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TL;DR: Chat should ping like comments do. If someone forgets to @mention me and we're the only two people with access to the room, I'd like to receive a notification.

As a moderator, I increasingly find myself communicating with users for ad-hoc requests using the Super Ping feature in chat. A common use-case (one that recently happened, even) is where a user flags their post asking for it to be deleted, so I ping them in chat and ask if a disassociation would suffice.

This is great and all, but I find it really difficult to keep on top of all these chatrooms floating out in space, especially for less frequent users, who may take a week to respond to me.

The trouble is that these often-less-experienced users (who typically don't even have chat accounts in the first place) either don't know they can, or forget to @mention me. I try to check back every few days, but sometimes I forget, and sometimes a few days is just too long. This leads to conversations that go something like:

Matthew: Hey, I saw your flag. Would disassociation work?

Other user: Yes, please do that.

Other user: Yes

Other user: Hello?

Which is, frankly, embarrassing. I don't want people feeling like their moderator team is ignoring them.

I know I could theoretically keep on top of these, and I generally do, but I really don't like the fact that some could also slip through the cracks. I think this has happened twice for me, which seems like two times too many.


As a solution, I'd like to see chat notifications behave more like comment ones. In the process of a super ping like this, I always use private rooms. If the room is set up as private with only two users explicitly granted access (me, the owner and room creator, and the user as a writer), I want to be notified whether or not they include an @mention.

I recognize that this may not be a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are lots of requests out there for subscribing to chatrooms and receiving notifications for every message posted, but I understand that's not a priority, and it would be overkill for this anyway.

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    Honestly, this seems like something everyone who uses it would ask for. So please let me know if I'm missing something--some setting or good way of accomplishing this. I'd accept a workaround for now, even if this would be nice to have in the long-run. – Matthew Haugen Nov 25 '15 at 22:36
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    Did you know if you click on the speaker icon (next to "all rooms", above the room name) you can set it to send a notification for any message in the active room? Not a perfect solution, but if you set that and leave the chat room open it will achieve part of what you want. – ɥʇǝS Nov 25 '15 at 22:46
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    @ɥʇǝS But don't you have to be online when the message is made in order to do that? – Zizouz212 Nov 25 '15 at 22:55
  • @Zizouz212 Like I said, partial solution ;) – ɥʇǝS Nov 25 '15 at 22:59
  • I assume you mean chat in general, so it's not related to super ping or moderator tools, removed those tags. – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Nov 26 '15 at 7:32
  • Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/268002/…. (this is from a different angle, when someone reply after a while, thus the ping is not causing a notification) – Shadow The Curly Braced Wizard Nov 26 '15 at 7:38
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As a moderator, I think I'd rather see notifications in our mod room when there's new activity in a mod-private room on my site. There are other reasons to want to pay attention to those; because of some past abuse they're now frozen more quickly, but they're still worth paying attention to. A notification in the mod room means that any mod who sees it can handle it, rather than waiting for you personally to get back online and see the ping.

We'd want to avoid flooding the mod room with notices on every message, so this should be limited in some way, like a max of one ping/day. (You'd need a limit for your proposal, too.) I wonder if it's possible to have the nightly script that freezes or deletes rooms do this check and notify if appropriate.

If we had a system like this, it could probably also notify when these private rooms are frozen, unfrozen, deleted, or undeleted. The "un-" items in that list are especially interesting to moderators. These events already generate notices in the affected room; what would be new is also generating them in a different room.

Of course, this scheme does depend on the site having a mod room; most do, any mod can create one if needed, and, I suggest, if your team/site is small enough to not need one, you are probably already staying on top of these infrequent chats anyway.

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