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E.g. http://chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/2496/academia

I know that I can browse the chat when I'm not logged on. But what if I am logged on and want to spare the inconvenience of logging off/multiple browsers?

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Use an incognito window? –  Zoredache Feb 22 '12 at 17:15
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This isn't something we currently have planned, mainly since it seems such a rare case, and there are multiple ways of achieving this simply,and quickly (@Zoredache hits the nail pretty squarely). Is there a particular scenario you have in mind that needs this? –  Marc Gravell Feb 22 '12 at 19:41

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Instead of jumping into the chatroom, you can view the transcript. In this example, the transcript is at http://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/2496.

Reading the transcript does not count you as entering the room. While it will not update in real time, every time you refresh will update the transcript for any new messages. Not the most efficient means, but otherwise, there isn't any other means of silently observing a room in-engine.

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Jinx! –  jadarnel27 Feb 22 '12 at 16:51

Well, you can always monitor the transcript. It doesn't refresh automatically, but if you're not looking to be an active participant in the chat I'm not sure why this would be an issue.

Otherwise, just open a private browsing session in your browser of choice where you won't be logged into the Stack Exchange network, and access the room that way. It's a little extra work on your part, but this seems like an odd use case to me anyway.

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Jinx! –  jadarnel27 Feb 22 '12 at 16:50
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Actually @jadarnel27, Grace Note is Tim's sockpuppet account. –  The Unhandled Exception Feb 22 '12 at 16:51
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Yeah, but Tim is just rchern's sockpuppet. –  Grace Note Feb 22 '12 at 16:51
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It always leads back to everyone being Rebecca Chernoff. Spooky ^_^ –  jadarnel27 Feb 22 '12 at 16:53
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That is true @GraceNote. But wo isn't rchern's sockpuppet? rchern is an agent of this system, she can control any user who hasn't taken the red pill! –  The Unhandled Exception Feb 22 '12 at 16:53
    
@jadarnel27: Why's that? –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 22 '12 at 16:53
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@BoltClock You don't think it would be spooky if we were all the same person? –  jadarnel27 Feb 22 '12 at 16:59

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