I don't think a chat box would be a good thing to be honest. On the official COD4 forum, there's a chatbox, and it gets a ridiculous amount of spam every day... some random guy just types *text deleted**text deleted* behind his screen into the box and gets banned *text deleted*.
Just from browsing the areas of the forum you can see that alot of users use it as a play ground rather than a tool to learn and discuss topics and all too often resort to vulgar language and rather stupid conversations as they clearly have little better to do. The admins and operators of this forum provide a great service for free and have many different types of people visiting looking for information and the last thing they need to see is some internet heroes mouthing off. I dont see an IRC or shoutbox appearing on the site again.
Yes ultimately the shoutbox was abused and 24 hour bans were handed out.
As we can monitor and delete posts if they are over the top, we can't with chat boxes.
Anyway I think the bitching etc will stop once the RN / RM's take over in the coming weeks. There will probably be a lot more staff on here to answer questions etc and probably if people go off on one and start bitching at other users it may or may not be filtered down to the person handling that persons application (I'm not sure, just guessing).
So it will get back much more focused back on a tool for joining and RM related chat. We have some members who never mention anything about their application and just come on here for the banter and tell stupid jokes. You'd be surprised just how many do that, although not naming any names but the mods and admins easily spot them.
I don't know which way it will go as I haven't been and don't want to be consulted on it. The sites future will be massively improved but it will in my opinion become more beneficial for those that are looking to join, the others will find themselves with less enjoyment and be thinned out.
The idea of the shoutbox, in theory was excellent & like many I enjoyed it.
Snag is, as eloquently put by Chris & GreyWing, it was open to abuse. As soon as you would request someone curb their language it was like an invitation to a few morons to let rip: "Ho-Ho, aren't I hilarious?" whilst neglecting to remember the function of the site.
It soon became clear also that people were drawn towards it as the sole focus point & rather than search for an answer, people would simply type the question. The answer would then scroll off the page, never to be seen again & not benefiting anyone other than those logged on at the time.
We are encouraging a "team ethos" to help genuine RM applicants, their families & partners, so it's a bit different to most forums. Possibly, it may also be used by serving RMs, their families & partners also in tandem, we honestly don't know yet.
Hopefully the site will continue to be a friendly place to be for all those interested and aspiring to join the Corps, be it long-term or otherwise, but as GW has alluded, despite the positive social nature it is here for a specific reason. There will always be people that join the site that will never ever join the Corps & they're very welcome to join in, but as with genuine applicants, those that cause nausea will quite possibly be left out in the cold.