I’m finally getting around to considering what might happen here on election night. New server arrangements seem to have put an end to the heavy demand problems experienced by my WordPress database last week, but there’s no guarantee it would be able to handle the load on election night. In any case, chat rooms are probably a superior option, so I am giving this here Meebo feature a workout to see how it copes. At 10.30 EST (UPDATE: Not going to have my act together before than. Stay tuned – WB), blog comments will be closed for half-an-hour and the Poll Bludger faithful asked to carry on their normal discussion on Meebo. If all goes well I’ll have a couple of these running on election night, one being general and the other state-specific. My apologies to anyone who has firewall/proxy/software issues with this hopefully I am allowing enough warning in advance so you can resolve these beforehand.
My other big idea is to have a separate chatroom on which only invitees can comment, but which anyone can view, to serve as a “news ticker”. At the risk of turning this into Studio 54, access will be limited to intelligence sources I deem to be high value. However, I am also putting out a call for volunteers so we can have a person monitoring each of the various election broadcasts on Saturday night so that any little nuggets that come to light on a particular broadcast are shared among all. If you’re up for this, please drop me a line at pollbludger – AT – bigpond – DOT – com.
In the meantime, feel free to familiarise yourselves with Meebo by stuffing around with it beforehand. It’s very easy to use: click on “edit nickname” to, like, edit your nickname (otherwise you’ll get a generic Meebo handle), type whatever you like in the small window immediately above, hit return, and bob’s your uncle.
NOTE: If this isn’t working at all, please let me know in comments.
NOTE 2: Seems I’ve got something basic wrong here. Am looking into it.
NOTE 3: Turning it off for the time being until I work out what to do.
NOTE 4: After a sort-of-successful experiment with Meebo, more chat room fun is scheduled for this evening.