The chat will start at 6pm sharp Boston time with Mountie on the Bounty. The chat room will open an hour beforehand so people can get settled in, so we'll start inviting people from 5pm Boston time.
We're using an AIM chatroom managed through Trillian, so you'll need a) an AIM screen name (sign up here) and b) Trillian (download here).
If you haven't used Trillian before, here's how to tell it your AIM nick:
1) Open up the main window and go to the Trillian menu.
2) Go To Connections --> Manage My Connections.
3) Click on the 'Add a new connection' button, choose AIM, then enter your screen name and password and click Connect.
To get into the chat:
Especially if you're using AIM proper, don't invite yourself into the chatroom - AIM and Trillian do this weird thing where if you join the chatroom on your own, you can't see half the people in it.
An invitation post will go up before the chat, so to get in, either comment to the post with your AIM nick and someone will invite you (we'll be tracking the post, so you shouldn't have to wait long), or else private-message someone already in the chat and ask for an invitation.
If you can't use Trillian (because you're on a Mac or whatever), then fire up AIM and do the same thing - private-message someone in the room and ask for an invitation, or comment to the invitation post.
If you aren't around at start time, PM someone when you get here, or leave a comment on the post for an invitation.
If you find yourself wanting to set up a side chat as well as hanging in the main chat:
Either click on someone's name in the contacts window to start a conversation, then click Actions in the menu bar --> Invite to chat room, or just right-click on someone's name in the contacts window and choose 'Invite to chat room'.
Once you have a chatroom, you can right-click on Users in the right-hand panel and 'Invite', then fill in people's screen names. This is the only way to invite people who aren't on your buddy list, but you can invite people who are by right-clicking their name in the main contacts window.
Once you're in the chat, you can right-click on a name in the 'users' panel on the right-hand side to add them to your contacts.
Also, Trillian has a few emoticons that make noise, which is really cute, but obviously annoying while you're watching something. To turn them off, go to File --> Options --> Emotisounds in the chat window.
With so many people involved, we have to stick to the schedule like Ray to Fraser, so please have all your files ready or DVDs in the player beforehand. Five minutes before the hour, we'll all cue up the video and pause it at the same frame, then someone counts down and we all hit play at the same moment. Squee ensues! After the end of the first video, there's ten minutes or so free, and then we repeat the process with the second video. \o/
And don't worry - anyone who shows up late or whose computer crashes can ask for a timestamp and catch up.
And finally, unlike AIM itself, Trillian automatically saves chat logs, which is great for rereading the fun, but means it's a good idea to be careful how much personal information you give. (To view a chat history, either right-click someone's name in the contacts window and choose View Contact History, or go right to the text file, which lives in a subfolder in the Trillian folder.)
My AIM nick is theantichrisnz, and the others are thesageness (sageness), thecatthatwalked (catwalksalone), logophile13 (sansets), and jamethielbane (jamethiel_bane). At least one of us should be around at all times, so if you have a problem, get in touch with us or comment on the invitation post.
Oh, this is going to be so much fun. Like a con, but with more pyjamas! *twirls in barely coherent excitement*