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On the travel.SE beta site we're trying to get more people to use our underutilized chat room since it's more amenable to going over ideas than in comments.

One reason we are thinking it's rarely used is that nobody is aware of its existence. There is a link to it from meta.travel.SE sidebar but not directly from the travel.SE sidebar.

So we're wondering about the feasibility of having the sidebar also on the main site, possibly in place of the stats sidebar.

Can this be done on a per-site basis? Is there a general policy or reasoning for it to be the way it is that I can read about?

Please consider this a feature request.

EDIT:

Currently, the Travel.SE main site home page shows this...

enter image description here

...and the Travel.SE meta shows this

enter image description here

Activity on chat for Travel.SE has been fairly low, and we were wondering whether, if by switching the placement so that the main site shows chat activity box and the meta site shows the stats box instead, we would be able to encourage more people to join our chat room.

Chat box is only shown in the sidebar of Q&A pages on main site, not on the home page itself currently.

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3  
I see the link. Both as a visitor and when I'm logged in. –  Grant Thomas Jul 12 '11 at 10:50
    
@Mr. Disappointment: from the main site as well as from the meta site? On Travel? –  hippietrail Jul 12 '11 at 10:52
1  
Yes, up top, to the right of the username and reputation –  jonsca Jul 12 '11 at 10:53
1  
@hippietrail Affirmative. And what @jonsca said. –  Grant Thomas Jul 12 '11 at 10:53
    
Oops thanks people! I forgot there were two links and the one we were thinking about is the sidebar since it's the more attention-grabbing one so I'll ammend my question. –  hippietrail Jul 12 '11 at 10:59

2 Answers 2

I see it:

chat links on travel.se

Note that the sidebar ads go through some rotation, and also depend on the number of answers (IOW, the available space).

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Edited the question with screenshots on what we were discussing at Travel.SE. –  Ankur Banerjee Jul 12 '11 at 11:11

We at Genealogy & Family History SE are seeing the same issue that you describe.

On our Main Home, Main Questions and Meta Questions pages there is no evidence that people are chatting whereas on our Meta Home page you can see who is chatting and be reminded that our chat rooms exist in the sidebar:

enter image description here

At minimum we would like to see the above added to the sidebar of our Main Questions page. We would like this for exactly the same reasons that you have outlined in your question i.e. to attract more people to chat, to help drive more questions and in turn to help drive more visitors, so that we can see our site graduate sooner.

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