The chat link in the top navigation bar is gone. Instead there is a shiny blog link.
Where did the chat link go?
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It has been replaced for 24 hours by the blog link.
When the blog is no longer "new" it will return.
The linked "feature" also does the same thing. It hides an arguably more useful feature(the inbox) with another (the #%&@ "hot questions" list). Pretty annoying, but the fact is, there is a good reason behind this--you are forced to glance at the "hot questions" list, which can bring traffic to other sites (I tend to click on the quirky titles)
It's probably the same concept here. Replacing the chat link with the blog link is an aggressive way of saying READ THE BLOG OR ELSE!!.
Of course, there is the alternate solution that we add the extra blog link to the bar without removing the chat link. Well, that won't work.
When you're used to sauntering off to chat via the topbar, this is what your brain sees:
OK, my brain at any rate. I tend to ignore whatever's nearby, even if it has a nice red "new" icon . I, personally, usually use the sidebar to go to chat, but I do use the topbar to go to meta--and I only notice the blog post much later.
On the other hand, when the chat link is missing, your attention is brought to the blog link pretty effectively.
Atleast that's what I think. Jeff, any comments?