Christian Chat Rooms & Forums FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Your Chat Profile

What is a Chat Profile?

Every Christian Chat member has a publicly viewable chat profile. Each member's chat profile page includes information provided by the member, either during the registration process or later on via the Control Panel.

There are a number of ways to view a chat member's profile. Whenever you see a member's chat nickname on the site, clicking on it will usually take you to view their chat profile. Also when you are in private chat with someone in the chat room, you will see a profile button that will also show you their chat profile. Also the chat members list allows you to browse all registered members, and quickly click through to their chat profiles.

When logged in, you can also view your own chat profile by logging into the forums and clicking on your chat nickname shown in the header at the top of the page.

You can also go straight to a profile if you know the chat nickname of the member by typing in the following into your web browser: http://christianchat.com/member.php?username=<chat nickname of the member>

What's on the Chat Profile?

The chat profile lists information about the member under the 'About Me' tab. It also includes statistical information, such as the number of posts they have made in the Christian Chat forums and their registration date. This information is shown under the 'Statistics' tab.

Other information includes a list of their Christian Chat friends (?), their profile picture (if set by the member), and a list of chat members who have recently visited their profile page.

A list of the chat member's albums (?) and chat group (?) memberships are also shown.

What are Visitor Messages?

Visitor messages are publicly viewable messages posted on chat member profile pages. To post a message, click on the 'Visitor messages' tab, and use the form at the top of the section. The message you post will be viewable by all visitors to this chat profile, including guest users and search engine robots. (To communicate privately with a chat member, send a Private Message instead.)

Visitor messages can be edited or deleted by site moderators or the chat member who owns the profile. If you see a visitor message that is not appropriate, you can alert the chat room moderators by clicking on the 'Report' link. The 'View Conversation' link allows you to view all visitor messages between the member and the owner of the profile.

The Settings Control Panel

The Settings Control Panel is where you control your personal settings, options and preferences. To visit the Settings Control Panel, you must have first registered your own chat nickname. Once logged in, click on 'Settings' in the header bar near the top of the page.

The Settings main page will list any new notifications, including new private messages and pending friend requests. Additional pages and forms allow you to control:

  • Your email address and password
  • Your chat avatar
  • Your picture(s)
  • Your profile settings
  • Private messages
  • Subscribed threads and forums
  • Friends and Contacts
  • Chat groups

Editing Chat Profile and Account Info

How do edit my chat profile and other account info?

You can edit your chat profile and also change your private information (such as email address and password) using the Control Panel. Simply click on the 'Edit Your Details' option from within the Control Panel. This page allows you to set a number of required and optional details, some of which will be displayed on your chat profile. With the exception of your email address, do not enter information that you do not wish to be publicly viewable.

Chat Profile Customization

How do I customize my chat profile?

You can edit the design and styling of your chat profile via the 'Customize Profile' section within the Control Panel. You can adjust the color scheme, fonts, borders and layout of elements on the page.

You can also use images as backgrounds for various sections of your chat profile. First you will need to upload the background images to an album you have created (more info). Background images can be sourced only from albums defined as public, or 'profile' type. Images in private albums cannot be used.

Chat Avatars, Profile Pictures, and Signatures

What are chat avatars?

Chat avatars are small images that people use to identify or distinguish themselves in the chat rooms and in the forums. Christian Chat members can upload their own custom avatars. These avatars will be displayed in parts of the chat rooms and also as part of the user info in forum posts, as well as in the chat profiles.

What are profile pictures?

Profile Pictures are photos members can upload that will display in their public chat profile.

What are signatures?

'Signatures' contain information that you want to include at the bottom of all your forum posts. This might include pictures, links to your site(s), quotes, etc.

How do I set my chat avatar, profile pictures, and signature?

You can set and change your chat avatar, profile picture, and signature in the Control Panel.

To select a stock chat avatar or upload your own unique avatar, click on 'Edit Avatar'.

To upload a picture to your chat profile, click on 'Edit Profile Picture' in the 'Your Profile' section.

For signatures, click on 'Edit Signature' under the 'Settings and Options' area of the navigation bar within the Control Panel.

Other Settings and Options

What do the other settings do?

