We have added some functionality to the chat room over the past couple of days. The most significant change is the ability to have moderated rooms. What that means is that when we have meetings for a specific topic or have some host a meeting for us, all traffic in the room will pass through the moderators.

The first response may be that it's just an example of big brother watching over the chat. In fact that really is not the case. What is does do is allow us to designate at will, a single person or persons to hold the floor for speaking. All others in the room will have their messages queued to the moderators that are present in the room. (A moderator must be present for users to communicate in a room designated as moderated) By doing so, the moderators will then organize the many questions or comments in a fashion that keeps the flow of conversation uniform and by order of topic, release the messages to the board so that the person(s) responding have time to respond. That will help prevent questions be asked to not be missed, and the order of questioning in a format that isn't so confusing to everyone.

The only reason I can think of that anyone's questions wouldn't be posted by a moderator, of course any that would violate board policies or more realistically in the case that two like or very similar questions are asked. If that does indeed happen we will make an effort to notify the person sending the question or comment that we are rejecting their message in a chat PM.

Our user icons have changed a bit also. The moderators are now back to the original color of red. Users are still blue as always. Green now indicates the guest speaker. So whoever has the color of green will be the person responding to all messages and messages should be directed towards them only.

We used this function when we had it quite some time ago with Jennifer Berry if any of you remember? It worked quite well then and I expect it will now as well. After we have completed our meetings, everyone who cares to can return to the "Hive" for open discussion and business as usual.