A lot can be learned in a chat room as well...
Establishes a better report between members!
Sometimes when the English words are lacking it can better teach each other to see better!
Learn more about friends from other countries.
I have to respectfully disagree with you on the subject.
While this may be true to some, it doesn't negate the fact that there are many chat options out there already and adding one here would be a exercise in redundancy. For those who like to chat, I would suggest a free program like IM which is easy to use and even can be used while on this forum, why would anyone need anything else? I have nothing aginst those who wish to chat, by all means chat your hearts out, but there is no logical reason to have a chat area taking up real estate and bandwidth when one can chat already.
I didn't think there was anything wrong with the existing rapport between the members that needed improvement?
In my opinion, chat areas simply allow information to be passed along without review by our peers, bad information can go unchallenged or uncorrected when it is basically hidden from the forum members eyes.
Also chat doesn't allow for good content to be archived, searched, and read by members in the future, in effect, chat produces temporary information that may be good or bad and then it gone with the wind.
Before there were forums, there was the likes of IRC, Undernet, EFNET, ect and there were bonsai chat rooms there as well, they were popular because frankly, that's all there was. But nothing from those were saved, all the good, bad, fun, friends, are all lost, gone, forgotten.
Many forums base their worth on the number of members they have, or the number of hits they get, some even intelligently base their worth on the number of truly active members and just not on the names in the member list. However, the nitty-gritty of the matter is that a forum should be judged by the content it has, a bonsai forum with 60% non-bonsai related content is only 40% good, as related to bonsai and those seeking info on the same. A chat area adds zero content to a forum and, judged on the previous thought, it is worthless.