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One thing that seems to be missing in the Top Bar is a link to the Stack Exchange portal. It only displays under the "Current Community" section when you are in the community, but it disappears as soon as you go to another one.

Would it be possible to add a link that would always be there no matter which community you are currently on?

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    What do you mean with main SE site? Which url would that be? – rene Nov 12 '14 at 20:23
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    @rene stackexchange.com – Jason Hutchinson Nov 12 '14 at 20:24
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    Out of curiosity, what is driving this request? What do you regularly use stackexchange.com for? – Adam Lear Nov 12 '14 at 22:40
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    @AnnaLear I would mostly use it to see the Hot Network Questions, Filtered Questions, and Meta Stack Exchange. I would occasionally also check out the blogs. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 13 '14 at 13:44
  • @JasonHutchinson Pardon me for being pedantic for a moment, but... you would use it or you do use it? I think we may be better off exposing some of these features on the sites better, but I don't have a plan in mind to do that just yet. – Adam Lear Nov 13 '14 at 16:17
  • @AnnaLear I do use it, but I think I would use it more if it was easier to get there. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 13 '14 at 16:24
  • @AnnaLear - I use it rarely, as in once every 6 to 8 weeks. However, it was hard to get some actual data on stackexchange.com's because of all the subdomains. Is there internal data on how many visits the site gets per day/month/total etc.? – Travis J Nov 13 '14 at 19:17
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That works already for me by clicking StackExchange with the ctrl pressed in IE11

and right click > Open in Chrome/Firefox...

As indicated by Anna Lear you could click or touch More Stack Exchange communities. In my setup that is just visible...

enter image description here

I don't think I want to waste more screen real-estate with a link that I hardly ever use.

  • I added +1 to your answer. However, I don't think that it completely solves my problem. In Chrome it opens the link in a new tab or new window. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 12 '14 at 21:28
  • "More stack exchange communities" header also links to stackexchange.com/sites. That one's at least sort of touch friendly. – Adam Lear Nov 12 '14 at 22:39
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    +236?! Wow. And it's OK, i can't even see it past my list... I should shorten the list to those i actually check. – Scimonster Nov 13 '14 at 14:03
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Overall I am not sure this needs to be done, how much traffic does the main site get versus individual exchanges?

If something were to be done though...

I don't think it should be on the top bar itself, but I agree that there should be an easier way to navigate than the hidden right click on the name. Touch users cannot navigate using that.

Coming from another exchange, such as Stack Overflow, there is no easy way to get to Stack Exchange Main aside from going through Stack Exchange Meta.

There is a non obvious click on the header in the modal which reads "more communities" and links to the all sites page. I think this is useful, but not very usable.

In my opinion, before the search input element or included in the list of sites below, there could be an icon and link for the main Stack Exchange site like this

enter image description here

5

Rene has already covered the technical aspects of this, including that you can, in fact, get there by opening the link in a new tab and pointing out the expense of screen real estate. But speaking for a more philosophical standpoint, I'm not sure I see I fundamental benefit from this for a majority of users.

The way I see it, the root stackexchange.com is meant as a rolling advertisement for every site. There's not a ton of information on there that would be useful or interesting to a majority of non-power users, and power users tend to have no issue running a couple--or more than a couple--tabs with different SE sites open on them.

I'm certainly not arguing that we shouldn't show users the list of sites, but I also don't think it's hugely useful in a majority of cases. I have a suspicion that we are--or at least I am--the minority, in that I'll look around sites and try to come up with answers or questions to fit the sites, rather than looking for sites to fit my questions and answers.

If we were to direct users away from a site like Stack Overflow and onto a list of statistics about sites in the SE network, how much would that really help build great questions and answers? And by "direct users away from SO and onto a list of sites," I mean on top of the list that's already presented on the Stack Exchange dropdown.

I definitely respect the desire for some of us to get to SE.com, but I'm just not sure that it brings in enough value on top of what's already in that dropdown to make it worth it, especially since there's a fair bit more information (statistics, etc.) on the main site that would risk confusing some people: "where can I ask a question here?"

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If SE team add the ability to add main SE site in the customizable list of "Your Communities", then it will give us the option to jump there quickly without using more space in the topbar for everyone. Currently we can not add it as shown in the screenshot below, when searching for Stack Exchange it simply does not list it!

enter image description here

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    This is probably the best way to handle this... Although having just "Stack Exchange" show up in that list could be pretty confusing. Not to mention that it's not a site in the "it has reputation and such" sense, so we'd have to special-case it. All in all, not ideal, but better than sticking a link somewhere for all to ignore. Having said that, I think we still need to establish why we need a link at all before we settle on a solution. – Adam Lear Nov 13 '14 at 0:45
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    @AnnaLear personally I go there to check the hot questions list, the one that comes on the right side of different SE sites are not interesting and I am not sure it is ordered as in the main SE page. Other reason is, I always check the sites section of the main SE page to see where do different sites stand and see stats, just pure curiosity. – Nean Der Thal Nov 13 '14 at 0:49
  • @AnnaLear Area51 doesn't show rep either. – Scimonster Nov 13 '14 at 14:04
  • @Scimonster it does for me.. – Nean Der Thal Nov 13 '14 at 14:14
  • @MeNoTalk In the dropdown? See the screenshot in rene's answer. meta.stackexchange.com/a/243484/259693 – Scimonster Nov 13 '14 at 14:46
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Maybe I've misunderstood (it wouldn't be the first time) but in your comment you confirmed which site you wanted to be linked to as:
"@rene stackexchange.com – Jason Hutchinson yesterday"

We already have links to this site:

1)
The dropdown button which accesses the "log out", "current community" (etc) is itself a link to stackexchange.com.
Admittedly you need to right click and open in new tab, but that's no harder than clicking the dropdown and navigating to the link within the drop down you are requesting is added.

2)
Depending on where you are on the Stack sites, the first link in the drop down menu is also a link to stackexchange.com.

links to stackexchange.com

3)
The "Hot Network Questions" title on the right sidebar is a link to the page you seem to require.
So a little scroll down and it's right there.

4)
Wanting more than those 3 potentials, surely a bookmark is fine?
In a decently organised file/folder setup, it takes less than 5 seconds to hit a book mark.
Have a bookmark folder named "Stack", with all your favourite Stack sites/locations in there.


For the small number of users who may use this, and given the current options, even bookmarks, I just don't think the additional space taken up is worthwhile, and dev time, mobile setup/testing, etc.

  • When you are on another community, the second Stack Exchange button does not show under Current Community. The top button is always there, but that link isn't available to touch/mobile users. It also is difficult to follow that link in most browsers since left clicking on it just opens the menu. – Jason Hutchinson Nov 14 '14 at 14:18
  • @JasonHutchinson I appreciate all that, I just don't see the huge need to directly link to a site that hardly anyone would go to on a frequent basis (my opinion). Plus some potential confusion, given that all other Stack sites have a clear Q&A stetup and a topic. If (like me) you have your mouse scroll wheel button to open new tab, clicking on the "top button" works fine. Though I admit that's not catering for the masses. The top button isn't really a link per se, and of course if was then mobile users would be taken to the link destination and wouldn't be able to open the menu. – James Nov 14 '14 at 14:25

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