Recently, TNB conducted an experiment in which we created a new room specifically for off-topic discussion, which resulted in a marked decrease in the amount of off-topic content in TNB. This room has now been around and active for over five months. Should we "officially recognize" it and add it to the room description for TNB?
I see no disadvantages of doing so.
- The room will gain activity just by having a link visible
- This will prevent off topic chat in TNB
- There will always be off topic discussions.
- It's true that there have been many rooms for this purpose. I think this only shows the demand for such a room is strong.
- If a listed officially they will coalesce in the linked room since that one is the most easily accessible. In the old situation people might create a new room each time, and it makes sense old ones would die and get frozen. Not so if it's officially listed and easily accessible.
- Yes, there will be periods of high and low activity but when activity is high it will always be in that room. The room might seem dead for some periods but activity will pick back up.
- If activity ever ceases for a long period it's very easy to simply remove the link again
Adding on to mousetail's answer, CGSE is a very active site, with many users on chat constantly, and therefore has high chat activity. Therefore, it is good to have a separate chartroom for separate stuff, lest it becomes too messy. I've been on the chat recently and sometimes I talk about off-topic stuff.
Of course, you can guess what happened. Another group of people were talking about golfing, while I and someone else were talking about off-topic stuff. Our messages overlayed and it got messy and confusing quick.
Maybe, but not yet
As I said in chat, OTTNB is, in my opinion, too young to be "officially" recognised. Spin off chat rooms from TNB come into existence, last a while, then die out and freeze. It's been happening almost continually for the past 10 years on this site. For example, Das Neunzehnte Byte (TNB but in German); the same room, but in French; the TNB Stars room, and countless others.
Given that the room description is probably the most official information center relating to TNB, any room we endorse in it should be absolutely official. While OTTNB is looking active and maintaining, I for one don't want to endorse a room as official unless I know that it'll stay active for a long period of time. There's no real rush behind this either; there's enough off-topic activity in TNB that we move messages to OTTNB semi-regularly, it's fairly easy to find on our site chat rooms, and if people want to hang out there regularly, they can star the room.
Personally, I'd rather wait a while longer to see whether or not OTTNB stays active over the long term or not, before deeming it an "official" room.