I had the idea that SuttaCentral.net could try providing live, volunteer, distributed chat support for the website. [EDIT: reference to another thread removed]
Personally I absolutely love when a website has a real live person available to answer questions. It seems like there are lots of people involved with the forum spread around the world and frequently sitting at their computer. And when no one was available there would just be the option of submitting an email that would get responded to the next time a volunteer logged in.
My idea is that the purpose of the chat support would be to provide basic support of how to use the website. For more in depth questions people would be encouraged to join the forum and post the question there.
Even if it was only done for a short time, it might provide valuable information on how people are using the site and the trouble they have. It would also enable the creation of short help articles dealing with the specific pain/friction points users have. I’m always happy for a chat support person to give me a link to the knowledge-base article that helps solve my problem.
It appears that there are several open source chat programs that could be installed on the sc servers. The best looking one I found is called Live Helper Chat. The have a demo setup here so you can log in to the back end as well as the front end and have a pretend chat with yourself. The back end is quite sophisticated, seemingly with all the common chat support features one would expect.
I don’t have any of the skills needed to install the software, but I would be happy to help create resources for the volunteer chat support people.