I started writing this as a comment to @Chris in the above question, but I felt it would be better as an answer.
Some initial comments
- Nothing you're seeing in that top bar was just thrown in. This design wasn't thrown together in a weekend. It wasn't haphazardly cobbled together. It was talked about and researched. The team looked at traffic, data, heatmaps and so on. The team that worked on this did it with great care. If you have a problem with a decision they made, that's fine. Voice it. Just do it professionally.
- Remember this is the first step and more steps will happen. At some point though you have to make the jump, learn and grow.
- The top-bar's purpose is to be a quick overview of what's happening to you on Stack Exchange and the community you are currently on. It isn't suppose to do everything.
Now onto some specific items:
The Log Out Link
Problem: I don't like the log out link being in the Site Switcher.
In the mobile-first world we live in now, space is becoming tighter and tighter. In the previous top-bar, we were burying better content about the user's community and network involvement for a link used sometimes. It is important to provide easy access to a log out for users, but it doesn't have to demand primary position in a website utility bar.
If your argument is that the current location of the log-out link seems a bit unintuitive, then I agree with you. I wasn't personally involved with this project. I know the team that was and I know they worked hard on it. Yet I do agree that with the suggestion in this thread that log-out functionality typically is associated with the user and not within a Site Switcher. Stack Overflow is a bit of a different use case because of it's relationship to other Stack Exchange communities, but it's still a valid point.
I don't think it should hold a primary position within a utility bar, but I also don't think it should be buried within a user setting page or placed in an unintuitive place. Moving the link one click away in a logical place is a fine solution .
Chat & Blog Links
Problem: I didn't think to look under the Stack Exchange logo for the Stack Overflow blog and chat links.
Yes, I would agree that the blog link here doesn't make a ton of sense, but I would also say that having a blog link in a utility bar makes less sense. This bar is about the user and their activity. The blog is about Stack Exchange and what it's doing. You might be interested in the blog, but it's not directly about you. So, again, why should that have primary placement in the bar?
The problem with its current placement is that I mentally make the association that the "blog" link next to Stack Overflow (or any community name) will take me to a specific community blog. It just takes me to the Stack Exchange blog no matter what community I'm on. That's a miss.
I would suggest removing the Blog link from next to the respective SE community. If you want to visit the SE blog, you could click on the right-sidebar Bulletin announcement area or go to the footer for it. Again, it's not a primary action. It's content about Stack Exchange from the team that they want to share. It's not about your activity as a user. Another solution would be to maintain a place for it in the Site Switcher, but have it associated more with the Stack Exchange website. Where and how this would be done would have to be explored.
The Chat links make a lot of sense being where they are now in my opinion. For those people who want to more actively engage, it's a great place to go. A lot of people though just want to come ask, answer or read questions.