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I read an explanation the other day about chat/comment threads (but don't seem to be able to find it again). According to that explanation, SE management wants comments to be topic related but finds that comments become chats. Therefor I propose the auto-chat feature. (I know there is a chat migration feature).

At this moment, when there are a number of comments, there is a link saying: 'click here to see more comments'. Instead of that link, I propose a link to a generic 'comment-chat room' for the next comments. The 'comment-chat room' can be shared by multiple questions and answers. The questions and answers are filtered thanks to the permalink of each question/answer.

This way, there will only be one 'comment-chat room' per SE site and the Q&A becomes less noisy at the same time.

My 0,02€

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For all practical purposes, this is already what happens. "Chat rooms" are just filtered views of the overall messaging situation, so that part is no different. Chat rooms are automatically created for comment chains that start getting longer, are between limited participants, or happen quickly.

Forcing the switch instead of an optional migration is a bad idea because often some of the last-come comments are the most relevant to actually see attached to the post. That's why lower-voted ones are hidden, not just late or early ones. Discussion should be in chat, but there is still a place for legitimate commenting on posts.

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Interesting point, but really not an objection. If a chat comment gets upvoted, apply the same rules, and move it up to the question/answer. It would only be a means to keep the Q&A more focused. – GUI Junkie Jul 25 '11 at 15:35
Your rationalization makes it even worse. At that point the only difference between "chat" and "comments" is what window they are being done in. If voted messages in chat get promoted to be comments, they are even LESS likely to be focused on the QnA that spawned them! – Caleb Jul 25 '11 at 15:47

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