The idea of a dedicated feedback chat for users to voice their opinions or suggestions to improve xat was proposed by Lemona (220341852) in her unpublished Fireside Interview dated 20 September 2016. This interview was conducted by Four (4444) AKA Crow, who was writing for the xat Chat Blog at the time.
The idea was revisited by Four nearly two years later when he purchased the inactive chat ‘Feedback’ for a low price from the xat store on 20 May 2018. The previous owners had stylized the chat name as ‘FeedBack’, but this was quickly changed. That same day, Four petitioned the idea to the Contributors group for Feedback to be listed as a Tribute chat on the wiki, which is a status given to chats that ‘may be a useful resource’. After putting forward his arguments in support of the chat, Admins granted the chat Official status, not Tribute, on 8 June 2018.
Although the chat was formally confirmed in the June 2018 edition of the Monthly Contributor Log, published 1 July 2018, it was necessary to prepare the chat before opening it publicly to users. This included opening a forum club on 23 June 2018, adding Wiki rules beneath the chat on 25 June 2018, buying background images on 29 June 2018, obtaining an unlimited-time bot on 15 July 2018, and setting up this blog on 25 August 2018. Four also obtained support from LaFleur (517650537), Arthur (82756724) and Elea (1313) in setting up the chat in its early stages. The original design of the chat notably had a green theme with the (speech) smiley used as a mascot, as seen on our Screenshots page. The first articles published to the blog were Staff and Guide: How it Works.
The original staff list of Feedback was composed entirely of Contributors, all trusted users, as the original concept of the chat involved a close link with the Contributors group. Four also wanted to dedicate more time towards users’ suggestions rather than monitoring staff activity. This staff policy was later dropped on 29 September 2018 due to a negative reception and a lack of Contributors that visited the chat. It was decided from that point onward that anyone could become staff if they earned it. Lemona was the first non-Contributor to become staff at the chat.
The chat gained a steady following in subsequent months, although LaFleur and Lemona left to pursue their own goals. By May 2019, regular users such as Elea, Arthur, DjCrazy (444000444), Nature (221192) and Valstein (1501270623) were bringing activity to the chat. Suggestions for creating an exclusive pawn for HTML5 chats and Powers Store updates, taken on Feedback chat, were posted on the forums in May and June 2019. Additional articles were published to the blog in July 2019, which were Badge Reward, Why we’re here, FAQ, and the History of Feedback article you’re reading now.
On 19 August 2019, Four began promoting Feedback on a daily basis via xat’s Promote page, usually for 2-3 hours at a time. This included banner advertisements for the same duration. Between 19 August and 19 September, Feedback was promoted for a total of 60 hours (120 hours including banner advertising), amassing a total of 116 events. The first staff meeting was held on 19 September 2019 to discuss positive and negative events from the last month, along with suggestions taken, and to discuss plans for the following month. Further blog articles were published on 21 September 2019, which were Screenshots, Staff Meetings and History of Suggestions.
A list of chat hyperlinks was added to the blog on 5 October 2019 via the Links article, as suggested by our moderator Thuk (91667566). An international hits radio was also added to the chat on this day, replacing the previous electronic radio, Frisky Radio. In addition, the standard default yellow smiley line was replaced with cute kaoani smilies from the gkaoani, gkbear, gkkitty and gkpanda group powers. This was made the chat more fun and interactive.
Two more suggestions were posted on the xat forums in October 2019; these were the VRecord and Promotional Packages of Xats and Days ideas. Both ideas were inspired by users who visited the chat, and both ideas were developed and improved by Feedback staff. Four wrote detailed arguments for both suggestions, and Elea created concept art for them.
Elea also created two haunting Halloween backgrounds for the chat on 17 October, and pumpkins smiley backs were added to the chat’s smiley line for decoration. Elea also proposed we host our first contest, which was a Halloween Costume Contest. This contest took place on 29 October 2019, in which users could wear a spooky avatar/name/pawn for the chance to win xats. With a forum topic and the official xat Facebook promoting the evening, the contest was a success and the chat had a full visitor list.
Further developments to the blog were made between the end of October and November. On 31 October 2019, Four added the first four screenshots to the Screenshots article and added a fifth on 13 November. These screenshots covered the first three designs of the chat and our Halloween theme. Four created a new Rules article on 13 November too, which lists the rules exclusive to Feedback chat that may be useful to staff. On 24 November, Four migrated the ‘chat process’ information from the Feedback Staff club onto the blog for increased visibility. The Changelogs for Chats idea was posted the same day, with concept art once again created by our brilliant owner, Elea.
In December, Four posted the Dunce, Reporting Staff, Staff: Security, Staff: Wellbeing and Staff: Changelogs articles on the blog. Christmas backgrounds, created by Toxic (126984499), were added to the chat on 12 December to celebrate the festive period, which was already underway. Feedback also participated in the Winter Festival 2019 contest, hosting the first contest on 16 December 2019, which comprised of all the gamerace games. This was the first time Four hosted a gamebot contest, and was a useful learning experience for all involved. It rounded off a very productive and wholy successful year.
The Safety Tips article was the first blog article of 2020, which mirrored content from the Safety Topic on the forums, which Four wrote himself in 2018. When the fifth staff meeting arrived on 20 January 2020, Feedback had passed several milestones since the chat was first promoted on 19 August 2019. The chat had passed 300 hours of chat promotions and 300 hours of banner ad promotions (600+ hours total), as well as passing 1,000 total chat events during that time, with an average of 7.07 events per day. On 25 January 2020, Feedback also passed three months of consecutive daily promotions – last missing a day on 24 October 2019.
A chat background and banner contest was posted on the forums on 26 February 2020 to collect new backgrounds and graphics for the chat that would be used for many years to come. This contest was concluded on 26 March 2020 with RobFerrari (129030692) declared the winner with his excellent neon light-inspired backgrounds. These were uploaded to the chat on 5 April 2020 and can be seen on our Screenshots article. Meanwhile, on 22 March 2020, we created the Suggested to Admins blog article to list all the suggestions that were emailed directly to xat admins at [email protected] This was done for transparency, and so that users could see their suggestions were forwarded on.
On 5 April, we posted the New Scroll Movements suggestion, another idea from Vevrok (10000123) that featured a preview animation from Elea. Then, on 20 May, we created a new Google Form for users to leave feedback when staff are offline. This was an important addition to the chat, and was added to the bot’s auto-welcome message for increased visibility. Elea sadly resigned from her owner position on 9 June 2020 to focus on other projects, but she left with our sincere gratitude and best wishes, having been part of the chat since its opening. On June 21 2020, we posted our Explodefx and Sandcastles power suggestions on the forums, which gained a positive reception.
iBau (14014) our newest owner on the chat, proposed a new staff reward initiative during our June staff meeting, and this was implemented the following day with our Staff: Rewards article. The system rewarded the member of staff who contributed the most during that month, and they would receive a reward such as a test power, a gift or something else. This was designed to boost staff morale and activity, and to contribute to our positive environment on the chat. Staff activity was at a low during this period, and iBau’s suggestion was most welcome.
Ironically, iBau was named the first ’employee of the month’ before he resigned at the end of July. He had also suggested the Reaction system on chats idea, which Four posted on the forums on 1 August.
Feedback continues to evolve, and the staff list is ever-changing based on activity, but the chat remains open and dedicated to its purpose of taking suggestions from the community with the aim of changing xat for the better.
[Last updated 25 June 2020]