It would be good to add a real-time chat to the site. This was a popular thing in the early 2000s. Often lots of conversations about many things, serious and not, going on at the same time in a single window. Was always interesting convos and sometimes an interesting dynamic happening. Get on it boys and girls! Win one for the good old days!
Thanks very much for the suggestion, and Kudos for thinking about how to make the Ranch a better place! Have a cow!
My personal opinion on this is that I don't like it. I've seen this sort of thing on other Java programming forum sites and I see very little value in it. The content generally goes like this:
Im new here, hlp me plz
Yo yo yo yo yo
I'm new too
Hello, is there anybody there
Somebody do my homework, it's due in 2 hours and I stuck
Can you guys add me on Skype?
There's little cohesion, just noise.
CodeRanch works really well as a discussion forum. The content quality is high, it's searchable, we can manage SEO, our staff know how to moderate it and ensure everybody is living up to the "Be Nice" mantra. I, for one, have no idea how to look after a free for all instant message chat room. It seems like a lot of work, for little benefit. If things turn bad in there then it'll be nanoseconds before the whole room turns into a horrid bag of ick. And if there's one thing the Trailboss hates most in the world, it's ick in his forums.
That's my take on it at least. Which does not mean that it won't happen. If there are other staff who think it's an awesome idea and are excited enough to build it, then build it they will.