Another way to communicate in SCOUT is through text-based chat. This works like text messaging and other forms of chat most people use daily. There are two kinds of chat: Public and Private.

Both types of chat are permanently recorded. Chat needs to be used prudently at all times.

Public Chat

The Public Chat windows are located at the bottom of the screen when a user is in a room.

Public Chat windows do not appear when a user is in 'My Map' since that is their own private room… one else is in that room, so Public Chat is not an option.

The chat interface is at the bottom

Public Chat windows are at the bottom of the screen

Text messages are typed into the bottom window. When the RETURN key is pressed, the message is time stamped and posted in the window above along with the author’s name. A running history of all chat for that particular room is stored in this window, so you can go back in time to look at earlier messages.

This text is permanent, and can be seen by anyone who visits the room. This text is PART OF THE HISTORICAL RECORD and official data. It needs to be used prudently.

It is possible to make the Public Chat windows disappear by selecting the down arrow (chevrons) on the far right of these windows. Selecting this again makes the Public Chat windows open. Unfortunately there are no audible or visual alerts that indicate that a new message has been posted at this time. This is in development.

Who Is In The Room?

The box on the far right shows all the users that are currently logged into this particular room. The dot next to their name indicates “recent activity.” If the dot is green, then the user has used chat, entered graphics, or moved the map recently. After several minutes of inactivity, the green dot turns yellow. This is one way to guess if a user has stepped away from their computer.

Private Chat

Users can also engage in Private Chat. Private Chat is a one-to-one or a one-to-many form of communication that can only be seen by those who have been invited to join.

However, like Public Chat, Private Chat is permanent. This text is PART OF THE HISTORICAL RECORD and official data. It needs to be used prudently.

Private Chat can occur between any two or more users logged into SCOUT……they do not have to be in the same room as they do for Public Chat.

To start a Private Chat session, open the side panel.

The chat interface 1

Open the “Active Users” tab. Select the “Chat” icon for the person with whom you would like to start a Private Chat. In this example, John Doe is inviting Bob Smith to a Private Chat.

The chat interface 2

The following message appears on Bob Smith’s computer screen:

The chat interface 3

If Bob Smith accepts, the Private Chat window (below on the left) appears on his computer, and the Private Chat window on the right appears on John Doe’s computer.

The chat interface 4

To invite more than one person to a Private Chat session, drag additional “Chat” icons from the Active Users list into the Private Chat window on your screen. Each new person will get an invitation as above and you will get an acceptance if they elect to join.

VIDEO: Chatroom interface