Channels is a simple chat room application that runs off your web browser.

The philosophy behind Channels

While Facebook does have a chat system, both you and your friend would need to have a Facebook account to engage a private conversation on Facebook. This leaves out others who probably cannot or do not want to use Facebook. Channels allows you to engage conversation with others outside of Facebook.

Channels is closer to a public forum than it is to an ordinary chat room service - hence it is called a "live chat forum". You can create "channels" which are analogous to forum threads. Messages posted by you, your fellow friends and even strangers will appear immediately in real-time - no browser reload needed.

What is a Channel?

Each channel can be used for talking on just about anything you want. You can also entice people with the same interests to chat about the same topic. Similar to public forums, all channels are publicly accessible.

There are very few barriers stopping you from joining a channel (there is no need for permission to talk), so you can hop right in using your Facebook account - or if you do not wish to use your Facebook account, you can hide behind the wall of privacy using our Anonymous mode!

I can be Anonymous, so what's with the Facebook login?

Channels makes use of several features that Facebook provides to us. This allows us to include certain Facebook features like the famous "Like" button. Also, you can invite your Facebook friends to come to Channels so that you can talk with your friends.

Channels created by anonymous users would self-destruct automatically after a while, but channels created by Facebook users stay open indefinitely unless they are closed by the owner.

But doesn't Facebook have chat?

Well yes, Facebook has chat. However, you would have to invite your friend or vice versa to engage in conversation. This is different from Channels, where anyone can join any channel they want, without knowing who created it.

Channels is different from Facebook Chat in several ways.

  • Anyone can join in. When we mean anyone, it includes non-Facebook users as well.
  • Channels support BBCode, like most forums - so if you have used a traditional forum on the Internet before, you would probably know it.
  • You can join in a channel created by a person you do not know; unlike in Facebook where you had to know who you are going to talk to if you want to engage in conversation. Think of Russian Roulette, except more social.

What does Channels have?

Channels has

  • A clean interface - Channels sports a modern and simple interface. It is very easy to use Channels as it resembles many familiar chat room interfaces.
  • Real-time communication - Everything you see is in real-time. Chat messages will appear immediately when you send them. Members in the "online" list are actually online.
  • Facebook integration - Forget creating new accounts, you can use your Facebook account right away. Or, if you are shy you can always opt for the anonymous approach. You might miss out on a few features if you go the anonymous route.
  • Modern technology - Channels is built on HTML5 and NodeJS, using new technologies such as WebSockets to provide a better web experience.

What does it run on?

Channels uses

  • NodeJS + for the chat room system
  • PHP for Facebook integration
  • MySQL for keeping user preferences and history

Channels is hosted on a VPS (Virtual Private Server).

Can I get the source?

Not at the moment. Channels is currently hosted on a private GitHub repository.

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