A proposed feature

After Vince suggested to a user who had a question that it could be treated as a nice open discussion on the chat, I tried to search for it on our main page.

I found only two occurrences of the word 'chat'. One of them being a featured element on the right (which might not last forever). The other is at the really bottom (<- link to a screenshot of the home page) of the page, hidden in the middle of some other small textual elements. It is also available with a two-clicks action by the "A list of the 175 Stack Exchange sites" button. Newcomers have to guess it's hidden there.

I would therefore suggest that the chat is given more prominence, for example with a 1-click direct access at the top of the home page, or close to the personal icons, for example before the inbox:

Chat enhanced visibility

I hope our community is able to modify this kind of feature, but I can understand if we depend on decisions of others (understand by this, 'external' people from the GIS community).

Linked discussion

need guidance in joining the gis chat room


This is not something in the SE user interface that we at GIS can modify, and so your feature request is best posted at the network-wide Meta Stack Exchange.

I thought I would quickly find a feature request (probably declined) there but all I've found so far is:

In the meantime we have this Meta GIS SE Q&A to help our users find the GIS Chat Rooms:

I am not a great fan of chat rooms (here or elsewhere) but as a moderator I feel obliged to look in on ours frequently. Of the three main components of GIS SE I think it is significantly less important than the other two and its lack of prominence suggests to me that the Stack Overflow company may hold similar views. This is where I think the GIS Chat Room fits alongside the Main and Meta sites:

  1. Main site of GIS SE - is for focused Q&A and frequently moderated by many GIS SE users (including its eight elected moderators)
  2. Meta site of GIS SE - is for discussion and focused Q&A about how the Main site works, and occasionally moderated by a much smaller number of GIS SE users (including its eight elected moderators)
  3. GIS Chat Room - is for anything you wish to ask or discuss about GIS, and is rarely/never moderated. If anyone has trouble framing a question for focused Q&A this is the place to post it and you may find someone willing to help you work through it.

There is already a quick link to Chat, from the hamburger menu at top-right. From this menu you get quick access to Main, Meta, Help, and Chat, plus other SE communities you are active in.

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  • 3
    That's the "two-clicks action" s.k. wrote about. And it is rather hidden, yes.
    – Erik
    Apr 15 '20 at 11:37
  • 2
    @Erik Yes it is the two-click action from the Question, however I would argue against it being "rather hidden" - I would think that typically a standard webpage menu would be one of the first places to look for something (and therefore not really "hidden"), but perhaps that's just me.
    – Midavalo Mod
    Apr 19 '20 at 21:33

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