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Questions for Site Owners

Q) Which browsers does Envolve work on?
A) Envolve works on all major browsers. IE7+, Safari, Chrome, FireFox and Opera.

Q) Can I view old chats?
A) Yes. Site owners can view statistics on chat history over time for all chats. They can also see the transcripts for all public chats held on their sites. Private chats on the other hand are always kept private.

Q) Someone is being a jerk, what can I do about it?
A) We take moderation of chats very seriously and have put a great deal of effort into providing a full spectrum of moderation tools. As a site owner you will have the ability to boot, block, and ban unruly users, remove user-created chats from the toolbar, and modify a number of settings to restrict the abilities of users on your site. You can, for instance, restrict anonymous chat, only allow anonymous users to send a small number of messages, or restrict the creation of toolbar chats to admins only.

Q) Can Envolve work across multiple domains?
A) Yes it can, though this may require some special setup. Please Contact Us if you would like to do this.

Q) Can I run Envolve on my own servers?
A) No, sorry, we're a hosted-only solution. This has a number of benefits for you as a site owner in regards to performance, scalability, and ease of installation and upgrades.

Q) I already have a community with existing user accounts, can I just pass my users' names to Envolve?
A) Yes. This feature is called "Single Sign-On". This is available through our Developer API as well as through all of our plugins.

Q) How is Envolve different than other toolbars, such as the Meebo Bar?
A) Meebo and other similar toolbars focus on allowing chat within an end-user's existing social graph. They provide a one-size-fits all widget for this purpose. Envolve focuses on deep integration with internet communities so that the members of those communities can have group chats and private chats each other, rather than just their Facebook friends or AIM buddies.

Q) I have a large site and the chat has become too busy for good conversations. What can I do?
A) This is a good problem to have! We have found that chat tends to break down when a single group has more than around 200 users online in the same place and have put a significant amount of work into making chat effective for even the very largest of sites. We generally recommend that very large sites be broken up into groups. For information on how this can be accomplished, check out our documentation on grouping. Groups allow large sites to break up their website into different sections. Users within these sections will see users and chats relative to that section, but if they begin a conversation they will be able to carry that conversation around the site.

Q) Why does it say 10 users online when I only see 5 names?
A) Envolve hides the names of anonymous, inactive users. Users will appear in the list if they log in, or if they use Envolve.

Q) Why does Envolve display a different number of online users than my forum software?
A) Envolve maintains real-time connections to all chatters. It is able to tell in a matter of milliseconds when users join or leave a site. Forum software on the other hand can only approximate how many users are online at one time, and it generally errs on the side of higher numbers of users.

Q) I banned a user, but he is now back on my site. Why?
A) Envolve bans users by IP address. If you are using one of our plugins and you have only banned a user from the chat (and not disabled their account), that user will be able to reconnect to the chat if he/she changes IP addresses. This user could, for instance, go to a coffee shop down the street. If you want to make sure this user can't chat any more, we suggest restricting their account in your CMS, or restricting chat to only certain groups.

Q) I banned a user, but now I want to unban them. How do I do this?
A) You can delete bans from the Moderation tab in our administrative interface.

Q) Why is my Envolve user account different than the one on my forum?
A) Site administrators must have an account with Envolve. This is so they are able to access & manage their chat through Envolve's back end.

Q) How do I modify the setting for...?
A) Many of our options are available through our admin interface. In addition, if you are using a plugin there will be options from the settings page in your CMS. Developers have access to an even larger set of options through our API.

Q) Why do flash objects overlap Envolve?
A) Flash objects are different that normal HTML elements. In order to not have Envolve covered up, please change the 'wmode' parameter to 'transparent' you can do this in several ways:

  1. If you are using object tag in your code, please add the following parameter to the OBJECT tag:

    <param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param>

    For example:

    <object width="200? height="600?>
    <param name="wmode" value="transparent">

  2. If you are using embed tag in your code, please add the following parameter to the EMBED tag:

    wmode = "transparent"

    For example:

    <embed src=..... wmode="transparent"> </embed>

  3. If you are using Javascript in order to load flash object, please add the following function to your javascript code:

    swfobj.addParam("wmode", "transparent");

    For example:

    <script type="text/javascript">
    var swfobj = new SWFObject("movie.swf", "movie", . . . );
    swfobj.addParam("wmode", "transparent");
    . . .

Questions for Chatters

Q) What does the 'New Chat' button do?
A) The New Chat button allows you to start a conversation about any topic you would like to talk about. Splitting conversations up allows people interested in specific subjects to easily find each other and have a meaningful conversation. The New Chat button will create a public chat that is viewable to everyone and can be viewed by the site owner later.

Q) What is a private chat?
A) Private chats are started by clicking the 'chat' link next to a user's name. They will say 'Private Chat' at the top and are not visible to anybody else beside the participants. The transcript data is not available to the site owner or anyone else.

Q) Can I have a group private chat?
A) Yes. Start a private chat with one person and then drag-and-drop the names of the other people you'd like to private chat with into the window.

Q) Someone is being a jerk. What can I do about it?

  1. You can roll over that user's name and click 'block'. They will no longer be able to interact with you.
  2. If you are the creator of a public chat you can roll over that person's name and click 'boot'. This will remove them from the chat. Admins can also ban users by IP address.
  3. As a chat creator (or admin), you also have the ability to clear the chat history by selecting the option from the menu at the top of the chat.

Q) What does the 'type a status message here' box do?
A) Once enter is pressed, it sends a message to everyone on the page in the form of a popup that appears in the lower right hand corner of their screen. For example, if you frequent a job board, such as you could broadcast: "Looking for a job as a iPhone App Developer." This message then is displayed under your name in the list of people in the People Here list.

Q) Are chats encrypted?
A) If you are on a website that is using SSL, Envolve will also use SSL and chat data will be encrypted when sent over the network. Envolve is not intended for use in high-security situations though, so please do not use it to transmit credit card numbers or other highly sensitive data.

Q) Do you store my chat history?
A) Please read our Privacy Policy.

Q) I'm typing French and the other user is typing English. Why isn't the automatic translation working?
A) We provide translation services when we detect that the language settings of the users' browsers are different. Check to make sure that your browser is set to French and that the other user's browser is set to English. A good way to test this is to go to and see what language it is displayed in.

Q) My browser says "Waiting for". Does this mean your servers are slow?
A) On many browsers we do our real-time communication using a technique called long-polling. This requires your browser to continually have connections open to our server so that we can push data back to you when it is ready. This is normal behavior and does not interfere with the rest of your web browsing. Most of the time those connections are idle and we are not sending any data either, so we are not wasting your bandwidth either.

Q) I accidentally blocked someone. How can I unblock them?
A) Blocks are on a per-session basis. All a user has to do is close and reopen their browser (or clear cookies) in order for the block to go away. "Banning" is different than blocking, so if an admin banned a user they will have to remove the ban from our administrative interface.


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