To avoid cannibalizing the main Q/A bodies of our sites, and to make sure that things which are better suited as a question are asked there, what do you think of a "propagate to question" button for your own message or conversation in a chat room?

I'd envision that you could click this button which would open the "ask question" page with the contents filled in with the contents of the message. The question would automatically have a tag corresponding to which room it was asked in. Once the question was posted, a message would be posted back to the room with a link to the question and notifying that the chatroom question has been propagated to an actual question.

The only thing I'd worry about is people that use it as a two-click solution and don't edit the question contents to make it appropriate for a non-chat setting.


The only thing I'd worry about is people that use it as a two-click solution and don't edit the question contents to make it appropriate for a non-chat setting.


In addition, it sends the entirely wrong messages to the people who abuse the chat by demanding instant answers in the chat and can't be bothered to take a few minutes to write up a well-phrased question on the main site, where it may help other people as well.

It teaches them to not give a crap, because someone clicks a button, someone else maybe turns the collection of single messages into a real question, and in the end they may even get answers without doing any work of their own. Seriously, I don't want those people.

I want people who understand that unconditionally demanding immediate answers from an awesome community without giving anything back is not the way it works.

So if someone starts posting their questions in the chat, ask them to take a moment and write a real question on the main site, maybe then linking to it in the chat room, so everybody benefits.

If they actually care to spend that time, it may turn out to be a good question, instead of a few chat messages buried somewhere – here's an example.

But if they can't be bothered, I have no intention to spoonfeed them.

At this very moment, there's a chat message on chat.SO containing "here's my error message: [...] how do I solve this?", flagged for moderator attention by the user who posted it, with the flagging message being

no one paying attention at my question

In my opinion, behavior like this is actively harmful to Stack Overflow and the community, and providing functionality that actually encourages this behavior really is the last thing I want to do.

  • Wow, good thing I'm not a moderator, that user would be so burninated :D
    – Benjol
    Aug 16 '11 at 6:38

I would definitely like to see this feature. The problem with the existing answer is that the point is not necessarily to just create a new question, but also remove the lines from the chat, especially to be used in situations where the question is inappropriate for the room. In addition, a copy and paste won't correctly attribute the question to the asker, but to the mover, whereas in actuality the asker deserves the up, or down, votes associated with their question. In addition, room owners should have the capacity to do this for any message.

  • What?? The asker doesn't deserve anything if they can't even be bothered to write there own question where questions belong!
    – Benjol
    Aug 16 '11 at 6:40

Room admins can add feeds if they want automatic notification. You can always copy the link yourself if you want manual notification. (Or bug the admins to add a feed.)

Since this would be much too complicated to include multiple messages in the automatically-filled ask-question form, and since copying a single line of chat isn't exactly onerous or not obvious, I see no need to complicate the interface with this feature.

You must log in to answer this question.

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