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There's been some discussion of a desire for an online status feature. As I have explained, this is not a feature that is currently available to us (well, if you look through the members list, those who are online are noted, but you have to scroll through the whole thing and also the online status remains for a while after you have logged off). The who's online part of the chat room (which is a 3rd party add-on) indicates only those on whatever page the feature appears on -- i.e., I could put it on the front page, but then it would only tell you who was viewing the front page, not everyone who is on the site.

By the way, Ning does say this is something they are planning to add eventually, it's just that they have a long list of features, bugs to fix, etc, so it is not clear when they will get to this particular one.

Aaaanyway, the point of this note is this: I'm going to try a couple of things today in the right column (which is the same across the site). I don't know if they will work, so they may not stay there. But, that is what is going on. Stay tuned and wish me luck : )

Argh. Okay, who's online in the right hand column does NOT show all members on the site. So, that won't help us. Trying one more thing...

I think I may be wrong!! I'm going to leave it up for a while. I think I may just be alone on the site at the moment. It is confusing to figure out if it is working because when scrolling through the member list, I am seeing people as "online" who may actually have recently logged off.

I'm going to move this whole ramble to a forum post now. Carry on...

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Hurrah! It looks to me like it might just be working!!! (Special thanks to the random person on another network who suggested this hack!!)

It seems to take a minute to load each time you switch pages, but other than that, it is golden!!!

Now, I'm going to do something even more radical...I'm going to try the chat room code in the right hand column. If it works like I think it will, it will show the same chat/conversation that is going on in the chat room itself. I will have to try it to see, though. If it does work, I don't know if I will keep it or not -- it will be small, so probably people will want to move to the actual chat room if they intend to chat for any length of time. Also, it may be distracting. And, as I said, I'm not certain it will work...
Update: the lag time persists, even with the who's online widget -- that is, I log out but still appear as online in the who's online box for a few minutes. But, other than that, it looks good to me. Okay, I'm really leaving now!
THE SAGE CONTINUES:

I am seeing people still in the who's online box who no longer show as online in the member list. Some people ARE disappearing after they log out. I suspect that there is simply a lag between logging out and disappearing from the box, and that it is simply a different amount of time than the lag with online status as it appears in the member list (if this makes any sense).

Basically, the site reads who is online in two different ways and both have a lag time. Which is, clearly, less than ideal, but not something I have the ability to change.

What I DO want to know is if, other than the delay, the who's online box is showing accurate information. So, please, if you would, pay attention to this box and let me know how it seems to be working for you. This will give me much better information than just what I can see from my one account.

Thank you!
I do what I can : )
This is an awesome idea. Keep working on it. It may be some what slow in response for now. But the idea is strong. I remember the old Basic DOS lines. Most generally, to keep it fast you had to keep every thing important up top and together. If it had to go through too many lines to function the process slowed down immensely.
I'm glad you like it. I wish I could improve upon it, but, actually (alas), I am not a programmer. I'm just using a program from another developer and plugging it into an unexpected place on the existing site : )

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