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Friday, 29 March, 2002, 13:18 GMT
Live Chat help
During the World Cup, BBC Sport Online will be inviting you to talk live with the stars.

After the matches, stars from BBC television and radio will be taking in part in our World Cup Live Chats.

Here are some FAQ's to help you get the most out of your World Cup textual experience:

Q: What is Live Chat?

A: Live chat is a scheduled event, a cross between e-mail and a radio phone-in, where you have the chance to put your questions to World Cup guests backstage at the BBC. It couldn't be simpler!

When you submit a question for the guest(s) it is sent to the production team in the chat studio. The team then make a selection from all the questions that have come in, with the best ones answered by the guest(s).

As the questions are answered the responses appear on your PC screen for you to read. You can then carry on asking questions throughout the chat or, if you prefer, just sit back and watch.

Q: Why can't I log in?

A: BBC chats are best viewable through a browser. This is made possible by a Java interface that automatically loads in your browser when you enter the chat page. Unfortunately, if you are using an older browser you may not be able to run Java applets without updating to version 3.0 or above.

It's possible your company's firewall is getting in the way. If you're chatting from work, check with your network administrator. If they can't do anything to help, you may still access the chat, but you will have to download and install an IRC client program.

If you happen to be behind what is called a SOCKS firewall, you can then connect to the chat by going to the server and using port 6666-6669, 7777. Once you have connected to the server, you will need to type /list to find out what chat room or live chat area is being used, then type /join followed by the name of that chat (ie. if the event room is being used you would type /join #sptevent).

Most IRC client programs can be configured to speak the text of the chat if you are visually impaired. Unfortunately, users of an IRC client will not have access to sounds and text colours sometimes made available to users of the Java interface although they will still be able to take part.

Please click here if you'd like to know more about IRC

Q: How do I send a question/comment?

A: Just type your question in the box at the bottom of the screen. e.g "Will England make it through to the next round?" Then just press the [Enter] or [Return] key on your keyboard. In the Live Chat window, the server will tell you that your question has been sent to the moderators for consideration.

Q: Why isn't my question getting answered?

A: There could be hundreds of other people joining the event who are also asking questions and posting statements. In a live chat event, there isn't always time to answer everybody. All the questions that are asked are sent to the production team, who select the best ones and pass them on to the host.

Try and keep your question(s) short and to the point, this will make it easier for the host to pick the most suitable questions from the shortlist.

Q: Why can't I talk to the other people in the audience?

A: To keep things organised only the Guests and World Cup Host(s) are allowed to talk to everyone. If everyone in the audience could chat to each other, chaos would reign! But don't worry. The guest and the team can see your questions even though the other people in the audience can't .. so be good out there ;-)

Q: What's wrong? Nothing is happening in the chat window!

A: Sometimes after joining the chat you may find that it takes a few seconds, or even a minute or two, for you to see anything. This is because you will only be able to see questions and statements sent after you have joined. For example, before you enter a live chat we may have announced that the guest is taking a minute long break, or a very long question has been asked which is taking the guest a minute or two to consider before responding. Please be patient.

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