with e-mail, newsgroups, and the World Wide Web, another
one of the primary reasons people get on the Internet
is to find chat rooms and chat with people from all over
the world about various topics. Unlike e-mail and newsgroups,
chat rooms are not a standardized service. Chat rooms
can be hosted on any type of server and have any type
of interface through any protocol that a chat room administrator
One popular type of chat room is known as web chat.
These are chat rooms that work through an HTML web page
interface, usually with buttons and frames and forms for
logging in. Alternatively, chat rooms can be located on
real-time effect (messages appear as they are typed in,
instead of waiting for a web page to reload).
There is also IRC, or Internet Relay
Chat, which requires that you download an IRC client
(such as mIRC or pIRCh)
to connect an IRC server . Once you are connected to an
IRC server, you can then join thousands of different channels
(rooms) and participate in real-time chatting.
Then there are dozens of other means of chatting over
the Internet -- with programs you can download, on servers
you can telnet to, and even with Internet phones. No matter
how you chat, keep in mind that the Internet is largely
anonymous -- the friendly stranger in a chat room is still
a stranger, and not an ideal person to give out your phone
number and address to. However, if you keep personal information
private and use common sense, chatting is mostly a safe
and addictive way to pass the time!
Below, we have listed some popular
starting points on the Internet where you can find chat
rooms dedicated to hundreds of topics. You can also visit
your favorite search
engine and type in "chat" and "your_favorite_topic",
whatever it may be, to search for other chat rooms.