Announcement- Live Chats will not be used this season

#1
Hi all, most of you are aware that we haven't had a Live Chat for a hoops game yet this season. This week I've made a final decision, there will be no Live Chats during games for this 2012-13 Illini basketball season. (We'll do a Game Thread within the forums for all the games)

I know a lot of people enjoyed the Live Chats, and I apologize for the inconvenience. I struggled with this decision because I liked the Live Chat functionality for games, but ultimately the decision came down to a cost/complexity/feature(lack thereof) issue.

The Live Chat software --- CoverItLive --- has been free to use from 2008 thru June 2012. On July 1, 2012, the software went to a pay model. Nothing wrong with that, again it's a great service.

Here's the Live Chat pricing-



During the football season, I was able to use the $149/month plan and not worry about going over the "clicks" (visitors to the Live Chat) each month.

During the hoops season, I'd probably have to use the $299/month plan. Jan-Feb-Mar, there's a ton of games & a ton of fan interest in those games.

Since it's a monthly payment, I'd have to ration the number of visitors to the Live Chat for each game to keep it under 25,000 total visitors for the month. (I couldn't have the chat set to unlimited visitors per game as the clicks might run out and I'd have to pay for an overage.)

So if I set a visitor cap on each Live Chat, I'd also have to have a regular Game Thread for those that don't make it into the Live Chat in time.

In that circumstance, we'd have to have both a Live Chat & a Game Thread for games, plus I'd have to adjust the Live Chat ration as the month went along trying to anticipate the fan interest in each game. Too much complexity.

On top of everything, the one function that's always bugged me about the Live Chat has not been improved upon --- I can only "unmoderate" 25 users per chat (that means their comments go thru automatically). There's still a bunch of comments I'd still have approve manually, because 25 users is such a low number.

I want to stress that's it's not totally a pricing issue. But when you start paying for something that used to be free, you want the complexity & ease of use to go down not up :)

If the Live Chat $300/month plan allowed me to approve 100 unmoderated users & allowed ~100,000 users, I'd be open to using it. I'm absolutely not against paying for the Live Chat, but their tiers are far too restrictive for this board's use plus it actually introduces complexity, so unfortunately it's just not viable at this time.

Again, apologies for the inconvenience. I hope later this year coveritlive adjusts their pricing tiers that we can have chats again. Thanks again for your support of IllinoisLoyalty :thumb:

Thank you, and Go Illini

:illinois:
 
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#2
Thanks for the explanation, Dan.
I am disappointed, but you explained things very clearly and I understand.
I even agree with you, I just don't like it because when Live Chat works I think it adds to the game experience. But you've explained very well why it doesn't work for this large group.

Rats
 
#6
Thanks for sharing with us Dan. I completely understand your decision and support it. Hopefully down the line, options will be in our favor.
 
#8
Illini Basketball Fan Forever
Bay Area, CA
Very thorough explanation Dan. If there are any software people out there that know of some open source software alternative that Dan can use for chats, please let him know. Game threads are fine, but the chat is a little better format.
 
#10
Dan I would make sure you convey your thoughts to the company. It is not smart biz to loss large accounts
 
#19
I agree with the live chat "pace" comments, it often does move too fast. But what I like about the live chat and what the game thread lacks for me are twofold:
1) in live chat I can just type and hit enter and my stuff posts.
2) in live chat, the box for entering my comments is on the screen all the time. Here, I have to scroll down the page, find the post quick reply button, move to the mouse and click on it. This all takes a lot of time in a fast moving basketball game that I am not looking at the TV, which of course I don't like.

Dan, can the physical layout of the input process for threads be changed to be more "entry friendly"? Like the live chat is entry friendly? Is there a setting somewhere that I just don't know about? That would be even better, IMO.
 
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#20
thanks Dan. like others have said the thread is a good option. For me, it is easier to go back and review what people posted. I am too old it is hard for me to keep up with 30 posts in live chat.
 
#21
Thanks for the explanation, Dan.
I am disappointed, but you explained things very clearly and I understand.
I even agree with you, I just don't like it because when Live Chat works I think it adds to the game experience. But you've explained very well why it doesn't work for this large group.

Rats
Yeah, thanks. The other boards don't explain squat when they change things.
 
#22
Count me another that prefers the game thread. I usually only check in a few times during the breaks so it is easy to see what people are talking about. The posts are usually more thoughtful than what you get in the chats.
 
#23
Founder, Kipper Fan Club
I'm with the crowd who prefer game threads anyway.

It's nice to have everything archived that was said during a game.
 
#25
Northwoods of Wisconsin
+1, speaking for the AARP crowd. :)
I can't understand how you can watch a game and communicate on social media at the same time. I know, I'm old but I just don't want to try to read what others have to say, comment myself, and watch the game at the same time. It kills me to see crowd shots with people texting at sporting events.