Tips for Using the Live Chat Effectively
Issues that impact on Live Chat conversations
Conversations in the Live Chat can sometimes seem confusing, disjointed or difficult to understand. That's because there are a number of different issues that impact on this form of communication.
Members of WA come from all over the world which makes for a thriving diverse community from 196 countries. However, these differences can have an impact on our communication styles. Someone told me yesterday that I always spoke very formally in the Live Chat. I wasn't aware that I did, but I don't tend to abbreviate my language as some people do. This is just my style. Be aware that our social and cultural differences can have an impact on they way we communicate.
Social and cultural differences
"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others." Anthony Robbins
Level of Language SkillsMany members of the WA community communicate in English as their second or third language. Depending on their written fluency, this can have an impact on the way they communicate. You see many cases of what is called 'first language interference' which may at times make it more difficult for people to express themselves clearly and be understood.
However, just before you think it's much easier for all the people who speak English as their first language, you can often see some confusion between those that speak English and those that speak American English.
The fact is the language we use can have an impact on the conversations and everyone needs to be understanding of each other.
Number of people on Live ChatThe number of people on Live Chat can sometimes makes it difficult to keep up with the one conversation you're already having or following several conversations at once. Don't worry about this. Sometimes you may lose the thread of what is being said, but it doesn't matter. Don't let that stop you from using the Live Chat.
Different time zones
Although the Live Chat is open 24/7 there are times when it is quieter simply because more members are under PST and EST than other time zones. Sometime you may think there's no one around and there is - so just use it and see what happens.
People making assumptionsAll too often people don't make the best use of Live Chat because they make all sorts of assumptions without checking whether they are true or not. They assume they're not welcome, or they can't interrupt conversations, or they will be laughed out. Don't waste time on assumptions, try it and see how you get on.
The style of communicationWriting in Live Chat is quite a different experience to say writing an email. You rarely have time to read through what you've said. You just type and hit enter. This means you see quite a lot of messages that have typos in them. You also see people using a lot of acronyms for quickness of speed, but remember people don't always understand them. So be ready to explain them if someone doesn't understand.
TimeEveryone has their own priorities and are often rushing through Live Chat. To the observer this can make the conversation appear disjointed or left wondering why someone suddenly isn't in the conversation. It happens - don't worry about it.