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As of now (11pm Pacific Time), a temporary/test/silly/whatever-it-is chat room called "Room for coredump and Jacob" has taken over from "Vote to Close" on the right sidebar.

Ok, since "useful" seemed to be problematic:

"The Comms Room" is the most active SF chat room and "Vote to Close" is the only other SF chat room that gets used a lot. Could something be done so that those two show up on the sidebar instead of whatever joke or temporary chat room de jour automatically pops up? I don't care if it's really "permanent," I just don't think throw-away chat rooms should show up there at all.

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    How is useful then defined? Currently, the chat "ad" just show the last two active serverfault-themed rooms. Are you suggesting that, say, a moderator can make a room "featured"? Or that the room chosing be smarter, and if so, in what way? Or just that "On Server Fault, always show Comms Room and Vote to Close "? – balpha Mar 3 '11 at 7:51
  • For me none of the chat rooms are useful, so obviously I don't think there should be permanent links to any of them. – John Gardeniers Mar 3 '11 at 10:31
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    We could perhaps flag rooms created as a 1-1 basis (via the menu option), and just exclude those? – Marc Gravell Mar 3 '11 at 10:47
  • I think the Vote To Close channel is redundant. It's annoying to have to monitor a second chat just for potential closes. You get more eyeballs (and response) from the Comms Room anyway. – jscott Mar 3 '11 at 11:22
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    @Jscott, I personally like the vote to close room; It'd be nice if we just had a page that filtered all the questions with a vote to close in the last day, so we could review them easily. It would be nice if there was a 'featured' flag, or if rooms with <3 people were excluded from the list. – Chris S Mar 3 '11 at 20:28
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    @ChrisS: You mean a page like this? :) – balpha Mar 3 '11 at 20:52
  • @balpha, yes, now if I could get a link from the front page it'd be perfect. – Chris S Mar 3 '11 at 21:49
  • @ChrisS: It's behind that "tools" link that appeared on top of the page when you passed 10k reputation (these pages's aren't visible for <10k users) – balpha Mar 4 '11 at 6:05
  • Can we have the tab=close page visible to everyone who can cast a vote please ? There are relatively few 10K users on SF compared to the number of 3k users who can vote. – Iain Mar 4 '11 at 9:56
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    With a little more research the numbers are 135 who can vote to close of which 29 are 10K+ so anything that can get more eye's on closable questions would be a benefit. – Iain Mar 4 '11 at 10:09
  • @balpha, perhaps take into account total room activity or number of favorites votes instead of just recent activity for the sidebar selection? – Zoredache Mar 10 '11 at 19:28
  • @Zoredache: we made the room choosing algorithm a little smarter yesterday; seems to work quite well so far. I'll keep an eye on it. – balpha Mar 10 '11 at 19:53
  • @balpha any chance of highlighting to 3k+ users closeable questions rathre than just 10k+ users ? – Iain Mar 10 '11 at 21:16
  • @Iain: That may be a viable feature request (although I'm not 100% sure I'd like it), but it shouldn't be here in the comments. Maybe read this thread on MSO first and then possibly open a new feature request there. – balpha Mar 10 '11 at 21:23
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Can the links to useful chat rooms be made permanent?

I don't think they need to be made permanent, I just think the selection algorithm should take more into account then just recent activity.

One thing that could be done to prioritize certain rooms over others is to take into account how many users have marked a room as a favorite. I would guess that many users have clicked the star on the comms room. I think how many people have marked a room as a favorite would be a better hint about how active a room is. A room with a large number of stars should be prioritized above a room with some recent activity.

If not that, then perhaps side-bar selection should take into account total activity for the day/week instead of activity in very the short term. The 'Room for coredump and Jacob' had a total of 16 messages compared to the Comms Room which tends to have over 1000 messages a day.

I suspect if someone had the time they could come up with a formula that would take into account the favorites, total activity, and recent activity and come up with some way that would prefer established active channels but allow newly created very active channels to float up to the top for a short period of time.

  • I think weighting by favourites is an excellent idea. Regardless of the point-in-time activity, users have clearly indicated they are interest in such rooms. – John Gardeniers Mar 11 '11 at 1:16

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