Train GraphicClick on the map to explore geographics
 
End of through trains
Bristol to Waterloo - Why?

 
Please sign our petition
(more information)
 
Campaign links here
Travel & transport from BBC stories as at 20:15 05 Dec 2021
- Covid: Travel changes too late to halt potential new wave - scientist
Read about the forum [here].
Register [here] - it's free.
What do I gain from registering? [here]
 09/12/21 - Award Event - CRN
10/12/21 - Final day, service to Bristol
19/01/22 - MTUG - regular meeting
08/03/22 - WWRUG AGM - B-o-A
Random Image
Train RunningCancelled
20:15 Weston-Super-Mare to London Paddington
20:20 Westbury to Swindon
21:13 Swindon to Westbury
22:02 Cheltenham Spa to Swindon
23:10 Swindon to Cheltenham Spa
Short Run
17:25 Cardiff Central to Southampton Central
19:33 Southampton Central to Cardiff Central
20:30 Cardiff Central to Southampton Central
20:33 Southampton Central to Bristol Temple Meads
20:36 Bristol Temple Meads to Cheltenham Spa
Delayed
05/12/21 17:20 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 17:42 London Paddington to Swansea
17:53 Weymouth to Bristol Temple Meads
05/12/21 18:20 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 19:20 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 19:42 London Paddington to Swansea
05/12/21 20:19 Swansea to London Paddington
05/12/21 20:42 London Paddington to Swansea
05/12/21 21:42 London Paddington to Swansea
PollsThere are no open or recent polls
Abbreviation pageAcronymns and abbreviations
Stn ComparatorStation Comparator
Rail newsNews Now - live rail news feed
Site Style 1 2 3 4
Next departures • Bristol Temple MeadsBath SpaChippenhamSwindonDidcot ParkwayReadingLondon PaddingtonMelksham
Exeter St DavidsTauntonWestburyTrowbridgeBristol ParkwayCardiff CentralOxfordCheltenham SpaBirmingham New Street
December 05, 2021, 08:34:29 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most recently liked subjects
[127] Are the railways fit for their (future) purpose?
[109] UK government's Transport decarbonisation plan
[73] Through service - Bristol to London (Waterloo) via Trowbridge ...
[59] Masks To Become Compulsory On Public Transport Again
[30] South Western Railways Waterloo - Bristol services axed
[20] Advent quiz - day 3 - unlabelled maps
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
Author Topic: Ta[wl]k to us - going live for the duration of the current exceptional times  (Read 1887 times)
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35008



View Profile WWW Email
« on: March 21, 2020, 08:39:13 am »

In summer of 2017, we trialled a live chat system on the Coffee Shop. We quickly tailored it to ensure users were 100% clear they were talking to a fellow passenger.  We also started to see patterns of questions / responses and look towards standard answers.

The trial finished with conclusions:
* A very useful service to operate especially to reach guests but
* it used an awful lot of personal time which none of us had
* our volunteer agent(s) needed to be pretty savvy

Times change.   I am today (21.3.2020) re-learning / testing the software again, initially visible to members rather than to guests (and it might remain that way ...
* Some of our members may be going stir crazy in weeks and months to come and welcome interaction
* Some of us will have more time to (wo)man the service than we had
* For the friendship and support, we can step a notch or two down from that "pretty savvy" level.

The probability is that this service will run during the current lockdown crisis, but beyond that "who can tell"

So far, three of us (mods / admins) looking to volunteer as "agents" though for today at least (as I muck around) with the technical stuff, I will be the only one answering. Almost certainly we'll expand the team.

The "Chat on / off" at the top of forum pages allows you to switch the frankly intrusive (on some devices) "Talk to us" button off and on

Almost undoubtedly we'll come up with standard texts / responses for agents to cut and paste; good for consistency and speed though less personal. I am inclined to make no secret of the use of these standard messages and indeed offer agents a numbered library where they can easily paste from.

I doubt we will be "open all hours" - rather look to having a published set of core hours or a diary - to be worked.

The software / site we're using is tawk.to - hence the thread title.

With the pubs and restaurants closed, with no live sport on the TV, with the kids at home too bored with home schooling, with (perhaps) the next shortage on the supermarket shelves being alcohol rather than loo rolls ... there will be a whole lot of people going stir crazy this Spring.   We are not looking to become a counselling service - but we are intending to be here for a quick word between friends.

Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Robin Summerhill
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1002


View Profile Email
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2020, 12:08:15 pm »

I can't seem to find the "chat off" switch/button and I would dearly like to because, quite frankly, it is already annoying me with its intrusiveness.

My eyesight (through glaucoma) is bad enough already without trying with some difficulty to read a line only to find a bleedin' chat box at the end of it covering the text so I have to scroll up and then try to find that bloody line again.

I suppose I should be grateful that it isn't a "talking paper clip"...
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35008



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2020, 12:18:57 pm »

I can't seem to find the "chat off" switch/button and I would dearly like to because, quite frankly, it is already annoying me with its intrusiveness.

My eyesight (through glaucoma) is bad enough already without trying with some difficulty to read a line only to find a bleedin' chat box at the end of it covering the text so I have to scroll up and then try to find that bloody line again.

I suppose I should be grateful that it isn't a "talking paper clip"...

The "Chat Off" is provided for people who get annoyed in that way - something we added during previous testing.  Top of the page, right hand side, just under the image that changes for each page:

Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
stuving
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 5949


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2020, 12:24:13 pm »

I can't seem to find the "chat off" switch/button and I would dearly like to because, quite frankly, it is already annoying me with its intrusiveness.

My eyesight (through glaucoma) is bad enough already without trying with some difficulty to read a line only to find a bleedin' chat box at the end of it covering the text so I have to scroll up and then try to find that bloody line again.

I suppose I should be grateful that it isn't a "talking paper clip"...

The "Chat Off" is provided for people who get annoyed in that way - something we added during previous testing.  Top of the page, right hand side, just under the image that changes for each page:



... unless your browser window occupies roughly half of a standard monitor screen (full HD), in which case that line doesn't fit in the window (viewport) width and "chat on off" will be in the middle on a line of its own.
Logged
Robin Summerhill
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1002


View Profile Email
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2020, 02:21:24 pm »

Thanks - found it now, although it's position on my PC was some way  to the left of that image.

Chat now off and if I need to contact anybody there's always the PM system!
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35008



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2020, 02:42:44 pm »

Thanks - found it now, although it's position on my PC was some way  to the left of that image.

Chat now off and if I need to contact anybody there's always the PM system!

The chat system is like the 05:17 Westbury to Swindon - not everyone's cup of tea but really useful if you need it.  You are welcome to turn it back on at any time if you need / want to use it.
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Marlburian
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 442


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2020, 06:20:21 pm »

Sorry to be churlish, but my reaction was the same as Robin's. I'd missed Grahame's announcement, so didn't know how the green blob and Roger "The Saint" Moore's skewiff halo had got on my screen. Couldn't wait to turn it off, but I hope that it's of benefit to other members.
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35008



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2020, 07:08:40 pm »

Sorry to be churlish, but my reaction was the same as Robin's. I'd missed Grahame's announcement, so didn't know how the green blob and Roger "The Saint" Moore's skewiff halo had got on my screen. Couldn't wait to turn it off, but I hope that it's of benefit to other members.

It's like marmite - love it or hate it.   That's why we put a switch on it.  You can switch the ******* thing off.

Some very interesting conversations during testing today.  Some do love it!

Now ... as it's likely to stay, I can have word with our treasurer and see if we can license something a bit less gross.

Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
Robin Summerhill
Transport Scholar
Hero Member
******
Posts: 1002


View Profile Email
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2020, 02:35:16 pm »

For me the major issue was that it came without warning, and I am very suspicious indeed when anything appears on my PC screen that I wasn’t expecting or didn’t intend to raise.

If there was a notification that this was to happen, I didn’t see it. When I log on to the forum I tend to look for the unread posts and then, initially at least, only read the ones where the title appears to describe something that m ight interest me.

“Ta[wl] to us – goin...” would not have fallen into that category...

