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I'm just wondering if it's a good idea to have multiple chat rooms on every site? I've been browsing the StackOverflow chat rooms and they seem largely orphaned and fractured.

I like the software, but I wonder if there would be more value in having just 1 chat room per site, just like there is only 1 meta per site.

I'm not a heavy user though, so I maybe not seeing the benefits, but to me it looks like each SE site with a chat is essentially it's own separated "IRC" network rather than a single channel in one large "IRC" Network.

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2 Answers 2

Well, there are a couple of things to consider here:

  • First, StackOverflow is a very large community that is intentionally quite diverse, whereas most of the other StackExchange sites are very focused in their scope. Because of all of the different programming languages on StackOverflow, there needs to be different rooms to accommodate the different topics.
  • Secondly, chat is not IRC, so there's no need to compare them :)
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but to me it looks like each SE site with a chat is essentially it's own separated "IRC" network rather than a single channel in one large "IRC" Network.

How so? It's exactly like that. Each room on chat.stackexchange.com corresponds to a single site.

Yes, there can be multiple rooms, or even another top level domain, but very few sites (other than Stack Overflow) are large enough to support that.

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Ah, I see, in which case it's indeed confusing because Trilogy Sites have multiple rooms, which I find less-than-optimal. Gaming has at least two rooms as well for example. Maybe it's just a UI thing: It's nice to be able to quickly spin up a room with a few people, but visiting chat.stackoverflow.com and having to figure out that the Tavern is what I want (second row, third room at the moment) isn't intuitive. Maybe I'm just using it wrong, or maybe each site should have 1 room designated as THE room for the site and clearly visible, with other rooms listed below. –  Michael Stum Jan 2 '11 at 4:37
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