Part 2 of the public chat with Empire Avenue’s DUPS on Friday evening (GMT)….To continue…..

As of yesterday the public chats were turned off, with new chats being enabled within the special interest communities – of which there are already hundreds, ranging from geographic regions and cities through to business related forums such as the CEO Club and SEO and Social media communities. And then there are communities of interest such as Tomato Lovers, Daddy Bloggers, Harry Potter and gaming communities.

DUPS and his team are determined to increase the value of the network within Eav, and there will be a strong focus on making the communities increasingly more useful as an integral part of Eav over the coming months. Mention was made of “trending communities” so that people could see which were most active, as well as much more functionality within the chat, such as Thumbs Up, links and photos showing as previews and thumbnails, etc.

There was some discussion of integrating Disqus into the site, which seemed to meet with approval.

The question of spam was covered because obviously a website such as Eav has managed to already attract people for whom ‘netiquette’ is an unknown word. Until the last few days, there was one chat called “Buy Me” in which all shameless promotion and spam was permitted. The general feeling is that there should be at the least a similar ‘overflow’ system to keep these people from harrassing genuine Eavers with their constant “Buy Me” shouts etc. One user has specifically set up a new Buy Me community to try to cater for this problem.

Another question which was asked was when might there be a Blackberry app and this is being looked into by the community now, rather than the developers. Apparently there are some issues to resolve but anyone who wishes to help develop the app should offer help in the communities. Ditto with Android, but this seems to raise less issues.

The user community has already developed a multitude of toolbars and other helpful solutions for shareholders wishing to quickly see ROI, stocks etc and DUPS is encouraging that, as well as the proliferation of Facebook groups such as #TeamZen and #SocialEmpire who help out new users, suggest hot tips, and relieve some of the pressure for support from the developers. There are also an army of volunteer moderators who do a quite superb job at keeping the community in order.

There is an API for anyone wanting to access that so undoubtedly the coming months will see far more exciting new additions from the community itself as well as from the devs.

The chat was fast-paced and it may be that there were other topics discussed which are not mentioned here. If you were one of those in the chat, please do pitch in with any contributions.

The end of the chat was interspersed with some clues about the Secret Awards such as the TOM and the DUPS that can be found if you search hard enough, but for some of us that left it about as clear as mud what we are to do to achieve them! There was also once again mention of a squirrel hunt – some people have been on Eav for a year now and this is obviously an in joke….can anyone clear up what exactly the persecution of squirrels is about, please?!

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology