Politics Chat Pony? April 18, 2019 12:45 PM   Subscribe

In the recent thread about post lengths, the question tangentially came up asking why more people don’t use Chat for politics stuff. For me, at least, it’s because it seems like when something big happens and we head over to Chat to talk about it, we’re barging in and taking over whatever people were talking about before. Could there be a separate chat room just for the politics stuff so we don’t have to bother the Chat regulars?

You know how sometimes, you’re just chilling in a quiet bar or coffeeshop and having a good time, but then a sports team comes in after their game and takes over and changes the channels on the TVs and suddenly everything is SPORTS! That’s what it feels like going to Chat to talk about politics. Like we’re the sports team barging in and taking over.

I remember during the actual election, we had a separate politics chat room, in addition to the regular catch-all one. Could that always exist, even if there’s nothing going on, to give people a place to go chat without bothering anyone else? Bevause I think that’s the main reason I, at least, don’t use Chat more for politics. Thoughts?
posted by Weeping_angel to Feature Requests at 12:45 PM (19 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I think that's doable, yeah. Curious to hear other thoughts about it and about chat in general.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:45 PM on April 18


I mentioned this in the Notre Dame thread, but if this is going to be about chat in general, I'll mention it again.

Chat rooms might be useful as a pressure valve in other fast moving situations, as well. In a case like ND, where it was a bit early (a contentious conclusion, but that's an issue for the other thread) for a full post, directing people to Chat -- but to a purpose created chat room -- could help.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:54 PM on April 18 [6 favorites]


There's also PoliticsFilter Slack, where we are a fun bunch who don't only talk politics.
posted by Etrigan at 12:58 PM on April 18 [3 favorites]


I wonder if the technology exists to move Chat out from its weird little "More" basement office out into the main topbar.
posted by tobascodagama at 1:29 PM on April 18 [8 favorites]


I would use this. Not every day, but I would use it.
posted by duffell at 4:17 PM on April 18


I'd put in a vote for making chat a bit more accessible and easier to get to as well. I'm someone who's notorious for reading more than he writes in threads and often forget that chat is an option. I wonder if more people would use it as well if there were a couple of rooms that were more centrally located?
posted by holmesian at 4:28 PM on April 18 [1 favorite]


I thought this was what the Slack was for.
posted by odinsdream at 4:59 PM on April 18


As someone who is in Chat a lot, I like it when we have new people, and wouldn't mind it being split into two rooms, one for just generally chatting, and one room for "news-of-the-day". To disrupt as little as possible, I suggest two things: 1.) Make Chat default to the General room, and 2.) Make the entrance message say something about "Click the News tab above to enter the News Chat room. Today's politics/breaking news goes there". I'm tired so I'm not concise tonight, but you get the idea.
posted by deezil at 6:22 PM on April 18 [9 favorites]


How does someone get into the Slack?
posted by meese at 9:38 PM on April 18


How does someone get into the Slack?

You can use this link (which is posted in the megathreads, but not in a particularly visible place).

This is a good place to say that all MeFites are welcome in the unofficial PoliticsFilter Slack, but it's a totally unofficial thing not run by the site or its mods, not intended as a replacement for MeFi Chat, which is great, and it's lovely to prefer that and be with Chat people and stay within the umbrella of MeFi-run sites.

I should also say here, since someone was having login trouble today and the topic came up, that if you don't want your MeFi identity associated with the email address you provide to Slack, feel free to use (or change your account to use) an email address that doesn't reveal anything personal.
posted by zachlipton at 10:28 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


On the one hand, it feels like there's a possibility that an added room would over time just become another iteration of the current situation - a chat room populated by mostly regulars with an established set of in-house norms that others may feel uncomfortable barging in on. But I don't really have a solution for that, so....sure! Let's do it!
posted by lazaruslong at 6:24 AM on April 19


That's one place slack has the advantage, lazaruslong, because people can just spin off other channels to talk about the particular flavor of politics they are interested in.
posted by tofu_crouton at 6:34 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


I think a second chat channel that's exclusively for breaking-news is a fantastic idea.

A part of me also hopes that it gets named something like "The Hot Takes Sauna" or something like that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:45 AM on April 19 [1 favorite]


^^^^ I love this idea.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:00 AM on April 19


^^^^ I love this idea.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:00 AM on April 19 [+] [!]


What's the opposite of eponysterical?

(I also love this idea)
posted by hanov3r at 11:11 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Another Chat regular here: It's always a little sad to see so people come in and ditch immediately, either because everyone logged in to chat's off somewhere else and nothing's happening, or because we're just not talking about anything you're interested in. Which is totally reasonable (I personally am kinda boring), but please don't feel like you're interrupting if you've got something to say. Also, we're mostly also otherwise occupied, so lack of immediate response doesn't mean nobody's interested.

It's basically workday water cooler talk for most of the regulars, and you're welcome to join in and talk about anything you'd like, politics and breaking news included. I am also in favor of a second news channel as a regular thing so there's an obvious welcoming place for news talk, not because it's unwelcome in the general channel. (Though it was kinda weird when the politics tab was the initially active tab on login for web chat. Would prefer to make general default if possible.)

tl;dr: we're generally on Chat 'cause we're bored and looking for social interaction with other MeFites. New people are awesome, please stop by so we have more new things to talk about. If regulars wanted a closed group, there are lots of other places for that.
posted by asperity at 2:04 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


I'm also a chat regular. I'm also in favor of the idea, particularly with deezil's suggestions. New people should always feel welcome in chat regardless of the news cycle.
posted by Dr. Twist at 2:20 PM on April 19 [5 favorites]


Chat always seems to time out on me.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:17 AM on April 29


Checking in a week and a half later to say I've been using the Slack and it's fantastic.
posted by duffell at 7:30 AM on April 29


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