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The answer to this chat-related question leads to a feature request:

A simple way to notify and invite someone to chat regardless of whether they've ever chatted before or not.

Story:

As a [stackexchange user] 
I want to [invite another user to chat] 
So that [we can continue our discussion easily]

ADENDUM: for archival purposes it might make sense to auto-create a room for discussions started in the comments of a particular question/answer. Yes, this effectively turns SO into a forum - but it keeps the discussiony stuff out of the main Q&A stuff, which I think was the point of having a separate chat system.

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This feature actually already exists. We're still experimenting with it, but it has been activated this morning on all sites except for Stack Overflow:

enter image description here

(note the "automatically move this discussion to chat" link). This link is visible to you and me, because we're having a back-and-forth discussion in the comments. At the moment this is still voluntary; at some point, we may start blocking further comments, thus forcing (not just suggesting) to take it to chat.

Clicking the link will create a new room in chat, copy our comment discussion into that room, and leave an automatic "let's take this to chat" comment on behalf of the user who clicked.

  • awesome! will use this in future – Steven A. Lowe Jun 20 '11 at 15:14
  • Oh my, this is awesome. – user8 Jun 20 '11 at 19:28
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    Great! Is there a way to trigger this without a long discussion, or to force it as a mod? – C. Ross Jun 27 '11 at 16:50
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I think it'd be nice to have an "invite to chat" link in a user profile similar to the ones already in the chat profiles.

That said, this has been brought up on Meta.SO before and while it wasn't outright , it received a lukewarm response at best.

  • I was originally against the chat system (SO is not a social-media forum) but now that we have it, it should be easily usable for its intended purposes. Especially since a certain someone is fond of telling people to go there ;-) – Steven A. Lowe Jun 20 '11 at 14:49
  • @Steven I'd really appreciate it if you'd stop doing that. I simply respond to long comment threads that we are alerted about and other moderators haven't yet handled. As I said elsewhere, it's a general policy not my personal whim. – Adam Lear Jun 20 '11 at 14:54
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    OK sorry, I'll stop teasing you. For now ;-) – Steven A. Lowe Jun 20 '11 at 14:57

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