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How about making something like chitchat.stackexchange.com where people would not have to necessarily ask questions but be more like a regular forum format to discuss things.

There could still be up/down votes but does not have to be a "best answers" feature.

Right now it's hard to start off-topic discussion as it is quickly killed by moderators and worst off you get a few down votes for something like that and lose reputation points.

I think many people sometimes want to just hang out and talk to other members of this site, maybe to share ideas or say something, but not necessarily in a form of a question.

I know there is a chat, but chat is something real-time. In chat you limited to talking to people who are already there in that chatroom with you at the same time. What if a want to post a topic and then check responses the next day and the next day....

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If there is one thing I can say with complete confidence, it's that our chat is very much not limited to talking only to people who are present in the room with you. ♪ –  Grace Note Mar 1 '11 at 16:31
    
Very good. Sorry, I did not know that. I thought it was a traditional real-time chat. –  Dmitri Mar 2 '11 at 11:30

2 Answers 2

Chat

Chat rooms have full transcripts saved that you can access once you enter the room.

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You also get a notification in your global SE inbox if someone @messages you in chat, so you can come right back to a conversation later if it continues on without you.

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To be fair, they did put it right where a lot of us are used to ignoring ads... –  Bill the Lizard Mar 1 '11 at 15:41
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It's also in the top bar, next to the link to either the main Q&A or the Meta. –  Grace Note Mar 1 '11 at 15:44
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You don't even have to enter the room to get the transcript. Just go to the main chat site (chat.meta.stackoverflow.com, chat.stackoverflow.com, or chat.stackexchange.com), find the room, and click on the little gray number in the lower right corner of it. –  mmyers Mar 1 '11 at 17:14
    
Chat? You mean that is an actual chat? I thought it was w00t getting clever again! –  Tim Post Mar 3 '11 at 2:05

I know you said Chat is not what you are looking for. But it sounds like you haven't used it much, because what you describe is Chat.

Chat is real-time but logging out does not remove your messages. You can come back and check for responses at a later time. You are not limited to just questions and answers and can talk about general items with other users.

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