To create a new chat, first sign in and then click on the Create Chat link in the header. Enter a chat name and a start time, and press the "Create Chat" button.

Chats will automatically start at the date and time specified when the chat was created. However you can manually start the chat prior to this time. You can also choose to Open the Message Queue prior to the start of the chat, allowing users to submit questions before the chat begins.

YES, you can create JotCast chats for free with our Basic plan. This will limit the number of users who can enter your chats, as well as the number of reader minutes you can use per monthly billing cycle.

You can upgrade your service level at any time if you wish to increase your monthly limits.

Reader Minutes represent the total amount of time your users can spend in your chats per monthly billing cycle. For example, if 100 users join your chat for 5 minutes, then 500 reader minutes will be deducted from your account.

Basic (free) account are allotted 1,000 reader minutes per billing cycle, while Professional accounts have 200,000. Non-Basic accounts can exceed their reader minute allotment, but will be charged an additional amount for extra minutes based on their service level pricing.

You can also configure monthly spending limits in the Account Overview section.

After you create a chat you will be given HTML code that you can place directly onto your website. You can use the provided iframe HTML code to include the chat anywhere on your site, or link directly to ours!

You can add additional moderators to your chat by going to My Chats and clicking on the moderators icon next to the chat. From here you can search for other registered users by their email address to add them as a moderator.

The number of moderators you can add to each chat will depend on your Service Level.

Chat Features

You can publish or reject a moderator queue message by clicking on the and buttons.

Published and rejected messages do not appear in the Community Questions after the chat ends. It is also possible to delete messages after they've been published, and publish rejected messages.

You can block/unblock users from a moderator queue message by pressing the / buttons. This will prevent the user from submitting additional messages to the queue, but the user will not be notified that they have been blocked.

When a user is blocked, the block button will appear enabled for all messages that were sent by the user, for all moderators.

You can edit a moderator queue message by pressing the Edit button.

You can also edit messages that have already been published by hovering over the message in the chat area, and then pressing the Edit button.

In addition to text messages, users and moderators can add images or YouTube videos to the chat. YouTube links can be pasted directly into the chat input area. To add images to the chat, simply press the button next to the chat input to insert your image.

To include Twitter messages in your chat, you can simply paste the URL of the tweet (i.e. into a message in your chat, and we'll automatically import the tweet for you.

For more advanced tweet curation, you can sync your Twitter account by selecting the Twitter messages tab from the moderator panel. You can then use the Twitter messages tab to search for any Twitter @user, #hashTag, or phrase. Just click the publish icon to add results to the chat.

You sure can! You can either import tweets from specific users into the Twitter messages tab for you to publish, or you can have the tweets automatically published into the chat.

Just go to the Auto-Import tab in the settings menu, type in a Twitter Handle and hit the Add User button. At any point you can modify whether you track Retweets and/or Media, and also if you want tweets automatically published. If you do not automatically publish tweets, results will be visible by selecting the "Imported Messages" option within the Twitter messages tab.

To create a poll, simply use the polls tab in the Moderator's panel. Once the poll is added into the chat, the results are updated in real-time. You can end the poll at any time you choose.

If you want to save a message to publish later, you can click on the / icons to "star" the message. All starred messages will appear in the normal message queue, as well as the Starred messages tab.

You make a user a "trustee" by toggling the / button on a message they have submitted. This will allow the user to send messages that are automatically added to the chat without having to be published by a moderator.

This can be used for guest speakers that you don't want to have full moderator access, or known users that you trust will provide valuable content.

Reactions are emoticon responses that users can add to a published message, promoting user interaction and letting them express themselves.

Users can add a reaction by hovering over a message and clicking on the reaction button. If a reaction has already been added to a message, users can click on the existing reaction to increase the reaction count. Hovering over a reaction will show how many users have added that reaction.

In order to enable reactions, you must set the Reactions option to On when the chat is first created. You cannot change this option after the chat is created.

Yes! You can use filters to include or exclude messages from the queue via the moderator settings panel.

Filters can be used in two different modes: Include or Exclude. In exclude mode, filters can be used to exclude all messages containing a particular phrase from the queue. Include mode filters can be used to exclude all messages from the queue that do not contain a particular phrase.

You can apply multiple filters to the queue, and they are cumulative. Filters are specific to the moderator that applies them, and will not affect the messages that another moderator sees in the queue. Once you remove a filter, any messages that were filtered out will reappear in the queue.

Similar to the peanut gallery, the Community Discussion board allow users to add forum-like responses to messages once the chat has ended. This only applies to messages that were not published or rejected during the actual chat. The board allows users to see other peoples' comments and continue the conversation even after the chat has ended!

You can enable the Community Discussion board in the moderator panel by clicking on the "Open Queue" button. This can only be done once the chat is over.

You can retrieve an RSS transcript of a completed chat by clicking on the RSS icon next to the chat title in the My Chats section.

Yes! When creating a chat first select "Schedule Chat" for the start time. You will then be able to select how often and when the chat repeats from the recurrence dropdown.

You can have chats repeat every day, weekday or weekend, day of week, date of the month, etc.

You can also manage all of your reoccurring chats by going to My Chat Recurrences.

Mentions are an easy way to configure links to your or other websites using keywords, which you can then input into your chat. For example, you could create a mention to Google and then insert it into a chat by typing the @ symbol followed by a "G" in the message area, which will then show you a list of all mentions starting with that letter. You may be familiar with this feature from sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Mentions can only be configured by uploading a JSON file of key-value pairs in the Chat Mentions section, with the key being a keyword and the value being a URL. Once a mentions file has been uploaded you can select it from the Mentions dropdown when creating new chats.

Click here to view a sample mentions file.

My Account

You can change your service level in the My Account Service Level section.

Service level increases will take affect right away, with the prorated monthly difference between your new and old service level being charged to your credit card immediately.

Service level downgrades will go into affect starting at the beginning of your next billing cycle.

Your billing history, broken down by monthly billing period, is available in the My Account Billing History section.

You can also view your Usage Details which will show you your used minutes per chat for each billing cycle.

You can view and edit your payment methods in the My Account Payment Methods section. You must have at least one payment method on file for non-Basic service levels.

No payment methods are required for the Basic service level!

Linked accounts allow you to share your reader minutes with other users. For example, if you have a staff of writers you can add each of them to your master account so that any one of them can create and host chats.

We are always looking for suggestions of useful features to implement. If you have an idea for a feature, please Contact Us.