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I do realise that there are a few posts asking for these things partially or completely - such as this and this. One of the reasons for introducing the left sidebar was that Teams could be accessed there, and with the current changes - we'll be losing that.

This seems a good time as any to ask if we could have chat and meta added to the side bar. I'd almost say reinstated, since in the old days we had it in the top bar. Maybe add a link to meta (that turns to 'main' while using meta) and chat.

For that matter, a new user won't know that the help is on the question mark symbol on top. Adding that as well, and turning the left sidebar as the 'home' for all local/site related activities sounds like a even better idea.

There's no longer going to be private Q&A on the side bar (network wide), and it feels like a good time to consider bringing these parts of our site home, rather than put them in the attic where no one can really find them.

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    Neither of those choices are my preference. I like the chat link where it is (on SO and other sites chat is sometimes shown in the right sidebar) and the same goes for meta. That empty space on the bottom left has had many proposals for being filled but it looks good to me until another amazing feature comes along.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 23:42
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    As mentioned in the above comment, chat is sometimes shown in the right sidebar - my impression is that there were some changes to that relatively recently: Why has "visit chat" without any chatroom started appearing in the sidebar? (Some other posts that are a bit related: Are chat rooms in the sidebar shown for unregistered and low-rep users? and How are the chatrooms shown in the sidebar selected?)
    – Martin
    Commented Oct 20, 2022 at 23:45
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    @bad_coder they are both rather unintuitive to find and puts less obvious parts of the sites where they are easy to find. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 0:00
  • @JourneymanGeek the right side bar is no less intuitive than the left side bar. Besides chat is mostly informal and a user that isn't willing to do some digging would have little to contribute or gain there. Approximately the same goes for some metas where a lot of the drama happens, (Unless a user is already somewhat engaged with the site sending them there from a sidebar featured everywhere on the site isn't best policy.) I don't see any need or gain to give either venue more prominence. Besides, empty space has its own value.
    – bad_coder
    Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 0:07
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    Related: Three “hamburgers” but still no direct link to meta Posted four years ago. Commented Oct 21, 2022 at 21:11
  • @bad_coder-onstrike If they have no recent activity then neither chat nor Meta are ever displayed in the right side-bar. So I agree they're unfindable. If this feature were even an option, configurable per-site, then I would vote to enable it on the small site that I moderate, where Chat and Meta are virtually never used.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 9:49
  • Its an old comment. The question bumped by an edit, inspired by a conversation with someone which sort of gave me a missing piece of the proposal - that help could be there too. Commented Jul 15, 2023 at 9:54

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