There's usually a sidebar link to the chat of all SE 2.0 sites on the main/meta pages.

However, this link doesn't show up in the sidebar for public beta sites:

enter image description here

You can see this on Cognitive Sciences. For reference, the Meta Site does include the chat box.

Since the element is vertical there's really no harm in "wasting space", so I can't see why the chat link is excluded. While the space wasted is minimal, the chat box does make chat a lot more visible and lets you check if a site's chat is active as well.

Can Public Beta sites please get a chat box in the sidebar like all other sites? Chat is a great way to encourage "regulars" and deepen engagement between users, which is especially helpful for a growing community. Beta is one of the most important times for building community, so it seems extremely counterproductive to hide chat from Beta users.

  • Not all graduate sites have the chat box on the side. Mostly just the Meta sites do.
    – Naftali
    Mar 28, 2012 at 16:51
  • @amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA which ones don't? The only sites I know which don't have the chat box are the trilogy sites
    – Ben Brocka
    Mar 28, 2012 at 16:53
  • Hmmm I see that now.
    – Naftali
    Mar 28, 2012 at 16:54

1 Answer 1


Chat does in fact appear in the sidebar, but for some reason, it just doesn't show up unless you are viewing a question. On the main page, it seems to be hidden. I observe this behavior on Cognitive Sciences as well as Project Management Stack Exchange.

Below is a screenshot of chat as it looks to me while viewing one of the questions on Cognitive Sciences:

Cognitive Sciences Sidebar

Here is the same sidebar view of chat while viewing a question on Project Management:

PMSE Sidebar

Oddly, on StackOverflow, I viewed several questions, as well as the main page, and I didn't see chat at all, and on Programmers SE, I see only the opposite: Chat is visible on the main page, but not when viewing a question.

Thus, it seems that chat is there. It just only appears some of the time.

  • It seems that the site-stats module replaces Chat (site stats isn't on questions, while the chat box is)
    – Ben Brocka
    Jun 5, 2012 at 20:28
  • It seems that the pattern is different on some sites. Like Programmers SE, for instance, only showed chat on the main page, at least for me, while on the beta sites I only saw chat on the questions pages.
    – jmort253
    Jun 6, 2012 at 0:49

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