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Wouldn't it be awesome to live chat with other users.

Especially if you've just asked a question and you have people considering to answer your question but want to know more and need an immediate response.

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3 Answers 3

I think that would have a bad side effect of 'trapping' people on a single question that might otherwise use their time to answer more questions.

The comment system works well for this, my typical behavior:

  • Leave a comment asking for more information
  • Go answer other questions
  • When a reply is received, go back and answer the question, or ask for more information again
  • Go answer other questions

I really see people just 'parking' in one place if that was implemented, which may increase user input but decrease the actual participation that we want.

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I think that's a major problem with introducing any kind of chat to SO: It keeps people from reloading the frontpage and answering questions. Instead they will hang out in the chat (of course not all of them, but some will and this will reduce the number of available answerers). –  sth Jul 21 '10 at 10:27
    
@sth - I think for most people its a balance. I love answering questions on SO .. and sometimes I like to have some fun with the people in #stackoverflow. But putting a 'chat box' on a question page is basically codifying flypaper. –  Tim Post Jul 21 '10 at 10:47

That particular usage I think would be bad, as you want to capture that sort of information permanently in the question, so you should just use comments (unless the user goes back and edits the question to add the new information, but generally they're not going to think of that). There is utility in a question-oriented chat room for other discussions, however, which is why they're working on that feature now

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That should use the question/room link that will be added. I don't think we're going to touch the core UI, if that is what you mean.

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