The chat link in the top navigation bar is gone. Instead there is a shiny blog link.

enter image description here

Where did the chat link go?

  • 26
    Kinda silly to move something like chat to the footer (a.k.a. 'that area which nobody ever looks at') :P – Glitch Aug 9 '11 at 10:10
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    Unicorns that liked this post also liked meta.stackexchange.com/questions/101315/… – badp Aug 9 '11 at 10:19
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    I really like this change and think it should stick permanently. The blog is far more important to our mission as a Q&A site than a chat feature. Leave that to Facebook and those users who want it so badly that they're willing to hunt for it. Lots of people don't even know there is a blog (and don't troll Meta), and consequently miss a lot of important new feature announcements. – Cody Gray Aug 9 '11 at 10:27
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    @Glitch It's not moved there, it's always there; it's just removed from the header. Normally chat appears in the header, footer, and ad-bar, which is kind of absurd for a feature that really has nothing to do with the site itself – Michael Mrozek Aug 9 '11 at 14:12
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    @cody well, the chat is a pretty nice Q&A feature as well you know – Sufendy Aug 10 '11 at 1:54
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    @Phelios: No, I don't know that. I refuse to use chat because it's completely pointless. There's just a bunch of random people talking about random things. It's extremely difficult to follow a conversation or track something that I do care about. It's the exact same reason why I don't use any form of online chat, and why I was drawn to a site like this one that prioritizes signal over noise. What's a nice Q&A feature is a question, and then answers to that question, much like you'll see on the main site. Facebook, AIM, gChat and everything else are pretty nice chat sites. I don't use them. – Cody Gray Aug 10 '11 at 3:52
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    If you have a question you can discuss in chat and get answers to from other chat users, why not post it on the main site and get answers to it like everyone else? The format is so much nicer, and you'll be sharing useful information with the rest of the community. Information that can actually be found later by doing a Google search. Chat is for people who want to waste time and talk about things that are off-topic. There's a reason we don't allow that on the main site, something that I'm very thankful for and ensures my continued participation here. Why would I want to seek that out? – Cody Gray Aug 10 '11 at 3:54
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    Maybe people in a community site like talking to other users in the community to actually...you know...be part of a community. Your answer is basically that this is a stupid feature you don't use, so it's not important to keep it consistent in the interface. If that's the case, there shouldn't even be a chat feature at all. But it's there. And if it's there and in some way supported, it doesn't make sense to screw around with the interface to make it inconsistent. And why would Blog be any more pertinent to the QA structure in that case? – Bart Silverstrim Nov 9 '11 at 13:46
  • New blog posts are now displayed prominently in the sidebar. For three whole days. One less disorienting change to the top bar... – Shog9 May 23 '12 at 16:53

It has been replaced for 24 hours by the blog link.

When the blog is no longer "new" it will return.

  • 29
    Is there something wrong with Jeff's browser that we can't fit more than 5 page links. – Lee Louviere Aug 9 '11 at 17:20
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    Replacing a completely unrelated link temporarily because something is new is weird. – Nicole Aug 9 '11 at 19:33
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    @Renesis - it may well be weird, but that's the situation at the moment. – ChrisF Aug 19 '11 at 8:28
  • In that case, can it at least return after you read the blog item? Not addressing the fact that removing a UI element which a user expects to be there sounds like incredibly bad UX. – Steven Jeuris Dec 15 '11 at 12:56
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    @StevenJeuris - I have no control over that. I'm just pointing out what the current situation is. – ChrisF Dec 15 '11 at 13:32

You can also find chat links, at least on any meta, on every question page in the sidebar:

enter image description here

Note that "4 people chatting" is a link to the rooms page, whereas the rooms are.. links to the individual rooms.

  • 1
    Would it be possible to move the chat sidebar up a bit? On Programmers, for example, I have to scroll down to see it, since above it are frequented tags, SE community ad space, featured meta questions, and the newsletter sign-up. – Adam Lear Aug 9 '11 at 17:28
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    This sidebar is never used for such a purpose by me; the SO sidebar set an example by loading delayed elements under my pointer (essentially deceiving me into clicking ads), which means I don't even have to consciously ignore it, such non-use just happens throughout the network. – Grant Thomas Aug 9 '11 at 17:31
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    I like the blog link at the top, but is there a reason we can't have both the chat and the blog links at the top? – Kyle Trauberman Aug 9 '11 at 18:22
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    @kyle people with long names would wrap – Jeff Atwood Aug 10 '11 at 1:46
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    @Jeff that's a fair point. It would be nice to have the chat link more prominant. (I currently only see it at the bottom of the page. I don't see the chat room parts on the side bar on Stack Overflow proper.) – Kyle Trauberman Aug 10 '11 at 3:33
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    @Jeff - Unfortunately, that side box with the rooms does not show up for me on Server Fault even though there are currently 21 people logged into Comms Room with 5 or so active. – MDMarra Aug 11 '11 at 13:11
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    AdBlock Plus for FF also blocks the chat window as it's an "ad" on the webpage. – Chris S Aug 11 '11 at 13:44
  • @markm did you miss the word "meta" in the above text? – Jeff Atwood Aug 11 '11 at 16:31
  • @jeff Ah, you're right. In SF chat Kyle mentioned that the chat links weren't showing up on main for him either. I thought that meant that it was the expected behavior. – MDMarra Aug 11 '11 at 17:17
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    @Jeff Atwood, take your own advice ( codinghorror.com/blog/2004/11/… and codinghorror.com/blog/2005/08/usability-vs-learnability.html ). You've trained users that that's where the chatroom button is, and now, because there's a new blog post, you've effectively said it makes sense to replace a button dedicated to chat to take you to the blog. What? It's nice that there's other places, but keep it consistent, either that link takes me to the blog, or it takes me to the chat. I'm tired of guessing every morning. – Incognito Aug 23 '11 at 14:32
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    Strange that in just viewing the SF page, there isn't a list of who's currently in chat showing up on my page. And "blog" replaced the chat link I normally use. – Bart Silverstrim Nov 9 '11 at 13:40
  • And I'm not running any adblock software on this system... – Bart Silverstrim Nov 9 '11 at 13:43
  • I've noticed that if a site has 3+ active rooms, the official chat room can be pushed off the list. – Jon Ericson May 10 '12 at 17:46

Right here!

You will find it on the footer navigation bar thingy.

On Chrome/Firefox - hit Ctrl + End to go to the bottom.

  • 24
    I will not. :-) The problem is that when I reach the empty Answer box I will not scroll any further. – Bo Persson Aug 9 '11 at 13:08
  • 8
    Nobody READS the bottom navigation bar. (Seriously, ask over on UX or Webmasters -- they don't!) – voretaq7 Aug 12 '11 at 14:42
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    What's that! There's a bottom navigation bar?! Oh so there is... Whooah wait - there's a SHOP!! – Roger Attrill Dec 15 '11 at 13:51

I think the reason behind this is the same as the reason behind this "feature" (official statement)

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:

enter image description here

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?

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