This publication is not related to the chat rooms created or derived from the comments on question and/or answer posts.

Maybe this question is bad for old users who already know how to use the entirety and complexity of the site and its tools, but I can't find the right way to transmit certain information to new users, in this case the use of the chat rooms.

I will make these observations as if I were a new user:

  • First I have seen that each site normally has an active general chat room. The problem is that these have a different name in each site and it is not clear which is which.

  • When I go to see the chat rooms of a site I find this swarm:

enter image description here

  • If I go to the site SO, things don't look very good other than to say:

enter image description here

  • Some of these chat rooms are oriented to the use of feed or boots... causing a relatively new user, upon seeing this and wanting to interact with the user, not knowing which is the appropriate chat room.

  • As a foreign language user, I try to understand some of the descriptions of the chat rooms, but some descriptions don't even address the goal or one of the goals of the chat room.

So, based on the previous arguments, I come up with the idea of standardizing at least the name and descriptions of the chat rooms.

  • At least if the chat room is for a feed or boot to follow something, putting [Feed Follow] or [Bot Follow] in the description or name would help to recognize it in a simple way.

make the texts a little more descriptive.

  • Likewise, if the objective of a chat room is:

Here you can make questions based on opinions to the community.


Here you can ask questions before publishing in META.


Here you can ask questions about how the main site works.

put it in the description.

Premise: I understand that room owners are free to name chat rooms whatever they want, so I may have to persuade them (in chat) to change to more standard names. But what I'm looking for is for the community to agree that if it's a good or bad idea... based on this post then I can tell the owner of the room something like: look, the community thinks it would be good to do this standard, could you help us... etc... etc....

This is not an obligation or wanting to seek a radical change:

I had to try it... Some will see this as a project for individual sites, perhaps some community leader will be interested when they see this post and provoke an initiative on the individual site. I didn't want to keep the idea in my mind. I just want to see how the community reacts.

Project implementation example:

The owner of the room could rename it to: [Main]Tavern on the Meta adding leading [Main] User would identify it that is the Main Chat Room of the site.

In this scenario I would like to see something like: [META Chat] The Meta Room where [META Chat] indicates is the main META Chat for that site.

View Example:

enter image description here

The truth is that the current design for viewing chat rooms doesn't help much either hahahahahaha.

  • 1
    Ready, I have been able to read and contextualize those two publications, even though they have good information, it is unlikely that a user will come to META SE to look for a META post with information that guides them, I believe that the objective of my Post is focused on improving directly 2 specific points: Objectivity and Description. Feb 7 at 17:02
  • If I have missed this in both posts, can you please highlight it? Feb 7 at 17:03
  • 1
    Room owners are free to name chat rooms whatever they want to so perhaps you can persuade them (in chat) to move to more standard names. Otherwise a post here is unlikely to do much as MSE is not really here to impose things on individual chat rooms. Feb 7 at 17:07
  • 2
    I understand, but what I'm looking for is for the community to agree that if it's a good idea or a bad idea... based on this post then I can tell the owner of the room something like: look, the community thinks it would be good to do this standard, could you help us... etc... etc... Feb 7 at 17:09
  • 6
    I generally think this would be a good project for each individual community to handle separately... if chat were better promoted throughout the sites as a place for people to use. but until then... i don't think standardizing the names for the dozen people who use it will really do anything. It'd also be nice if there were more tools for mods to mark certain rooms as "featured" so that they're always up top and never get dropped off the first page... but... requesting new features for chat is kinda pointless at the moment.
    – Kevin B
    Feb 7 at 17:10
  • 1
    @KevinB I had to try it... maybe some community leader will be interested in seeing this post and provoke an initiative on the site individually. I didn't want to keep the idea in my mind. Feb 7 at 17:14
  • I know you in the past specifically referenced SO's "The Meta Room", but after reviewing the room description i don't see what is unclear. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ the name could possibly be something less in-crowd, like "SO General," but then it'll attract people looking for answers on SO... which isn't what it is for. I think the current iteration of the room name and description perfectly describe why the room exists and what it is for.
    – Kevin B
    Feb 7 at 17:27
  • @KevinB We are not going to review them one by one, I think this is a project as they have mentioned that someone should lead if they are interested in taking it to their sites. Feb 7 at 17:33
  • 2
    @FranciscoNuñezIALover i understand, my point is you're kinda pointing out a problem that... isn't actually the problem. The problem isn't with room names or descriptions, it's that chat's UI was never built for this use-case. Even if we went through and standardized room names and descriptions... it'd still be the same random looking list of rooms in a sort order that doesn't make sense.
    – Kevin B
    Feb 7 at 17:47
  • very true @KevinB that's why I created an example of how to implement it. i have update the post. Feb 7 at 17:52
  • that'd work for SO, but wouldn't necessarily work on other sites that share the same chat server across multiple sites... and is it actually adding any information that the given name doesn't already provide? it's a "chat" room (all of them are) and it's the "meta" room. it's already portraying that information.
    – Kevin B
    Feb 7 at 17:54
  • @KevinB good point, not having the chat rooms correctly associated with the sites causes this to be a barrier. Feb 7 at 18:00
  • 1
    Calling Stack Overflow "the English site" is a bit confusing. We have two English sites: english.stackexchange.com & ell.stackexchange.com
    – PM 2Ring
    Feb 8 at 4:33

