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I've talked to a few SE users and everyone agrees that chat is a useful feature, that should be easily available. The site blogs are also deserving of promotion. Can't they both find a home in the header links?

The current situation, where the chat link is replaced by the blog link whenever there is a blog post < 24 hours old, is not a good solution:

  • The chat link disappears and reappears for a reason that has absolutely nothing to do with chat. This is confusing.
  • On some sites, there may be a blog post every couple of days - or at times (e.g. when a related conference is happening) every day. This means that the chat link is permanently or nearly-permanently hidden.

It seems like there is plenty of room in the header, even if you have a long username, vast amounts of rep and numbers of badges, and access to the mod tools. If more space is required, perhaps the search box could give up some space for its chat friend? (The size of the search box only effects the click/tap target area, since the box expands when it has focus).

There's a chat link in the meta header, but chat isn't just a place for those that participate in meta. Indeed, encouraging users to take part in chat is a great way to get them more involved so that they eventually do end up taking part in meta.

The chat links in the sidebar of some question pages (I'm guessing it's questions that have multiple answers?) are prominent, but this isn't as useful as having the link at the top of every page.

share|improve this question
    
Uh-oh.... This feature request threatens the mere existence of the "review" and/or "tools" links in the header. For some reason, Jeff is adamantly opposed to ever having more than 4 or 5 links in there. (See here for related discussion.) And I'd definitely rather high-rep users have permanent links to "review" and "tools" than either "chat" or "faq". –  Cody Gray Aug 19 '11 at 6:54
    
It's almost forcing your arm with a threat: view the blog, or don't get yer chat link back! My appeal would also align with this post, so, please don't hold decent links hostage. As an aside, my presence in normally frequented chat rooms since this change has been made has dramatically reduced (though not intentionally, I just don't find myself there - I would usually use the convenient link.) Out of 'site' out of... –  Grant Thomas Aug 19 '11 at 7:42
    
Someone on another thread suggested remove the header FAQ link for 10k users since it's in the footer anyway. That way adding tools is zero-sum. That means adding a permanent blog link is just +1 item for all users. –  agf Aug 19 '11 at 10:58
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I agree with this. If a site has regular blog posts, new users aren't going to know a chat exists unless they search for it. –  OghmaOsiris Aug 19 '11 at 14:35
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@Mr viewing the blog doesn't get the chat link back (it gets rid of the "new" flag). The only way to get the link back is to wait 24 hours (assuming that there is no new blog post during that time). –  Tony Meyer Aug 20 '11 at 6:36
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I really think this subject needs to be revisited. I was just thinking again because, when I was done reading a question on Gaming, I was going to head to chat to talk about it. I couldn't get their directly, but had to go to the main page first because the question sidebar doesn't list chat rooms, and the blog link replaced the chat link yet again. –  Powerlord Nov 2 '11 at 18:10

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