I suggest you ...

Allow ad-hoc chats between multiple persons

Creating a flow for an ad-hoc chat is too heavy. I'd like to be able to add people into a chat for 1 hour to discuss something, then delete / archive the chat when we are done.

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    Jukka TupamäkiJukka Tupamäki shared this idea  ·   ·  Admin →

    10 comments

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      • Matthew CummingsMatthew Cummings commented  · 

        Yes, please add this. Skype, HipChat and other tools make this super easy to do.

      • Kevin ProwKevin Prow commented  · 

        This is the most major hurdle for adoption for my team. We would really like to see this feature added--it exists in virtually all messaging platforms but this one.

      • Rob PattiRob Patti commented  · 

        Yes, please. Came to this site specifically to post this. Glad others would like this feature too. Even something like starting with a 1:1 chat, and having the ability to add others to the conversation would be great.

      • Pavneet Singh SaundPavneet Singh Saund commented  · 

        This is something we could use in our team. We have approx 40 people on our flows at different locations and ad-hoc conversation happens quite a bit, the overhead of creating a room for quick discussion is too high at the moment.

        Previously we used Skype as the internal chat / discussion tool and are very pleased with the transition to flow dock, and this is one thing that Skype does well. It's very easy to add other participants to an existing conversation. Behind the scenes Skype creates a new group with its own history and such, which is based on the combination of users.
        x,y = private
        x,y,z = group discussion
        w,x,y,z = another discussion

        What this did was to create a new group with these people involved, and had a separate history for the combination of people. The down-side is that you couldn't "continue" a conversation which has been started as a 1-to-1 chat. Maybe it makes sense to create a flow automatically when you expand from 1-to-1 discussion to many-to-many, so after you expand, you'v really created a new flow that can be named later.

        Would really love something along these lines to make its way into the application

      • Jonathan FalknerJonathan Falkner commented  · 

        I have a few suggestions that would require minimal changes to flowdock to make this possible if the flowdock team is interested in implementing this idea:

        Proposed Solution 1 (nothing but "core" functionality, essentially):
        - allow any flow to have sub-flows created from within the flow using a list of @usernames to create the flow (example: /subflow We need to discuss Joe's proposed fix to bug #744. @joe, @jimbob, @sue, @terryc)
        - the subflow would exist as a single "message" in the primary flow, linking out to the new sub-flow
        - under the hood, the subflow would just be a new flow, but it's title would be automatically set to [parent flow title]: [the comment used to create the flow], it's access set to invitation only, and an invite would be immediately sent to the @usernames provided in the message creating the new subflow.
        - the only difference functionally between a flow and a subflow would be that the subflow would automatically "archive" (be disabled) as soon as the last user leaves the flow (though it would be nice to indent the subflow and ensure it's immediately following the parent flow when presenting it in the list of flows so the relationship is clear)

        Pros:
        - uses nearly 100% existing functionality
        - The only non standard bits, excluding automation (auto-create, auto-link to created flow, auto-invite, and auto-archive on last person leaving) is the bit where it'd be nice to indent the flow when presenting it in flowdock's flow list. Basically, this could be implemented right now with only minor changes to flowdock:
        1) add a parent/child relationship for flows OR add a relationship between a flow and a comment that created the flow
        2) add css to indent any flow that has data indicating it is related to another flow
        3) add a new command called "subflow" that behaves as described above

        Cons:
        - no gui interaction for creating a flow (so user has to know the format of the command or they might not get a subflow created from their message)
        - clutters up the list of flows for an organization
        - limited to creating a subflow from users already present in a flow
        This may not be a serious issue because most companies have a company-wide flow, and most of these ad-hoc meetings are between a subset of people on a project, meaning they are likely already in a project flow together, and for people outside that flow that need to be added, once the subflow is created, since it's just a normal flow with a few minor rules around when/how it archives, it would be very easy to add additional people not in the original parent flow.

        Proposed Solution 2 (adding a bit of spit and polish and GUI goodness):
        All of the first proposed solution, but add an action on any flow message to "convert message into a subflow" which would prompt the user with a popup box where the list of @usernames to initially invite would be entered, and submitting that list of users would convert the comment (and its thread of sub-comments) into a new subflow, leaving the original comment in place, formatted as a link to the new subflow.

        I really hope we can get something implemented to address this, preferably something like Option 2... if not, I guess I'll be writing a script to make option 1 as much of a reality as is possible, and have to be satisfied with 70% of the desired functionality being available.

      • dh Leedh Lee commented  · 

        If you're okay "talking" with multiple people in a private disposable room, you can consider integrating http://voicechatapi.com into Flowdock for your team.

        It's a free open-source audio conferencing app built using the Plivo API/WebRTC/Flash. It's exposed via an API which lets you integrate with various web apps out there. The room is disposable in 24 hours so you can get into a new room every time.

        For instance, I wrote the Hubot plugin which can be integrated with Flowdock easily. You can create your own "disposable" conference room with a single line of command. (https://github.com/dhfromkorea/hubot-scripts/blob/master/src/scripts/voicechat.coffee/)

      • Jukka TupamäkiJukka Tupamäki commented  · 

        That 1 hour is just an example but you get the idea. Temporary chats. :)

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