want to reassure you that the liveliness of the chat isn't a reflection of any member. it's important to think about the time of day you're in the chat. during the middle of the day, people may be at work and get unexpectedly busy or have errands to run or class to attend. at night, people go to sleep at all sorts of hours and most tend to stay signed on all night even when not awake. and of course, sometimes people are just distracted with other things they've got going on and have turned the chat off to focus on their own separate tasks. it's important to keep all these things in mind when you're worried you've "killed" the chat.

A: no one ever wants to feel left out or excluded, but unfortunately, these feelings do happen and it's important to remember that they happen to everyone -- even people you probably think never get left out. there are going to be times when you say something in the chat and they get overlooked, but we want to stress a few key parts about this:

➤ most of the time, it's because the chat was moving too fast and it was accidentally overlooked. solution: if appropriate, repeat what you said when the flow of the conversation slows down.

➤ the person who you're talking to either doesn't know that you're speaking to them or they have been pulled away from the chat altogether. solution: use the @name method to address people in the chat directly. if you do this and there is no response from the member and they aren't actively participating in the chat, then it's safe to assume they have been pulled away. lastly (and to our knowledge this has never happened) if you address the person specifically and they don't answer but they are answering other people in the chat, please let the mod team know via dropbox so we can determine if there is a concern we need to address.

➤ what you've said may not apply to the current conversation. solution: while you don't need to keep up with the whole chat, if you want to participate and you see the chat is active, then try to identify what people are chatting about to contribute. if you enter the chat with something entirely off the wall when other people are actively discussing something else, your comment will more than likely be overlooked. that being said, if the chat is slow, we do encourage off-the-wall comments to liven it up!