I'm often curious why I don't see some of the people with somewhat high rep in chat. True, chat's not for everyone, but is it a matter of them not being aware of it to begin with, or a conscious decision to ignore it?

  • 2
    probably because they're busy asking and answering questions and not wasting time in chat? I kid, I kid! Apr 30, 2011 at 6:32
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    I usually use the site at work. If I enter chat, that's generally the end of productivity for the day, so I try to avoid it for that reason. Apr 30, 2011 at 10:46
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    People go where other people are... I've looked at the chat several times, and seen that the last post was hours ago, and figure nothing's going on.
    – Cyclops
    Apr 30, 2011 at 12:01
  • 1
    I think just the opposite ... I've been hanging out in chat recently and it's often a wall of text about TF2 or Minecraft, which I haven't played. Hard to get involved in that conversation. They're obviously popular games, but not everyone is that hardcore. May 1, 2011 at 2:42
  • Weird... I just looked at the Minecraft Talk chat channel (Sunday morning 9 am EST) - and the last post was two days ago (Friday morning 00:39), and the post before that was Wednesday... The weekend is half gone, and the channel is empty, not a wall of text.
    – Cyclops
    May 1, 2011 at 13:20
  • @Cyclops The wall I was referring to was in The Bridge. May 3, 2011 at 15:30
  • I went to The Bridge a few times, around the time Portal 2 was coming out, and everybody was talking about "potatoes" to the point where it became annoying, so I just chose to stay out. But that's just me, no need to make me a general example...
    – Ragnar
    May 6, 2011 at 6:27

3 Answers 3


I'm sure that I don't qualify as having a high rep, but here are a few reasons why I don't stay in chat:

  • I don't know what it's good for. This explains nothing:

    The Bridge of Gaming's StackExchange™ AlienOverlord AskQuestion™ mothership, wherein we charge our lazers in search of Super Waaaana Bro.

  • It's too temporal. If there's no one around at that exact moment to answer whatever question I have, then I'm better off asking at the the real site, or on meta.

  • It's confusing. I have to guess at where a conversation might have started by by scrolling way up.

  • 8
    +1 for the room description being completely uninformative.
    – Oak
    May 5, 2011 at 5:26

Chat gives the appearance of requiring a higher level of commitment.

When at work, there's no harm in browsing through a few questions / tossing out an answer. But joining a chat room might be regarded as being actively unproductive. This is the difference between reading a blog entry and signing onto personal MSN Messenger - the latter being more dangerous to daily productivity.

When at home, there are games to be played, and other recreational things to be done. Again, the issue is one of commitment - either you're chatting, or you're doing something else.

  • 1
    Now guess what's the "advantage" in playing TF2 in a small stamp-sized window? :)
    – badp
    May 4, 2011 at 18:13

The chat puts itself in a bit of a catch-22 position. To be effective, people have to join and talk with each other... but people aren't likely to join and talk with each other when there's nothing going on in the chat.

I am a high rep user that generally avoids the chat; not out of any dislike for it per say, but simply because I don't see a use for it. Why join the chat when I could just ask a question on the site instead? (The recent exception to this was about a week ago when I joined to ask something I knew I couldn't ask on the site: mod recommendations for Oblivion. I left without any real answers.)

I don't think this is limited to gaming's chat (and honestly, based on my experience with stack overflow's chat rooms, gaming's is generally more active!), but right now, there's simply not enough reason to hang out in chat unless you want to mingle with strangers over the internet.

  • Aww... you still consider us strangers?
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    May 2, 2011 at 20:28
  • @Grace - I was speaking more generally. New users of the site, in particular, would have to go into the chat blind. May 2, 2011 at 21:47
  • Some of us are certainly... strange-er than others... :) Seriously - although yes, it's easy enough to ask a Question - there are times when I have a sub -question. Something trivial, that isn't quite worth posting. But then I look at the chat-rooms, and see that it's been 3 days since the last post. :(
    – Cyclops
    May 3, 2011 at 0:54
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    Honestly I thought the Bridge was well after the catch-22 position; 2.5k/wk messages aren't stellar but certainly a lot.
    – badp
    May 4, 2011 at 18:12
  • @fail - those would be bursts of activity, I imagine. How's the StackOverflow equivalent chat room doing? May 4, 2011 at 19:56
  • @Raven Well, SU/SO/AU/etc. average around 5k/wk messages.
    – badp
    May 4, 2011 at 21:00
  • @fail badp, now divide the message count by the total number of users, giving a ratio, for each site - then report back. :)
    – Cyclops
    May 4, 2011 at 22:52

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