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Chat is an awesome feature - but it's too hidden, IMO. I didn't even realize that every question has it's own Chat. I couldn't see any way to access one of these from a question on stackoverflow or russian.stackexchange. I could only access a Q's Chat when a moderator moved comments there and left the link.

I believe we can proactively guide people to the proper way of using the software by (1) making it easy to see and choose to Chat, and (2) showing some of the latest Chat comments.

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    Not every question has its own chat. What did you make think that? Moving comments to chat is a mod-only action and is only done when needed. – rene Jan 1 at 22:01
  • @rene I saw this which gave me the idea that each Q has its own Chat: chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/87713/… – Dogweather Jan 1 at 22:03
  • No, that room is created due to the mod action, evidenced by this comment: russian.stackexchange.com/questions/17853/… – rene Jan 1 at 22:06
  • This is the best I could find to show what a moderator can do: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/253087/…. Although there are feature requests that ask for this function to be extended to regular users, so far nothing has been done to do so. And even then, only a chat room for a post will exist when the "move-to-chat" function has been invoked. – rene Jan 1 at 22:16
  • @rene it's also an automated suggestion when comment threads get kind of long – TheWanderer Jan 1 at 23:55
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    Related: meta.stackexchange.com/q/288572/162102 (about making these rooms easier to set up). – Monica Cellio Jan 2 at 1:50
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No, let's not do that, first of all because the premises that every post has an associated chatroom is flawed.

There are two possible options that lead to the creation of a chatroom that gets "linked" to a post:

  • Only two users go back and forth 5 times in comments under a post and they get offered the "let's continue in chat" link which one of the participants then clicks.
  • A moderator uses their "move comments to chat" feature.

Both actions leave a comment under the post with a link to the chatroom which is visible enough I think.

Comments (and chatrooms created for posts) should really only be used to clarify a post so it can be edited into shape. If extended, long lasting discussion is needed an relevant for posterity there is most likely something else wrong with the post. Fix that instead of having a third place where knowledge collected. Keep in mind that chatrooms that don't see traffic will be frozen / deleted after 6 to 8 days which will render them useless for anyone with < 10K of reputation.

I checked on chat.stackexchange.com and there are currently about 360 chatrooms that are imported from discussions under posts and 3291 pages of them if I take frozen/deleted rooms into account. I think that also shows there is no lasting value in all these chatrooms. A link to frozen/deleted rooms would be useless anyway.

  • I'm now thinking that every question should have an associated chatroom. The visual presentation of this on the question page can adapt for whether it's been used yet. This would be much friendler then the admin's move-to-chatroom action which says, in effect, you've been using the site wrong. – Dogweather Jan 2 at 20:13

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