From this question I got the strong impression that publicizing questions I've posted, by posting links to them in main chat--provided that it is done in moderation and not, for example, over and over again with the same question--is considered both acceptable and a particularly good way to use chat to handle questions.

So I've started doing this occasionally. No one has objected.

But another user seems to have done the same thing, and a moderator indicated that this goes against accepted chat etiquette. The moderator's comment got starred six times.

Am I doing it wrong? Is there a difference between what I've been doing and the situation there? Is this moderator's comment wrong? Is the advice (by another moderator) here wrong? Am I misunderstanding that advice?

Is the distinction that it's OK to post a question in main chat, but that it should be accompanied by some specific statement as to what I want people in chat to do with it? What if the statement would just be "hey, if you have time and feel like it, please take a look at this for me"? That's the specific sort of promotion I asked about here and thought I was told was OK. I feel a bit bewildered.

1 Answer 1


Context my friend, context. :)

You post a link, and also explain the context of the question. The user that foss was talking about here had posted it in with no context. If context is provided, then sure! Post away (within reason).

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    Completely agree. Another note is the period after the question is posted where the user actually sticks around. We have some users that only dump complaint questions in chat, dump bug questions in chat, or leave immediately. It's not specific to this case, but I think these should probably be included for a canonical answer to this type of question. Jun 27, 2012 at 0:39
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    Ah yeah, forgot about those hit-and-run nuts. :)
    – jrg
    Jun 27, 2012 at 0:42
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    Context also means using an unobtrusive inline link, unless the big blaring self-expanding "banner" is really justified...the user here did the latter, which I'm betting got @fossfreedom's goat ;)
    – ish
    Jun 28, 2012 at 3:40
  • @izx I agree with this answer but I don't agree that users should avoid oneboxing. Chat oneboxes for a reason. If the asker explains what they want to know and sticks around to discuss it, I don't think there's any reason they should try to make the link to their question "unobtrusive." The whole point of the Ask Ubuntu General Room is to talk about Ubuntu, and discussing questions on the site certainly qualifies. In addition, one big benefit of oneboxing is that it helps people who aren't interested know enough not to click through. It saves those people's time by providing context. Sep 5, 2017 at 23:00

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