Looking again at the history of the thread now, I see that notice was given by Graham at 0839 on Saturday 21st August, which would have been well before I logged on that morning. On the basis of the timing of my post on the thread at 1208 I suspect that I first encountered it at about 1130. The advice on how to turn the thing odd appeared in the seventh paragraph of a long post which, although I read it before I posted, did not actually tell me how to find the off switch on my machine because everybody’s could be different depending on screen size, manufacturer, and no doubt a number of other reasons.

As I said, it was not expected so I didn’t have a clue where it came from. Ominously, or so it seemed at the time, it had no reassuring little “X” in a box in the top right hand corner so I couldn’t see a way to turn it off. As I was reading Kernow Otter’s post in members Roll Call at the time, in the first sub board of the forum, for a split second I thought that my computer had been hijacked by the Mayor of Lostwithiel...

However, the advance notification appeared in News Help and Assistance which, if I have counted correctly, is the 37th topic out of 43 on this forum. It would not have been possible for anyone to see that advance notification before they encountered it, unless they logged on and rushed straight to the 37th sub0thread on the board. I may be right or I may be wrong, but I somehow doubt that very few if any member did that.

Whilst I accept that 20/20 hindsight is a marvellous thing, might I suggest that this could have been better handled by giving at least a couple of days notice, posting it in Introductions and Chat which is at the top of the board, and giving the notification a title that might encourage people to actually read it?

All that said, I am now beginning to wonder whether News Help and Assistance ought to be the first sub-thread on the board anyway.






Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35008



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2020, 03:21:01 pm »

No perfect way of handling anything, I fear. And, yes, hindsight is marvellous.

Evidence suggests that most regular visitors start with "unread post since last visit" or "recent posts", both of which did / would have highlighted the announcement topic; yes, I grant you that "news and assistance" (if your habit is going through topics) is well down the list.  Your idea noted (and it will be by other admins / moderators too), but we do need to be careful not to replace one problem with another, and space above the fold is limited.

Front page changes are not all that unusual ... there's also been (1) a big new link appeared at the top "Coffee Shop during Coronavirus", and (2) "Espresso" was added just three weeks ago.  And (3) the addition of the "Data Manager" role  too. In addition to (4) - chat.  We are in exceptional times, and some of the changes have been with exceptionally short noice. It's been / being done to her ensure we're very much around as a travel and now also more social interaction support service - which we can be, when many other groups, partheships, clubs and heritage / volunteer organsations are having to suspend normal operation.
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
johoare
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 2818


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2020, 03:26:51 pm »

I think it's a good idea as long as those who it's causing issues for can turn it off (which they can).

In these very strange times we should use as many ways of keeping people in touch as we can for those who want and need it.
Logged
Marlburian
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 442


View Profile
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2020, 03:36:18 pm »

I would have preferred an "opt in" to an "opt out", but the innovation was well-intentioned and I agree that as much communication as possible is desirable.

In another Forum a member thought from a post that I'd made that I lived near him and offered to help out with groceries. Actually we're 29 miles apart and I'm in a better situation than millions.

But it was a nice gesture that I appreciated.
Logged
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35008



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2020, 04:14:23 pm »

I would have preferred an "opt in" to an "opt out", but the innovation was well-intentioned and I agree that as much communication as possible is desirable.

The default 'direction' was thought through - balances weighed.

Quote
In another Forum a member thought from a post that I'd made that I lived near him and offered to help out with groceries. Actually we're 29 miles apart and I'm in a better situation than millions.

But it was a nice gesture that I appreciated.

 Grin Grin
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
grahame
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 35008



View Profile WWW Email
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2020, 05:41:03 pm »

It looks like I've managed to switch of the bubble which was a bit irritating.  Continuing to "play" - difficult one to test away from the live system!
Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
bignosemac
Data Manager
Hero Member
******
Posts: 17846


Birthday Avatar: 48 143.


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2020, 06:02:09 pm »

I've noticed that when the speech bubble is switched on that scrolling and pinching to zoom on my Android device becomes temperamental.
Logged

http://www.templecombevillage.uk/station.html

There is a rumour going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist. - Sir Terry Pratchett
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1] 2
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants

Jump to top of pageJump to Forum Home Page