The idea of a dedicated feedback chat for users to voice their opinions or suggestions to improve xat was proposed by the user Lemona (220341852) in her unpublished Fireside Interview dated 20 September 2016. This interview was conducted by Crow (1994), who was writing introductions for the xat Chat Blog at the time.
The idea was revisited by Crow 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, Crow 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’. It was proposed that Feedback could be an international chat for all users to post their constructive feedback about xat. After putting forward his arguments in support of the chat, Admins granted the chat Official status, rather than 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 to recap the previous month’s events, it was first necessary to prepare the chat before opening it publicly to users. This included opening a forum club (23 June 2018), writing and adding Wiki rules beneath the chat (25 June 2018), buying customized background images (29 June 2018), obtaining an unlimited-time FEXBot (15 July 2018), and setting up the official blog (25 August 2018). Crow also obtained support from the users LaFleur (517650537), Arthur (82756724) and Elea (1313) in setting up the chat in its early stages. These users may be considered the earliest helpers of the chat, along with Crow. The original design of the chat had a green theme with the (speech) smiley used as a mascot, as seen on our Screenshots page. The first and oldest articles published to the blog were Staff and Guide: How it Works.
The original proposed 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 for hearing and discussing suggestions. Crow also wanted to dedicate more time towards taking and improving users’ suggestions rather than monitoring staff recruitment, retention and removal. This staff policy was later dropped on 29 September 2018, however, due to a negative reception and a lack of Contributors that visited the chat. It seemed unfair for regular users to be ranklocked as guest when current staff users never visited the chat at all. It was decided from that point onward that anyone could become staff if they worked hard and earned it. Lemona, the user who first conceptualized the chat, 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. The chat was not as popular as other official chats at the time, and not many users were staying to talk. By May 2019, however, the chat established a good dynamic with regular users such as Elea, Arthur, DJCrazy (444000444), Nature (221192) and Valstein (1501270623) visiting the chat daily and playing the online multi-player soccer game Haxball with each other. Suggestions for creating an exclusive pawn for HTML5 chats and Powers Store updates, both taken on Feedback chat, were then posted on the forums in May and June 2019. The chat had now begun serving its purpose within the community. Additional articles were published to the blog in July 2019, which were Badge Reward, Our Purpose, FAQ, and the History of Feedback article you’re reading now.
On 19 August 2019, Crow 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. The intention was to bring more users to the chat and increase its activity. During its first full month of promoting, between 19 August and 19 September 2019, Feedback was promoted for a total of 60 hours (120 hours including banner advertising), amassing a total of 116 events. The daily streak would last a whole consecutive 629 days, with the last day being 14 July 2021. The first staff meeting was then 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 next month. This became the template for future staff meetings, which were held every month thereafter. Further blog articles were published on 21 September 2019, which were Screenshots, Staff Meetings and History of Suggestions.
As suggested by our moderator Thuk (91667566), a list of chat hyperlinks was added to the blog on 5 October 2019 via a new Links article. This made it easier for staff and users to access pages quickly on the chat. An international hits radio was also added to the chat on this day, replacing the previous electronic radio, Frisky Radio. We often received positive feedback for the radio in our chat, as it allowed users to relax and enjoy the chat even when users were not talking. Another change to the chat was the replacement of the standard default yellow smiley line with cute kaoani smilies from the gkaoani, gkbear, gkkitty and gkpanda group powers. This was made the chat more fun, bouncy and interactive.
Two more suggestions were posted on the xat forums in October 2019; these were the excellent VRecord and Promotional Packages of Xats and Days ideas, which are two of our proudest posts. Both ideas were inspired by users who visited Feedback chat, and both ideas were developed and improved by Feedback staff. Crow wrote long, detailed arguments for both suggestions, and Elea created professional concept art to help users visualize the ideas. Crow and Elea made an excellent team for working and publishing suggestion topics, and they were BFFs on the chat too!
Elea then created two haunting Halloween backgrounds to decorate the chat on 17 October 2019, and pumpkin smiley backs were added to the chat’s smiley line for further spooky ambience. This was shortly before we began our streak of consecutive daily promotions, which started on 25 October 2019. 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 on the night. This remains our most successful live contest, and everyone had a great time hosting it.
Further developments to the blog were made between the end of October and November 2019. On 31 October 2019, Crow added the first four screenshots to the previously-created Screenshots article and he added a fifth on 13 November 2019. These screenshots covered the first three designs of the chat and our Halloween theme, to allow users to see the progression the chat had made over time. Crow created a new Rules article on 13 November 2019 too, which listed the rules exclusive to Feedback chat that may be useful to staff. Feedback was different to official chats and it had a very unique purpose and way of working. On 24 November 2019, Crow migrated the ‘chat process’ information from the Feedback Staff club onto the blog for increased visibility. The Changelogs for Chats idea was also posted to the forums the same day, with concept art once again created by our brilliant owner, Elea.
In December 2019, Crow posted the Dunce, Reporting Staff, Staff: Security, Staff: Wellbeing and Staff: Changelogs articles on the blog to assist both our users and staff with the chat procedures. Our blog was now full of articles, and almost everything about the chat was documented. Red Christmas backgrounds, created by Toxic (126984499), were then added to the chat on 12 December 2019 to celebrate the festive period, which was already well underway. Bauble smiley backs were also added to the chat’s smiley line for ambience. Feedback also participated in the Winter Festival 2019 contest during this period, hosting the first contest on 16 December 2019, which comprised of all gamerace games. This was the first time Crow hosted a gamebot contest, and was a useful learning experience for all involved, especially as a user was caught cheating on the games. It rounded off a very productive and wholly successful year.
2020 was an eventful year for everyone. The Safety Tips article was our first blog article of the year, which mirrored content from the Safety Topic on the forums, which Crow wrote himself in 2018. This article would promote safety awareness across xat and hopefully reduce the number of scam / phish victims. By the time our fifth staff meeting was held on 20 January 2020, Feedback had passed several milestones since the chat was first promoted on 19 August 2019. The chat had passed a total of 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. The daily promotions were essential for maintaining the chat’s activity.
Another contest was held on the forums on 26 February 2020, which was a chat background and banner contest to collect new backgrounds and graphics for the chat, which 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 lights-inspired backgrounds. These graphics 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 purposes, so that users could see their suggestions were acted upon and forwarded to the correct place.
On 5 April, we posted the New Scroll Movements suggestion, another excellent idea from Vevrok (10000123) that featured a professional preview animation from Elea. On 20 May 2020, we then 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. We received several suggestions via this method during subsequent months, so it proved to be a worthwhile addition. Elea sadly resigned from her owner position on 9 June 2020 to focus on managing Assistance chat and other projects, but she left with our sincere gratitude and best wishes, having been a great 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 2020 staff meeting, and this was implemented the following day with our Staff: Rewards article. This system rewarded the member of staff who contributed the most during that month, and they would receive a special reward such as a test power or xats. This was intended to boost staff morale and activity and to contribute to our positive environment on the chat. Staff activity was at a low point during this period, and iBau’s suggestion was most welcome. Ironically, iBau was named the first ’employee of the month’ before he resigned from his position at the end of July. He had also suggested the Reaction system on chats idea, which Crow posted on the forums on 1 August 2020. This suggestion was particularly notable, as Crow produced the concept art himself for the first time. It was later added by xat developers to the chats on 22 June 2021.
Abrahan (1534445130), the manager of the official Italian help chat, Aiuto, joined our staff team in August 2020. Abrahan proved to be an important addition to our team, earning ‘Staff member of the month’ twice within his first two months on the chat. As well as being very active on the chat during promotions and suggesting three ideas to improve xat, he had also produced graphics for our club and a Halloween background for our chat, as well as suggesting new links for the chat and helping to re-organize with blog menu with non-clickable headings. The background was used during our Halloween Trivia Contest on Feedback contest on 29 October 2020, in which a prize pool of 10,000 xats was given away. We then reached one year of consecutive daily promotions on 24 October 2020 – a huge achievement for all the staff involved. A blog post of statistics over that daily streak was posted publicly on 9 November 2020, which included the times and lengths we promoted, the total number of chat events we accumulated, and the total number of xats spent (153,700 xats).
As a reward for his consistent dedication towards the chat, Abrahan became an owner of the chat on 24 January 2021. At the same time, elreydelreino (1509522881) was also added as a member for his excellent consistent activity and was later promoted to a moderator on 3 April 2021. Meanwhile, we posted our Dress Power and Extinct / Endangered Powers suggestions on the forums on 2 February 2021 and 14 March 2021 respectively, which received a warm reception. An idea to add the functionality of videos calls to the chats was then proposed to the xat developers on 17 May 2021, which proved to be the final suggestion processed by Feedback chat.
Due to a trend in the decrease in the number of suggestions we received on the chat, along with declining visitor numbers, we made a decision to voluntarily redirect the chat to xat.com/xat, the official development chat for xat, in July 2021. Users would then be able to suggest their ideas there, to the xat testers and developers directly. It was a long and eventful journey, from the chat’s inception in early June 2018 to its redirection to xat chat on 15 July 2021, and we’ve made lots of memories that will last a lifetime. We thank everyone who contributed to the chat over the three years and all the users who helped fulfil our purpose of taking suggestions from the xat community and changing xat for the better. See you next time.
[Last updated 15 July 2021]