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Every question on the main site and the meta site seems to be automatically posted in the main chat room. This has two disadvantages for me:

  1. This makes it hard to find human posts in the transcript. (“Ignoring” the user Stack Exchange does not seem to affect the transcript.)
  2. This takes away one of the possible topics to talk about in the chat room: it would be silly to post a link to a question which I found interesting when every question is automatically posted.

Is this feature useful to the users of chat room? If it is, then I think that it is fine because I am not a heavy user of chat anyway and the opinion of those who use chat heavily should be respected. But if it is not particularly useful to the users of chat room, I would like to suggest to turn this feature off (provided that it can be turned off).

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I can't speak on the matter of "is it useful or is it not"; this has to be decided by the community. But I can say a few things:

  1. Some communities do this, some don't; the larger a site (i.e. the higher the number of questions) becomes, the less useful it probably is.

  2. This can totally be turned off – in fact, it's off by default. It was turned on by a user. This is a feature that posts new results from an RSS feed into the room (see the feeds tab on the rooms info page), and the two feeds that are posted like this just happen to be the question feeds for the main site and the meta site. As I said, this setting is not uncommon.

  3. There's also a third way: Instead of posting new question as chat messages, they can also be posted into the so-called ticker. That's a little box in the top left corner of the chat room that will pop up when new questions arrive. This has the advantage of not cluttering the room or transcript, while still letting you know of new questions (or other RSS items) while you're chatting. On the other site, these items are not persisted, so when you click to empty the ticker, or you switch rooms, or there are many questions coming in, you can't "read back"; the old ones will be gone. Not that that's a huge issue (you could just as well do that on the actual site); just something to be aware of.

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  • (1) I see. Thank you for the explanation. (2) Who can turn off the feature? In other words, if I want the feature to be turned off, who should I talk to? – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 30 '11 at 19:06
  • The room owner (japanese.stackexchange.com/users/125/hippietrail) who probably also added the feed, or any moderator – balpha Aug 30 '11 at 19:08
  • Also: chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/511?m=1403630#1403630 and following – balpha Aug 30 '11 at 19:11
  • Thanks! I added a chat message asking hippietrail to consider turning off the feed. Hope that he/she is reading it…. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 30 '11 at 19:13
  • At some point the room announced to me that I owned it. I guess I was using it the most and the ownership assignment is algorithmic. Or possibly it lapsed out of lack of use and a visit by me recreated it? Anyway somebody asked me to turn the feeds on so I did. At the time hardly anybody was using the chat room and since turning it on hardly anybody is using the chat room. I'll add a couple of "vote for this answer to turn the feeds off/on answers" – hippietrail Aug 31 '11 at 6:01
  • @hippietrail: I've added a section to the FAQ about this; it will also be linked in future "XYZ has been automatically appointed" messages. Also see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/80205/…. – balpha Aug 31 '11 at 14:30
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Vote up here to turn off the question feeds in the chat room

Vote down here to leave the question feeds in the chat room

When I see a consensus I'll change the feed settings in the chat room if that's the outcome of the vote.

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  • If it stays this strong for the "turn them off" camp I'll do so tonight or in the morning... so a few more voting hours left. – hippietrail Aug 31 '11 at 14:43
  • It would be nice if we ever saw some of these voters actually in the chat. – jkerian Aug 31 '11 at 14:48
  • My sentiments exactly! I have the same problem for all the chat rooms of sites not long out of beta though. On travel we tried to encourage people to come but nothing works other than being around and having thousands of frequent contributors I think... – hippietrail Aug 31 '11 at 14:50
  • Maybe they don't use the chat because of the feed. Why bother when you can wait for the chat to be more friendly? – Axioplase Sep 1 '11 at 2:31
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    @Axioplase: As I say nobody was using chat before the feeds were enabled either. I can't see how the friendly would change by removing about four posts a day... but the feeds are now off so I'll expect to see you all back in there soon! (= – hippietrail Sep 1 '11 at 7:30
  • @hippietrail: To be more accurate, there were a very small number of active people in the chat. A reasonable approximation of quorum asked that the feeds be turned on. – jkerian Sep 1 '11 at 7:52
  • As an experiment for now I've turned on the feed for the main site as the "ticker" described by user balpha in another answer. I haven't also turned on the meta feed. If this is also annoying or if you want meta too please let me know. – hippietrail Sep 1 '11 at 9:38
  • I do not use chat in the real-time manner, but I often read the transcript to see if anything interesting is going on. It was painful to do so because of the feed, but now it is much easier. Thanks. – Tsuyoshi Ito Sep 1 '11 at 13:24
  • @Tsuyoshi Ito: The new kind of ticker setting it's using now won't interfere with the logs should maybe best of both worlds... – hippietrail Sep 2 '11 at 13:26
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I actually find it somewhat useful, although I do agree it tends to bury any other chat. This would be somewhat more of an issue if chat wasn't normally limited to me and hippietrail chatting in very long-latency conversations.

Given that there are only a few posts from the feed per day, I'm not sure it would actually get in the way of conversations, were such conversations to exist.

Just to be clear, it was at the request of myself and the handful of people active in chat (roughly a month ago? maybe a bit more) that the feed was turned on in the first place.

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    I understand that it does not get in the way of conversation, but the point is: is it useful to the chat users like you? It certainly gets in the way when I check the chat log, and that is why I am asking the question. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 30 '11 at 21:17
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    Sorry, I overlooked that you answered “somewhat useful” in the very beginning. Thanks. If the real users find it useful, probably rare users’ opinion should not affect it. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 31 '11 at 11:51

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