August 6, 2002 at 4:29 PM CDT - Updated July 27 at 12:40 PM
Thanks for reading our How-To-Guide... first, let's start with some basic need-to-know definitions:
Chat is where you login live and exchange ideas with members of your community in real time .
A moderated chat features a politician, local sports star, or other public figure in a scheduled, specially created room. You can participate directly in the action by submitting a question to the guest. Your questions get filtered through a moderator so don't get discouraged if you don't see your message appear immediately. Then watch as the guest fields your and answers in real time .
A forum is a place to join an ongoing discussion and post messages that remain on the site even after you log off. You can come back and check each time you log on to see how the discussion has developed over time.
How to Chat
There are two interfaces available for chat: HTML and Java Light:
the HTML interface uses your browser window to enter the chat rooms and refreshes at a set rate
the Java Light interface pops open a new, smaller window which constantly refreshes and is dedicated to the chat
and Java Light Chat instructions:
Select "HTML or Java Light chat."
Type in a username, such as "Steve" or "musicfan," which will identify you on screen. To avoid having to type your name in the future, check the box labeled "remember account." Press return.
You will see your username at the right, along with the usernames of everyone else in the chatroom.
To chat, type your message in the box at the bottom of your screen.
To post your message, either hit the return key or click the "send" button to the right of the box in which you wrote your message.
To enter other rooms while in Chat:
Click on the "rooms" tab on the far right of your screen (HTML), or on the bottom of your screen (Java Light). A list of links to all of the chat rooms will appear.
Select a room.
How to participate in a forum
Type in a username, such as "Steve" or "musicfan," which will identify you on screen.
A list of all the available forums will appear. Click on the one that interests you.
A new screen will appear. Fill in the appropriate personal information, type your message, and click "post."
Your message will be instantaneously added to the list of messages posted in this forum.