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#TheGreyBox – Week One

It has been a week since #TheGreyBox was launched and we’ve already been having great discussions with great people all around.

It was a bit tough the first couple of days after the opening as people kept joining for a span of a few seconds and then quit. Fortunately though, people quickly understood that a chatroom doesn’t work like a virtual game and they started hanging around (i.e. idling) a bit more.

In just seven days, we’ve already had an impressive total of over sixty actual chatters engaging in conversations!
The best surprise however was the diversity of the people that have been joining en masse.
Any of our visitors will tell you about the wide variety of guests we’ve been having, including repped writers and writer’s assistant–and they were all graciously answering questions.
Plus, all television genres have been represented, from the obvious like comedy and drama, to even animation.
Interestingly, some of the best discussions and advice given on #TheGreyBox did not happen when a gazillion people where hovering around, rather at random, impromptu moments.

The lesson to be learned here is that great advice is always around the corner on #TheGreyBox.
And this is just another reason to hang out more on the chan!
I’ve already talked numerous times about the benefits of staying in the chatroom, not the least of which is, just as I said, being present when something epic is going on.

It is a pain to keep a browser tab open 24/7, especially with virtually no notifications of incoming messages.
If you’ve already checked out the chan and like it, I therefore encourage you to get an IRC client.

What is an IRC client?
Think of it like a dedicated software for IRC and its chatrooms.
TweetDeck for instance is a Twitter client. GTalk is also a client, but for Google Talk.
The same way you can check Twitter on their website or use GTalk via GMail, you can use a webchat for IRC (probably what you’re using right now).
Although it is easy and simple to use a webchat when you are at work or away, it is always nice to come back home to a personal client customized to your needs.

Why you should use an IRC client:
1) Connectivity
You won’t need to keep a browser tab open to reach the chan. Your IRC client will be able to be minimized, run in the background or even comfortably rest in your taskbar. No need to keep going back and forth between websites or reconnecting every time you want to join.
2) Awareness
Even if your client is running in the background, you will be instantly notified when someone logs in and/or when a discussion is happening. Never will you miss another conversation about television writing.
3) Logging
Remember that great advice Amy gave you about your spec last week? Neither do I.
Now you don’t have to worry about relying on your fragile memory with the introduction of logging. As the name implies, your client will log every conversation going on in the chatroom inside a simple text file (with as much information as you want it to contain). That way, you will easily be able to read back Friday’s discussion about fellowships without missing a beat.
And if you’re busy/away but your client is running in the background, you will actually be able to log discussions you were not able to attend.

I wrote a simple, straightforward guide (with pictures!) to help you install and configure your client as you wish. You can check it out over here.

Obviously, if you don’t want to deal with all the technical hassles (though they’re worth it), you can always join the chan the old fashioned way, by going to http://www.thegreybox.net.

And since Monday morning is “Comic-Con ticket sale” day, we’ll be hosting an e-party on the chan starting at 5:30AM PST/8:30AM EST!

We’ll see you on #TheGreyBox.

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