Get a Room, a Chat Room!
Did you know it only takes 100 reputation to create a chat room on Workplace SE? It's not a moderator-only privilege, nor is it reserved only for the highest reputation users. Virtually anyone can create their own room for a certain topic, whether it be career advice, interpersonal issues, management issues, resume writing, workplace education, and so forth.
There are two things that we'd like to tackle as a community:
- Reduce our use of extended discussion in comments, and use them for what they're intended for.
- Make better use of the chat room functionality provided to us by the excellent developers at Stack Exchange.
Chat is an underused tool on The Workplace, yet we have users in our community with over 300 comments posted in just a 30 day period. The evidence speaks for itself; people like to chat. Yet, comments on the Q&A site leads to a lot of unnecessary cleanup, not just for moderators but for all of our diligent community flaggers who work tirelessly to help keep the clutter under control.
To reduce the distractions caused by comments, we're going to take a much more active role in removing them, yet we don't want to stifle the social nature of our community. So let's instead redirect it.
Here's how you can help:
- If you see a comment thread starting to get long, drop a link to a chat room, and encourage the commenters to use it.
- If you're one of our chattier, social butterflies, make your new challenge one of utilizing chat more as a tool. Keep a link to your chat room in your back pocket1 as a go-to place for all your longer discussions, and drop the link in the comments whenever your discussions get longer than a few comments.
- Make it a point to clean up your comments once they've served their purpose. For instance, if you've edited a post to include information from the comments, flag those comments as obsolete and/or delete them if they're your own.
Currently, we only have The Water Cooler, our site's main chat room, but there's a potential for a whole lot more places to hold discussions and constructive, friendly debates. These are great places for all of the things that aren't on-topic on the main Q&A site.
1 You can mark any chat room as a favorite by clicking on the star in the top right area of the screen, near the name (while in the room) or on the info page. The star will turn yellow when you do. On the main chat page, if you go to "rooms" you can then go to "favorites" and see all your starred rooms -- handy!