There are about three or four people regularly in the ASP.NET MVC chat room every weekday but few others seem to even know it exists. Can Stack Overflow advertise the chat rooms on specific tags?

For example, when a new question is tagged with ASP.NET MVC, it could suggest the chat room for that as an option for finding answers. Of course, moderators/admins would have to create those relationships between tags and rooms.

A clarification based on comment from @Tinkeringbell: we still want questions to be posted as questions. But less prominently displayed, for items that are perhaps more discussion-related, it can be asked in chat. One downside: some folks will look for quicker answers/shortcuts through chat instead of formulating a proper MCVE (Minimal, Complete, and Verifiable example) question.


Update: This is different from Chatroom related tags, the OP would see the chat rooms while typing the title, similar to how similar questions display during that process.

  • You mean everyone will see that, right? Not only the OP? If only the question author then I'll reopen but if everyone, it's already suggested in that older feature request. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Jul 24 '19 at 13:43
  • @ShaWiz, only op while creating the question, like how similar questions are displayed when typing the title for new question. And anything we can do to get the word out on chat rooms (put them in the sidebar on right, etc.). – Alex Jul 24 '19 at 13:55
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    Cheers, reopened, but better make it more clear in the question itself too. Oh you just did in the same time I posted this comment. lol – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Jul 24 '19 at 14:02
  • What kind of answers can a question asker find in chat? It now looks to me like someone who's typing their question would be advised to ask chat instead, instead of having the Q&A on main where everyone can more easily find it via Google if they have the same problem? Also... have you already tried actively recruiting chat users/marketing the chat room in different ways? – Tinkeringbell Jul 24 '19 at 14:06
  • @Tinkeringbell, on 1st question: good point. How would we differetiate b/w an SO question and a chat room question? Maybe provide a suggestion for the chat room as well, but not as prominently, especially for items that are more discussion-oriented (and might be closed as off topic, etc.). 2nd question: I hoped we could somehow use SO's built-in tools to do this, but open to suggestions :) – Alex Jul 24 '19 at 14:08

First of all: More visibility for chat and a general bigger awareness of what chat can be used for would be awesome. But I don't think tag or title based approaches, like mentioned in your question/comments, are going to help here.

From your comment:

How would we differentiate b/w an SO question and a chat room question? Maybe provide a suggestion for the chat room as well, but not as prominently, especially for items that are more discussion-oriented (and might be closed as off topic, etc.).

It's one of the reasons suggesting a chat room when writing a question is probably not so great an idea to get more people to come to the ASP room. It's going to be pretty hard to get an automated tool to recognize question titles as better belonging in chat. And, well... chat isn't really meant for answering those questions that don't fit on the site anyways. From the help center:

When should I visit chat?.

  • for real time collaboration
  • to meet the fellow members of your community in a more social environment
  • for less structured, casual (but still roughly on-topic) conversation

Though some questions might be opinion based enough to start a less-structured, casual but roughly on-topic conversation, it's still different (to me) than having a question dropped in and people answering it: a conversation is a lot more people reacting to other people than just the original question.

Again from your comment:

I hoped we could somehow use SO's built-in tools to do this, but open to suggestions

I think there's one built-in tool that may be used to get more people to your chatroom: comments. It's mostly manual work though, not automated.

Use the people from the room and comments. If you see a question that's not good for the site (closed, or about to be closed) but might be a good topic for discussion in your room, you can always leave a comment. Check if the asker has the necessary 20 points to talk in chat first though, so they can actually participate.

On other questions, you can point out improvements and tactically drop a line inviting the person to chat too for further help on improving their question, if the character limit allows it (again, check for reputation points). You can drop comments on answers/questions if you've been discussing them in chat, and tell people that the chat conversation leads you to suggest a certain improvement or requesting a certain bit of clarification.

They're small ways of rubbing your chatroom under people's noses, telling them that hey, there's this place you may never have seen before that has some awesome people willing to talk to you and help you out!

  • Thanks, @Tinkeringbell. I thought about suggesting the chat room if item is marked as closed, but that can cause more issues (off-topic questions, unclear, etc.). For commenting on questions: great idea, but the challenge, at least for me, is finding the time. – Alex Jul 24 '19 at 14:55
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    @Alex If questions are closed, make sure the reason you're suggesting chat is because you're willing to help the person improve their question towards reopening, not because you want to answer anyways, and you should be fine... So yeah, pick the questions you comment on and the moments you comment carefully. It's a lot of work, but it can slowly increase your chat room's activity. – Tinkeringbell Jul 24 '19 at 15:28
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    @Alex if you look into the history of SOCVR that is one of the more active rooms on SO chat, it took me and the few regulars back then close to two years before it had any traction within the scope that was defined for the room. For SOCVR it is a lot easier to promote the room by leaving comments on relevant meta topics. That is something we refrain from on main. Also on meta I've written a couple of posts that link back to the room. You can see if there are cases where you can leverage meta presence for your room. – rene Jul 24 '19 at 15:58
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    @Alex also, if you haven't visited our FAQ already please do and you might find the room meeting transcripts interesting as they show over time how we evolved. In the August 2016 meeting we had an actual topic about promotion on the agenda: socvr.org/room-info/room-meetings/2016-08 – rene Jul 24 '19 at 16:09

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