If you want to do chats to teach people stuff good luck, too many people too many questions, you'd get no where. Video that people can watch own time is best way to teach.
And having a chat where people just leave a message and people respond is no different than having a forum.
Live chat is the only way to do chat. Would be a great tool for something like this for networking with others and so on.
Yeah I know it sucks cause you go to the chatroom and no one is there to talk to. But stick with it and as salehoo grows so will the chatroom. The best way to build up a chat room is to be there yourself. Even if you don't chat on it all the time at least sign in so there are people there and check in from time to time.