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This may indicate I'm "vintage", but social networks, as good as they are, are not Usenet. To be more precise, the net is too wide. Usenet gave me a group and a topic set, with threaded conversations (sound like something we know?)

However, StackExchange, though it has the topics, and the threads, is, in my opinion, missing something else... live interaction. We're not on Vt100s anymore. Has anyone at SE thought of adding, even an IRC thread, for a given topic? I see it working this way...

You browse SE as usual, and, by each topic, you now see a number in a green box -- the number of people in it's live chat. Click on that box to join in. Something like a Google Hangout...

I could DO this with Google Hangouts, but then you'd need to manage the two systems and Google Plus, nice as it is, lacks the topic structure.

Anyone ever thought of something like this, or something better?

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migrated from May 13 '13 at 13:49

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I'm confused about what exactly it is you're asking. The stackexchange sites already have chat. – Anthony Grist May 13 '13 at 13:50
@AnthonyGrist most likely the user here isn't aware the chat exists. – Shadow Wizard May 13 '13 at 13:51
Did you see there is and – Martijn Pieters May 13 '13 at 13:55
Preferring Usenet over more modern alternatives doesn't make you vintage, just old. I'm an old enough netizen myself to remember Archie and Gopher as well, doesn't mean they were any good ;) – Niels Keurentjes May 13 '13 at 14:34
Hey, Gopher was great for getting Monty Python sound clips from the University of Michigan – LittleBobbyTables May 13 '13 at 15:35

We've already got this. Chat is the StackExchange networks "third place".

To access the chat rooms for the site you're on, click the "Chat" link at the top of the page. enter image description here

You're then shown a list of rooms currently running on the site. enter image description here

To join the room, click on the name.

To view a list of all StackExchange rooms, click here.

Bear in mind you need 20 reputation (site-wide) to talk. Most rooms are open to all, however there are a number of private (Mod-only) rooms or you have to request to join the room. Each room/site has it's own culture as well, so it may be a good idea to idle in the room for a while and get a "feel". The Chat Faq is worth a read and may answer many more questions.

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Yes, we support this - see

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Downvoter explain? – djechlin May 13 '13 at 14:36
Your answer appears in the "Low Quality Posts" queue. And I can imagine why. This is phrased as a comment rather than an answer. You might want to improve it, if you don't end up duplicating the other answer. – Bart May 13 '13 at 15:17
@Bart - okay, I worded it to make it sound more like an answer than a comment. I'm pretty okay with its terseness. It was sooner and I'm not interested in expanding it to duplicate the very slightly later more complete answer. – djechlin May 13 '13 at 15:32

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