What about setting up an IRC chatroom on one of the IRC servers - http://www.irchelp.org/irchelp/networks/servers/ - ?

With a link from got mead to #Got_Mead, and a couple of others to servers for downloading a chat client like - http://www.mirc.com/ - or - http://www.xchat.org/ -.

These servers are very dependable for the most part. Are not directly connected to the server hosting your primary website. Do not require you to reinstall the forum software if there ever should be a problem.

Anthony