What is a "chat?"
"Chats" refer to moderated question/answer sessions between an expert on a particular topic and any number of parties interested in the subject. Chats are conducted online at a set date and time. Attendees can submit questions privately via email in advance of the chat, or while the chat is live.
Moderators — for example, a technical or subject expert — review the questions and choose which will be answered. As questions are answered, they appear online in sequential fashion. We foresee chat session topics ranging from the broad to the specific. In some cases, the topic will be the driver, such as discussions of market or packaging trends, for example. In other cases, the presenter will be the attraction, because of their "name" and reputation in the industry.
Each chat session has a specific time length, after which a transcript is made available for on-demand viewing. The transcripts are searchable.
Most sessions will last for 60 to 120 minutes. Questions will be accepted before or during the chat.
How it works.
Questions are submitted privately via email or through the chat environment. Questions are seen only by the moderator until the moderator decides on its disposition. Each time a question is answered, the moderator then pushes it live. There, it can be seen in the chat window as part of a transcript, which shows in chronological order the entire Q/A session. Transcripts are arranged in chronological order and update in real time, with no screen refreshes required.
Who are the moderators?
Moderators are technical and industry subject experts and are chosen for their expertise in printed circuit board design, fabrication and assembly.
Is a chat the same as a bulletin board or listserv?
Absolutely not. Bulletin boards or listservs lack a real-time moderator for, and the conversations generally are chaotic and free-form. A chat operates more like the end of a presentation, where the audience asks questions of the speaker. It is controlled and systematic, and the moderator has full control over which questions or comments to address, ensuring the chat stays on topic.
What makes this different from typical/AOL-style chat rooms?
PCB Chat is an environment that emulates and captures the essence of online shared group communication without all the chaos of a free-form chat room. Unlike the free-for-all AOL chat rooms, the PCB Chat moderator controls what is seen - or not seen.
Is a subscription to Printed Circuit University required to view/participate in PCB Chat?
No. However, viewers must be registered at the site (there's no fee, but you do have to provide a valid email address and complete the registration form.
What language(s) are the chats in?
Chats will be held in a variety of languages to ensure PCU members from any region can take full advantage of this exciting new medium.
I missed the live chat. Am I out of luck?
Not at all. Transcripts are available immediately after a chat is concluded. Transcripts are also searchable.
Are sponsorships available?
Yes. One exclusive sponsorship per chat is available. Contact Frances Stewart at 678-817-1286; firstname.lastname@example.org for details.