In your Control Panel, there is a section under Settings & Options named 'Edit Options'.

  • Login & Privacy: set your
    • 'Invisible Mode' - sets whether or not other chat members can see if you are online and what page you are viewing (note that this only applies to the chat forums; you cannot be invisible in the chat rooms)
    • 'Show Reputation Level' - shows your reputation level on forum posts
    • 'Allow vCard Download' - sets whether or not to allow other members to download a vCard containing your email address and chat nickname
  • Messaging & Notification - options include:
    • 'Receive Email' - whether or not you want to receive certain types of server emails from Christian Chat
    • 'Default Thread Subscription Mode' - how you want to be notified about new posts in chat forum threads to which you have subscribed
    • 'Private Messaging' - control how you want Private Messaging to work for your account
    • 'Visitor Messaging' - control how you want Visitor Messaging to work for your account
  • Thread Display Options - these include:
    • 'Visible Post Elements' - whether or not you want to be able to see Signatures, Chat Avatars, and Images in posts
    • 'Thread Display Mode' - how you want to view chat threads by default (more info available here)
    • 'Number of Posts to Show Per Page' - self-explanatory
    • 'Default Thread Age Cut Off' - the time period for chat threads to be displayed - threads older than this age will be hidden
  • Date & Time Options - these include:
    • 'Time Zone' - your local geographical time zone offset from GMT/UTC
    • 'Start of the Week' - for the Calendar
  • Miscellaneous Options include:
    • 'Message Editor Interface' - This option allows you choose what kind of editor you will use when posting forum messages. Your choices include a basic text-only editor, a standard editor with clickable formatting controls, or a full WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor that will show your formatting as you type.
    • 'Forum Language' -This will change the language in which all controls and forum messages will be shown. It will not translate members' posts.

Chat Friends and Contacts

What is the difference between a chat friend and a contact?

A chat friendship is a mutual, two-way relationship between two users. It is initiated by one user and accepted by the other.

A contact is a one-way friendship. This could be where the other person does not accept the friendship, a friendship request is pending, or you do not wish to be chat friends at this time but want to show them as a contact only.

Where is my list of chat friends and contacts displayed?

Your chat friends and contacts are displayed on the 'Contacts and Friends' page in your Control Panel. Your chat friends are also displayed in your chat profile.

How can I request a chat friend, accept a chat friend or break a chat friendship?

There are two ways to request a chat friendship with someone:

The easiest way is to view the chat profile of the person you want to become chat friends with and click the 'Befriend' link.

The other way is to add the person to your contacts first. Then from your 'Contacts and Friends' page ask to be their chat friend by checking the box next to their name labelled 'Friend'. Next, save the page.

If you know the chat nickname of the person you want to be friends with you can send a chat friend request using the box provided and clicking 'Add Friend'.

To accept a chat friend, go to your 'Contacts and Friends' page. At the bottom of the page you will see a list of pending chat friend requests. Check the box for the requests you wish to accept then check the 'Accept' button and save the changes. If you do not wish to be chat friends then select 'Reject' instead.

Breaking a chat friendship can be done in three ways:

  • From your 'Contacts and Friends' page, uncheck the box for friend for the particular person and save the changes. If you no longer wish them to be a contact either, uncheck both boxes for that person.
  • In your 'Profile Page', click 'Friends' and then click 'Break Friendship' next to the user's chat nickname.
  • In the other person's chat profile, click 'Friends' then find your chat nickname and click 'Break Friendship'.

Christian Chat Groups

What is a chat group?

A chat group is a group of people usually with a particular interest or something else in common. It provides a way of communicating between chat members as well as sharing photos or other images.

You can get to the list through 'Group Memberships' section on your public profile (?).

The Chat Groups list page displays all groups that have been created. You can list the chat groups by the number of members, messages or pictures, the group name, when the group was created or by the date of the most recent message posted. You can use the controls provided to search for a chat group.

How do I join a chat group?

To join a chat group, click the group title then click 'Join Group'. When you have joined a group, its name will be shown in your chat profile. You must be a logged-in, registered member to join chat groups.

Can I create my own chat group?

