Just a heads up, I'm thinking of a way to define "widgets" for plugins (yours would definitely be a widget type plugin). Then in the ACP you'd be able to customize where it'd show up (home page near motd or as a sidebar, category sidebar etc)
As for putting this on our homepage, I think once this theme is ready it would look pretty good as a sidebar option: https://github.com/psychobunny/nodebb-theme-lavender
Awesome, keep me updated on the widgets thing. As of right now my plugin would still place the shoutbox on the top of the page on that theme.