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Chat has quite a bit of useable real estate, and I feel disconnected with the primary function of the site when I'm solely in chat. This is likely in large part due to a lack of a Global Inbox while in chat.

A few of my own ideas:

  • A private onebox could pop up in your current active room(s?) with question details, but instead of the question itself, some information about the change, or the change itself could fill the body text. These should be styled differently than the room is, in order to convey that this is a private onebox to you alone.

  • Or perhaps, there could be a global inbox in chat that acts as a personal, private room, and presents notifications in a large, chat style, display. And the button to access the inbox carries the same number notification badge on top of the button when a new unread event comes in.

  • If an entire private room is made for this function, then perhaps instead of starred/pinned messages, reputation graphs could be displayed there.

  • The sidebar could also carry recently active questions you've starred or something to that effect. Maybe most active? ("Top 5 Questions You've Starred").

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2 Answers

I'm a bit hazy on why you want to show information like "Top 5 Questions You've Starred", which is a: available on the main Q&A site (where it is more relevant), and b: isn't likely to change very mreaningfully. If I'm in the chat, my favorite past questions is not key...

I'm also pretty unclear what you want from the first 2 bullets.

Chat does have global inbox on the outer pages, but not currently on the main chat page. Potentially that is something we could tweak - i.e. polling for new inbox items periodically and displaying inside the main chat window... is that the main thrust of what you are after here?

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Re: 5 Questions. I'm not attached to the idea, was just something that came to mind, figured I'd put it down at least to discuss. Re: Inbox+Rest. I rarely ever see the "outer" chat pages. I'm always in a chat room. I'm more keen on the idea of a large-scale global inbox representation, because if I leave a chat room open, and the notification scrolls off the screen due to other activity, I've missed it. And I don't like the thought of it behaving like @ notifications do in chat itself. –  VxJasonxV Apr 14 '11 at 20:58
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Good idea. I believe this should be implemented in SO instead of the chat :P

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SO already has a private global inbox, on all pages no less. –  VxJasonxV Apr 14 '11 at 20:59
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