I've noticed that there are lots of chat rooms on chat where there isn't much technical discussion. By "isn't much" I mean:
- People advertising their own posts (not counted as technical discussion, IMO)
- ~2 technical questions a day, usually go unanswered.
- Some short technical discussion every few days
Here's what I do see in the rooms (mix and match):
- Small talk
- Random chat (What you normally see on FB/IRC/etc)
- Flirting. Yes, flirting.
- Exchanging emails
Aside from this, many users seem to visit SO just to chat, and nothing else.
Many of these rooms are in Romanized Hindi (or some other Indic language), which means that moderation of these rooms fails--thus I'm trying to clear these out first.
Yes, we do allow OT discussions in chat. OT discussions help keep a room alive, and add to community bonding. But, these rooms seem to be just full of OT stuff. And, since many users are just here for the chat, I don't see how it promotes community bonding.
One issue is that there aren't any great guidelines for the suitability of a chat room for SO. Thus, whatever points I put forward to justify deletion are arguable. In case of a bare minimum of technical discussion, Jeff's criteria are arguable as well.
My rule of thumb is Is this room useful to SO in any way?, but that's another arguable point.
Basically, I need something (preferably official) that dictates what is and is not allowed on chat, and why . This will be something useful to link to, and will hopefully prevent the inevitable "Why was my room frozen/deleted??" messages one sees. And it will prevent arguments, if the guidelines are sufficiently objective.