When there are too many comments in a question, I am offered to move things to chat. That makes perfect sense, or at least I guess it does.

Anyway, after I accepted the automatic suggestion to create a chat based on the comments, I have recently been accused of making people wait for too long (ten minutes) after I launched the chat. I did not expect that, as I thought the chat was just an extension of the comments (the latter being spaced in time).

Now if I think about it, in a typical chat room (for example IRC), I am not supposed to invite people and then make them wait, so I understand the misunderstanding and the frustration I may have caused.

Yet, I cannot be available during the entire lifetime of the new chat if it is to prolong a long discussion. So here is my question: what is it expected from users once they moved a conversation to chat?


1 Answer 1


Chat is precisely as asynchronous as comments: Other users may personally expect you to reply in a certain amount of time in comments as well as in chat, but there is no general rule that you "should" reply within a certain time frame (nor that you must reply at all).

Common sense would suggest that you should not initiate the move of a discussion to chat and then immediately leave, but otherwise it's really up to a participants of each conversation to work out what works for them.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I didn't mean to leave, just to go back and forth as I do when there is activity among several questions. I feel the next time I will leave a line in the chat to say I will come back in N minutes if it exceeds 2 or 3, just to let busy people know they don't need to waste their time there, as a courtesy, since people seem to have different expectations. $\endgroup$
    – Winston
    May 11, 2019 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ That sounds like a good idea. It's certainly not required of you, but it it a useful courtesy. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    May 12, 2019 at 1:01

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