As a registered member, you can create your own chat group. Go to the groups page and click 'Create A New Group'. Complete the title and description for your chat group then select the type. There are three types of chat groups:

  • Public - open to everyone. There is no restriction on who can join or who can post messages to it
  • Invite Only - require an invitation to be sent to join. Invitations can only be sent by the chat group creator or the Christian Chat moderators and administrators. Invitations are sent by clicking 'Pending & Invited Members' at the bottom of the page for that individual chat group
  • Moderated - open to everyone to join but messages need to be moderated before they will appear. They are moderated by the chat group creator and the Christian Chat moderators and administrators

Photo Albums and Pictures

How do I use albums?

As a Christian Chat member, you can create Albums of images that are linked to your chat profile. Albums can be created by visiting the Control Panel, and clicking on the 'Pictures & Albums' link, and then clicking on 'Add Album'.

Each album can have a title (e.g., 'My Trip to Israel'), a description (e.g., 'A bunch of photos from my recent adventure in the Holy Land!') and can be of three different types: Public, Private or Profile.

  • Public albums can be viewed by anyone
  • Private albums can only be viewed by Christian Chat staff (moderators, administrators) and your Friends and Contacts (info)
  • Profile albums are viewable only by you. However, you can use the images to customize your chat profile (info)

How do I upload pictures?

Once you've created an album you can upload images to it. Simply view the album and click on 'Upload Pictures'.

You'll have the option to give each picture a caption, and to set one image as the Album cover, which will be displayed on your chat profile. To delete an album or edit the title, description or album type, click on 'Edit Album'. To delete an image, or to edit a caption or change the album cover, click on 'Edit Pictures'.

All Christian Chat members who have access to your album images can comment on them, in a similar way to Visitor Messages (more info). You can delete any image comments from your albums, and report inappropriate messages to the Christian Chat moderators.

When you have uploaded a picture, you can also place it in your posts by using the BB code text that is displayed below the image when you view it at full size.

Chat Mail

When you are in the chat rooms, you may send instant private messages to anyone who is also in the same chat room that you are in (simply click their chat nickname in the nickname list on the right to open a private chat window). If you want to leave a message for someone who is not presently in the chat rooms, or you simply prefer to use this other format, you can use the Christian Chat Mail system.

How do I send Chat Mail?

Christian Chat Mail works just like email, except that it is only between Christian Chat members. You can also include BB code, smilies and images in chat mail that you send.

You may send a chat mail message to any other Christian Chat member by clicking the 'Send New Message' link in the Chat Mail section of your control panel (more info), or by clicking the 'Send a Message' link in the drop down menu that appears in a member's posts when you click on their chat nickname.

When you send a message, you have the option to save a copy of it in your 'Sent Items' folder.

How do I work with Chat Mail Folders?

By default, you will have two folders in your Chat Mail area. These are the 'Inbox' and the 'Sent' Items folders.

The 'Inbox' folder contains any new chat mail you receive. It allows you to view all the chat mail you have received, along with the chat nickname of the person who sent it, and the date and time it was sent.

The 'Sent Items' folder contains a copy of any messages that you have sent, where you have specified that you wish to keep a copy for future reference.

You can create additional folders for your messages by clicking the 'Edit Folders' link.

Each folder has a set of message controls which allow you to select messages, then either move them to one of your custom folders, or delete them. Once you have selected your messages, you can choose the following options in the 'Selected Messages' box at the bottom of the list:

  • Move to Folder
  • Delete
  • Mark as Read
  • Mark as Unread
  • Download as XML
  • Download as CSV
  • Download as TEXT

You may have to periodically delete old messages, as there may be a limit to the number of mail messages you can have in your folders. If you exceed this number, you will not be able to send or receive new messages until you delete some old ones.

If you would like to keep a record of your messages before you delete them, you can use any of the 'Download as..' options listed above to take a copy and store your Chat Mail on your own computer.

Whenever you read a message, you will have the option to reply or forward it to another chat member. You also have the ability to forward that message to multiple members of your contact list.

How do I track messages?

When you send a new message, you have the option to request a read-receipt. This lets you check whether or not a message has been read by its recipient. To do this, go to the 'Message Tracking' page.

