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Frequently Asked Questions

  Q: I've noticed that the word "chat" doesn't appear on your site. Yet isn't Live Online clearly computer-mediated chat?
  A: "Chat" has negative associations for many people—for good reason—conjuring up visions of unruly chat rooms and hostile situations. We'll leave "chatting " to other Web sites. Live Online is intelligent and lively moderated discussion—just what you'd expect from The Washington Post.
Q: Are the Live Online sessions really "live?"
A: Yes, they are occurring in real time. The material you are reading is being typed by a guest or host during your participation.
Q: I notice that some of your guests and hosts are in other countries. How do you do this?
A: Our discussions are Web-based. We can put anyone Live Online as long as they have Web access and a reliable Internet service provider.
  Q: What software do I have to download to participate in live discussions?
  A: None. The sessions are Web-friendly. Just click on the link in the scheduled discussion you wish to join.
Q: How can I find a transcript of a Live Online session?
A: If you know the name of the program or host, just click on the host's name. Otherwise, please click on the "Contact Us" link and we'll help you find the missing transcript.
Q: Why wasn't the question I submitted during a Live Online session answered?
A: There are several reasons. Some sessions get hundreds of questions and the host or guest cannot get to them all. Or your question may have been rendered redundant because it was asked by another reader. Great minds often run in the same channels.
  Q: How can I suggest a topic or guest for Live Online?
  A: Click on "Contact Us" and submit your ideas for the Live Online staff.
Q: How can I find the full schedule of Live Online?
A: The complete schedule is published every Saturday morning and updated throughout each day.
Q: How can I get the most recent responses during a live session?
A: Click on "Get New Responses" and you'll see any new posts.
  Q: The Live Online sessions seem slow sometimes. Is there any way to speed them up?
  A: Our software requires a guest or host to complete their answer or comment before posting it (rather than line-by-line). If the wait seems long between new responses, it's often because the host is typing out a long or involved answer.
Q: What kind of discussion software do you use?
A: Our software is proprietary, written in-house and exclusive to washingtonpost.com.
Q: Can I buy or license your software?
A: Not at the present time.

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