AVfM maintains an official chat server for our radio shows and for general conversation. It is capable of encrypted communications (if your client supports it — most do) and storage of up to 100 messages for off-line users to collect when they’re next available.
Rules, conduct and disclaimer
Like all other parts of AVfM, there are rules governing acceptable use of and conduct on the chat server. They are similar to Main Site’s comment policy though, like the Forums, there are no particular constraints regarding topic — except for the radio-related chat rooms, where we request that participants kindly keep chat restricted to the radio show and matters inspired by the subject at hand.
The most important points are:
- Zero tolerance for so much as even the ideation of violence;
- No libel;
- No doxing;
- No bigotry;
- No trolling;
- Be respectful toward each other; keep it civil.
Views expressed by chat room participants are their own and are neither to be construed as reflective of those of AVfM’s nor construed as endorsed by AVfM. The chat rooms may not always be free from adult content and are therefore off-limits to those under 18.
Violation of these rules by others is not licence for you to ignore them, and we reserve the right to ban at our discretion. Please get in touch with a moderator (who are clearly identifiable as such) or email a member of senior staff should you wish to complain about another participant’s conduct.
We do not guarantee that moderators will be active and monitoring the forums at all times, therefore participate at your own risk.
Types of account
An account is required to connect to our chat server, of which there are three types each identified by their own separate domain:
- @forums.avoiceformen.com accounts are linked with your AVfM Forums account. When you change your AVfM Forums password (or if you forget and reset your Forums password), your @forums.avoiceformen.com chat account password changes also. This is the best choice where practicable, but Forum account names that contain spaces are trickier to get to work.
Spaces (along with a few other punctuation characters) are not legal in XMPP user names, but some clients support an extension to the standard that allows them. For those that don’t, there is a work-around: replace each space with \20. For example, Forum user “Some Guy” would become "Some\20Guy@forums.avoiceformen.com".
NB: Although most XMPP clients allow you to register new accounts, change your password or even delete your account, these functions are disabled for @forums.avoiceformen.com chat accounts. Go to the Forums to do any account maintenance.
- @chat.avoiceformen.com accounts are specific to the chat service and can be registered or created either when you first connect with your XMPP client or at the Chat Account Maintenance page.
Important: Though you can change your password (either through your XMPP client or the Chat Account Maintenance page, there is no way to reset your password if you forget it because there is nowhere to supply your email address when you create your account. If you forget or lose your password, you will permanently lose access to your account (and there’s no use asking an admin to reset it because there’s no way they can verify that it really is your account).
- @avoiceformen.com accounts are reserved for AVfM staff and chat server moderators.
How to connect
There are two ways to connect; the easiest is via the web interface, but regular users are advised that they will do better with their own, locally-installed XMPP (aka Jabber) client. Gajim is the slightly more complete and capable client, but it supports only XMPP; Pidgin is a good alternative, and though it isn’t quite as user-friendly as Gajim, it supports other protocols including IRC, AIM, YIM and ICQ. Both are available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Using the web interface requires only your user name and password, but does not currently support Forum user names that contain spaces. (This appears to be a bug in the web chat software, we’re working on it and, when fixed, probably will not require the \20 work-around.) Please also note that the web interface cannot create accounts, so if you plan to use the web interface you must first create an account using the Chat Account Maintenance page.
Using an XMPP client like Gajim, Pidgin, Psi or Adium (for Mac OS-X) is not much more difficult, though it requires that you download, install and learn how to use the software. Once installed, add an account of the type you chose to use. Provide the user name and domain name when requested. Some clients may require that you specify a custom server name when you use an @forums.avoiceformen.com account. In such cases, use xmpp.avoiceformen.com.
Hint: The “resource” part of your account is optional, but can be used to distinguish logins from different sources. For example, use ‘desktop’, ‘laptop’ and ‘mobile’ and you will be able to log in simultaneously each from respective devices. Web client logins automatically get the resource ‘web’.
We look forward to seeing you online!