When, why or what are the reasons that motivate you to use the chat instead of the questions?

I clearly see the difference between them, but I am sure that different people have different reasons.

(I am new to Stack Exchange chat so please consider a proper answer.)

  • 1
    You can't earn reputation on chat ;)
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:44
  • So why even bother to go there? Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:44
  • 2
    If you have a question that is not on-topic for Stack Overflow, or want to discuss something with another person and that wouldn't work well in comments.
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:45
  • Chat is very much secondary to the main sites. It is an extra channel for communication - in real time (or as close to).
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:46
  • @Oded I see, any other reasons? Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:47
  • 4
    You did check the Chat FAQ? It pretty much details its purpose.
    – Bart
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:48
  • Up to you. Chat is much more relaxed about what is and is not allowed and you can have "private" chats with others. Personally, I am not a big chat user. Others hang out in chat all day.
    – Oded
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:48
  • @Bart thanks. I understand more clearly now. Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 9:51
  • 1
    For hats. Solely for hats.
    – Rory
    Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


When you ask a question on the main site, it is more visible to people who can answer it. In addition, the post is easily found via some Googling, so your question may help others with similar problems. This doesn't happen with chat.

Chat is for:

  • Asking questions that would be closed (Off Topic/Not Constructive/Too Localised mainly) on main
  • Discussions related to the site/tag topic corresponding to the room
  • Discussions relating to the site itself (meta-discussion)
  • Some off-topic discussions are fine (see Definitive rules on chat rooms with non-technical discussion)

It's there basically to keep long/OT discussions off the main site, and to promote community bonding.

You may also want to see https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/10/stack-overflow-chat-now-live/

  • Thanks, this is the kind of answer I was talking about. I can't vote up but I will well I can. If you have more ideas please consider updating your answer but it is good enough. Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 10:15

Chat shouldn't really be used to ask questions that are topical for the site/tag to which they are related as it deprives the community and the internet in general of good quality Q&A.

Some communities actively discourage asking questions in chat

SF Chat room

  • 1
    Lol @ the password - My password is "lain is awesome!" - Thanks Commented Dec 26, 2012 at 12:45

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