This page is divided into two sections: unread and read messages.

The unread messages section shows all messages that you have sent with a read-receipt request, that have not yet been read by their recipient.

The read messages section shows all messages you have sent with a receipt request that have been read by their recipient. The time that the message was read is also shown.

You may choose to end the tracking on any message you choose by selecting it and clicking the 'End Tracking' button.

When you receive a message with a read-receipt request, you may have the option to read the message while denying the read-receipt request. To do this, simply click the 'Deny Receipt' link rather than the title of the message, if it appears.

Chat Forum Subscriptions

What are chat forum and chat thread subscriptions?

Subscriptions are a way of keeping track of different chat forums or individual chat threads within forums. You can choose how you are notified about updates - for example by having them listed in your Control Panel and receiving email updates for each one.

How do I subscribe to a chat thread or forum?

To subscribe to a chat forum, click the 'Forum Tools' link above the list of threads then select 'Subscribe to Forum'. You will then have the option to choose the subscription mode for this forum. If the chat forum that you are subscribing to has any child forums (forums within a forum) then your subscription will be extended to these automatically.

To subscribe to a chat thread, click the 'Thread Tools' link at the top of the list of posts then click 'Subscribe to Thread'. You can then choose the subscription mode that you wish to use for that thread.

What subscription modes are available?

There are a number of different forum subscription modes available.

  • No Email Notification - lists the subscription in your Control Panel only. You do not receive any notifications about new posts or threads in the forum.
  • Daily Email Notification - sends one email a day with the new and updated chat threads in the forum and any sub-forums. If there are no new or updated threads in the forum or its sub-forums then you will not receive an email.
  • Weekly Email Notification - sends one email per week in the same way as the Daily Email Notification.

Chat Thread Subscriptions have the same options as chat forum subscriptions with the following additional option:

  • Instant Email Notification - sends an email as soon as a new post is added to the chat thread. This is not sent for every reply and will only be sent once until you revisit the chat forums.

How do I manage Subscriptions and Folders?

Chat thread subscriptions can be sorted into folders for easy management. You can create as many folders as you wish by going to 'Edit Folders' in the 'Subscribed Threads' section of your Control Panel. To add a new folder, enter the folder name into one of the blank boxes and save the page. To delete a folder, delete the folder name. Editing a folder is done by simply editing the folder name in the list.

You can also manage your individual subscriptions by clicking 'List Subscriptions' under 'Subscribed Threads' in your Control Panel. Here you can select which subscriptions you wish to manage and delete them, move them to another folder, or change their subscription type.

Chat forum subscriptions are not managed through the List Subscriptions page but rather are shown on the Control Panel page where they contain the option to unsubscribe from the chat forum.

Chat Forum Reputation

What is reputation?

Reputation is a way of rating other chat members depending on the quality of their chat forum posts. The reputation icon will be visible in posts.

Reputation may be positive Positive Reputation Icon , negative Negative Reputation Icon or neutral Neutral Reputation Icon. (Neutral reputation is only given when the person giving reputation does not meet the criteria set by the administrators to affect someone else's reputation.)

How do I give reputation?

To give reputation, click on the reputation icon in the relevant post. This will reveal a form to complete with the reputation type and the reason for giving the reputation. You may not give reputation for the same post twice.

How do I know what reputation I have received?

You can view the reputation that you have received in your Control Panel where it is displayed at the bottom of the Control Panel page. Here you will see the latest reputation that you have received and whether it is positive, negative or neutral. Your total reputation will be shown as a series of reputation indicators in your posts and profile. The more positive your reputation, the more positive icons will be shown. The more negative your reputation the more negative icons will be shown.

How much reputation is given? What is reputation power?

The amount of reputation that each user can give is shown in the user's posts as 'Reputation Power'. The value of the reputation power is determined by the administrators and may increase over time.

What if I don't want anyone to see my reputation?

You can disable the display of your reputation by going to your Control Panel and selecting Edit Options. On this page you will find a check box labelled 'Show Your Reputation Level'. Un-checking this box will remove the display of your reputation and replace it with the Reputation Disabled icon. You can still give and receive reputation while your reputation display is disabled.

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