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Today, I just noticed something for the first time. I've long been a frequent user of http://photo.stackexchange.com, including the chat room; when a new question is posted, in that room pops up a nice friendly notice.
I have never stopped to think about it, but that doesn't happen on other chat rooms which I have frequented. I noticed that in order to do this, a knowledgeable user with the right permission has to manually set this feature. It would be nice to have this automatically show up on every new site, at least for the first chat room. I can't really see any down sides, and plenty of up sides.

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1 Answer 1

Moderators can associate a feed to a chat room, and the content of that feed will be shown as a slide-down ticker overlay, or as posts created by a system user (usually Feeds).

I think that automatically adding the feed of the questions posted in the Q&A site is not always a good idea, and I would rather leave the decision to the users of that site. If the users of that site prefer to see the questions being asked when they are in chat, a moderator can set the feed; if the users are not interested in that, then they will ask for the feed to be set.

In a site still in private beta, the chat would be probably used less than other sites that are in public beta or over the beta phase; that means those messages will not be seen from anybody. If the chat would be used from enough users, and considering that the Q&A site is being feed with questions, I would think that those messages would bother some users. I think it's easier to verify if there are new questions to an SE site by visiting the site itself, or subscribing to one of the feeds provided by any SE site; at least that would not force you to constantly watch the monitor to see if an overlay appears to show a new question.

Having used the EL&U chat, from my experience I can say that showing the questions being asked in an overlay is not very useful.
In chat there are some discussions on the asked questions, especially to understand if a questions is on-topic, it's the duplicate of another existing question, or should be migrated to another SE site; in those cases, having a link that appears and then vanishes doesn't help, and users would ask the link to the question being discussed. If the questions would appear as posts made by Feed, and there are more than a question being asked, the users would still ask to which question the debate is about.

With this I don't mean that seeing a feed content in chat is not useful; it is, but I find not so useful to automatically set a feed.

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