I'm toying with the idea to try and move our clan's dying IRC channel to StackExchange chat due to its sheer awesomeness, but before I ask them if they'd entertain the idea, I'd ask first if this would be an abuse of the powers I obtained via reputation (room creation privilege, mainly; I'm not planning on making it a gallery or a hidden channel).

Reasons why this idea makes me uneasy:

  • I would have to grant explicit write access to many of us.
  • They would have to have an account with Gaming... just to chat.
  • Discussion could be largely irrelevant to the matters of this site and its community.
  • We might take up valuable chat advertisement space (workaround: a moderator could disassociate the room from Gaming.)
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Notice

There has been a change in the system such that explicit write access can only be assigned by moderators. Additionally, there is talk of making it such that sub-20 reputation users will only get a maximum of 4 hours of talk time. Suffice to say - you will be needing your friends to participate in the site in order to enjoy our chat.

I think the third point isn't too much of a problem. Chat isn't all meant to be matters of the site, as a certain philosopher's room on Meta establishes. Sometimes you want just a place you can chat with people you know. To me, Chat has always been more about just being able to chat with the community, not necessarily about it.

I think that it would really help matters if they actually start using the site. Having an account for the sole purpose of accessing one room is... kinda droll. And maybe they might get curious about what goes on in other rooms, or what the site is like. Try introducing the website to see who is interested in participating in the community. 20 reputation isn't a lot, and it opens a whole lot more than just relieving you of the duty of explicit write access assignment.

I'd say go for it if Ivo hadn't beaten me to the punch, though I am curious as to how it would necessarily get any more life here than in IRC considering, among other things, they need to register to use this.

Regarding chat space: This is dependent on whether you feel that it has any use to be advertised. Will you entertain the company of others who come in? Is there room for recruitment of the interested? If neither of those is true, then it would be a problem indeed. While dissociating it from the site is a countermeasure for now, this sounds like something that might be a useful feature for chat in general: some setting which blocks it from the site advertisement (as should be a gaming room) but doesn't hide it in any other fashion. I think this kind of setting would also be useful for those 1v1 rooms people can generate.

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Hence, I'd recommend setting up a feed with relevant questions, they might get trigger happy to try and answer those. –  Ivo Flipse Dec 12 '10 at 12:23
    
Re: chat space. "I'm not planning on making it a gallery or a hidden channel." That implies that "guests" would be welcome indeed. –  badp Dec 12 '10 at 13:00
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@Ivo I thought the Bridge was a representative example of how much I like to add feeds to rooms. :) –  badp Dec 12 '10 at 13:03
    
Honestly the IRC channel died when I started idling on MSO chat instead and other regulars went their separate ways :( –  badp Dec 13 '10 at 0:18
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As others have said, this is OK so long as they legitimately gain the 20 rep necessary.

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If this draws a large group of new users to the site, I don't see a problem if you created a separate room to hang out in.

In the end, they all have to become members of the site to be able to do so and I would expect them to start using the site, especially if you would set up a feed of 'useful' questions for them ;-)

So by all means, give it a try!

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Nope, they don't have to become members. I can grant them write access and they can chat at one rep :) –  badp Dec 12 '10 at 12:07
    
You can, but I would still think they should become members, because they are using the site off course. But merely because we hope they'll enjoy using it, not because it's forced upon them. –  Ivo Flipse Dec 12 '10 at 12:22
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