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I noticed that there are quite a few users with questions that are little open-ended, which is not a good fit for the Q/A format that we have on SE sites. I suppose a lot of us, grad students, would like to have a medium of communication where we can discuss matters and questions about previous experiences of the more senior members of AC.SE.

The chat room is a good fit for this purpose, however it appears as there isn't much activity there. For instance just before writing this meta question the last entry on chat room was from 6 days ago. So here comes my suggestion/proposal:

  1. We hold regular discussion groups on the chat; for instance once a week or every second week ...
  2. ... where the subject to be discussed is voted here on meta

I am not sure if there has been anything like this before, here on AC.SE. CrossValidated has journal clubs with article discussions on the chat, a concept which I find pretty cool despite my lack of interest in statistics :)

What do you think? Is this a desirable or sustainable

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I think this is an interesting idea. However, I'm pretty sure that this is something that would need to be community-organized, rather than something that the mods do, since we just don't have the time to organize what amounts to an online seminar series.

However, if a group of users wants to take the initiative to do this, I (and the other mods?) would be happy to offer logistical support as needed.

  • I'm personally not a big user of the chat, so I don't have any strong opinion, but as aeismail said, if there is any need for mod help in the process, I'd be glad to help. – user102 May 27 '13 at 17:20
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    Probably worth reminding you that if you (as a moderator) create a scheduled event in a chat-room it'll pop up an event in the bulletin here on the site, encouraging folks to find out about chat. Some sites do weekly events in this fashion, where folks just gather to chat about whatever. – Shog9 May 27 '13 at 18:26
  • I wasn't suggesting that mods would organize something like this for the members, but merely checking the level of interest for something like this. – posdef May 29 '13 at 7:58
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This is a great idea, because it would make some users recognize the chat so they might hopefully use it more often in the future. There should be plenty of people around here who can profit from a discussion while we also already have some very talkative and well-informed members as well, so there should be enough potential to make this an event that everyone enjoys.

I also don't believe it has to focus on a single subject, just announcing that there will be an open chat at date x, time y would be enough?

I also don't see any real downsides to this (besides possibly wasted efforts), so why not just give it a try?

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