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This feature-request is primarily related to programming languages used in Stack Overflow, Code Review, Super User, etc.

I am a heavy Stack Overflow VBA user and browse and answer VBA questions almost exclusively. For a long time as I built up my reputation, I wondered why Stack Overflow did not have a chat room to discuss VBA related mechanics and questions. It was not until recently that a member of the VBA chat room on Code Review invited me to join their chat room for regular VBA discussions.

Because programming languages and the discussion on each can span multiple sites, could we develop a way to link a single chat room to multiple SE sites? In my opinion this would encourage more active participation in the chat room because a user would only need to be active on ONE site to find the room. I sincerely dislike the idea of having multiple chat rooms on multiple programming related sites for the same language (splinters the group of enthusiasts on that one language), and most of the languages themselves do not justify their own SE site.

Edit: Based on Comments: I'd switch my request/question to can we migrate SO chat into SE chat and allow a room to be "tagged" with multiple parent SE sites.

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    The problem is Stack Overflow runs an entirely separate chat system than the rest of the Stack Exchange network. All of Stack Exchange minus Stack Overflow and Meta SE run through chat.stackexchange.com, where it would be pretty easy to discover any other chat rooms. – animuson Jan 8 '15 at 15:19
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    @animuson Perhaps a better request would be to migrate SO chats to SE chat and allow tagging of multiple parent SE sites for the room? – Chrismas007 Jan 8 '15 at 15:20
  • Linking multiple sites is not really necessary. The linked site in general just decides what theme gets applied to the room, not who is able to find it via search. The Stack Exchange Chat hub itself lists all rooms for all sites, so you could easily find any room for any site. Stack Overflow is just excluded from the list because it runs its own chat system. – animuson Jan 8 '15 at 15:22
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Just based on the number of users active in chat in the last hour, if the SO and the SE chat were merged, around 40% of all activity in the new chat would be from SO. As a very rough approximation, SO chat alone is as large as the chat of the rest of the SE network.

This large discrepancy in size is probably the main reason why SO chat was never merged into SE chat. There is a danger that the SO volume would overwhelm the SE chat. But after looking at the numbers, they're not as bad as I expected and I think that SE chat might be able to cope with them.

There might be a bit of a culture clash in that case. SE chat is more heavily moderated in my experience, there are several hundred chat mods on SE chat compared to 17 on SO chat. I'd expect that to cause quite a bit of friction, at least in the beginning.

I do find the whole division of chat into three sites confusing, and would in general favor removing that complication. I'm not that sure about the practical consequences that change would have.

  • Would love to see the Staff weigh in on combining SO and SE chat. – Chrismas007 Jan 27 '15 at 15:30

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