2 Answers 2


So, based on the previous arguments, I come up with the idea of standardizing at least the name and descriptions of the chat rooms.

No, let's not do that.

Chat is the "third"-place,. The goal and purpose of rooms is either hinted at in the name or description. If that isn't enough, you can always join the room, ask politely whether you can discuss kittens there and from there you either get "Yes", "No", "Try room Dogs 101". That is not a lot of friction to get into the right direction.

We're not going to police chat room names and descriptions for the few first time users that might get overwhelmed on that chat landings page.

If rooms really care about what you can and can't ask they do put links to more extensive guidance in their description. It is not much to ask for new users to read-up on guidance before diving in.

When there is a need a per-site meta post with site relevant chat rooms and purpose can be maintained but most sites only have a handful of permanent rooms so it is unlikely that new users will have to ping-pong between many rooms before they found one that suits their needs.

  • Ok, I like your answer, but I'm not looking for a mandatory control. I think i have made some edits at the time you wrote this answer. taking into account the comments. Could you take those changes into account in your answer? Feb 7 at 17:28
  • 2
    I have re-read your question and all comments right before I posted and saw no reason to make any further edits. That hasn't changed with your comment.
    – rene
    Feb 7 at 17:31
  • 5
    Ideally it would be very easy to tell which chat room is the main chat room for the site. I agree that standardized names are the wrong direction. I'd rather see the chat room highlighted on the menu where you click "chat", like "Join main chat room" in addition to the chat link. The SE solution of writing lots of text, burying it somewhere on the site then getting cranky when no-one reads it is not newbie friendly.
    – ColleenV
    Feb 7 at 17:33
  • @ColleenV This is what happens when the description of a chat room is in a link that points to a post at the borders of web navigability... the more clicks required to reach information, the fewer people see it. my proposal improves that visibility. Feb 7 at 17:37
  • @ColleenV Oh, I agree we're not an easy platform UX-wise. But with Discussions cooking on SO I doubt chat will ever see a UX revamp or any improvement for that matter. Chat is in maintenance mode from a development perspective.
    – rene
    Feb 7 at 17:38
  • Well, not to be pedantic (but I totally am going to be lol) Adding a link to the site's main chat room in the same place you find the site's meta isn't exactly a chat upgrade :)
    – ColleenV
    Feb 7 at 17:53
  • 8
    Frankly I'm disappointed in general that SE has reached that point in its lifecycle where no-one will entertain making big changes or starting on version 2 in parallel. The big vision these days is to add an AI summarizer like everyone else has, not something like reinvent Q&A but on the blockchain. I think the Internet of the retargeting pixel needs to get displaced by something better.
    – ColleenV
    Feb 7 at 18:02
  • I have updated the post again, this time I added examples to the proposal. and you are right... it seems that the motto is... if it works, leave it like that until it turns off by itself Feb 7 at 18:04

Working on options to make the chat platform friendlier for new chat users is a great idea. However, this should be handled as the diffusion of "best practices" rather than compulsory standardization, at least in the short/mid-term.

Side note: There are non-mandatory standards and frameworks, like ISO 9000, but the term standard is more commonly used to refer to mandatory specifications / rules rather than voluntarily adopted.

At the current state of things on the public question-and-answer platform, chatroom names and descriptions can't be strictly standardized for all instances. I don't see any chance this could happen in the short or mid-term.

There might be chances that main chatrooms be standardized across "dead sites". By "dead sites," I'm referring to sites having so little activity that per-site community moderators and other community members ignore what happens in the main chatroom of their site, but in such cases, it doesn't make sense to spend the CM Team time doing this manually. A volunteer might be willing to write code to automate this task, but I don't think this will get the required support. Let's see what happens.

In the meantime, I suggest you keep talking about things that could be improved but try to focus on clearly defining the problem without spending too much time on proposing a specific solution until you get feedback from the community, including a clear idea of the size of the population that is interested on the topic.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .