I have moderated a Christian forum with a chat box and a moderator is required 24/7, and still it is impossible to keep clean, even with double moderators on full time duty. Chat Boxes attract every form of predictor and I pray these forums never go there.
If they go there the shifts need to be four hours or less requiring at least eight designated mods for just the chat box and they will be required to always be there before the first six months are finished. and the mods are not paid so it would need to be volunteers with other lives to live. I also love chat boxes but ceased to go there because people are so trashy on the web because they are invisible... they believe and the world's governments have not caught up with the lawlessness of the web as of yet.
It is only possible if we begin to pay to use the forums because the Admin. pays the yearly fees for the name and the host service and then pays for the use of the software to run a site as well as bandwidth usage and a forum uses a lot of bandwidth.
We've had this discussion a couple of times before when other people said they would like to see a chat room too, and it always came down to the same problems that Bill mentioned. And to have enough moderators to staff it 24/7 we would probably have to make every active member we currently have into a moderator. Even then, 4 hours per day as a requirement, the effort it would take to schedule all that and get people to actually do it, well, it's just not practical. And the cost of paying moderators to do it even at minimum wage would be way beyond what could be done. I've heard that Greg (the site owner) actually pays money out of his pocket over and above the donations he gets just to keep us up and running as it is.
I agree it would be nice to have a chat room, but it's just not practical when there are so many trolls out there who would ruin it unless we had the kind of moderation Bill talked about. Maybe if we weren't a Christian site it would be easier, but I think whether it's a chat room or even just our regular threads, we need to remember we are seen by a lot of new Christians and non-christians and we need to be a testimony and an example to them.