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I haven't been able to make it to parsha chat lately; however, at the time this question was asked, it had skipped two weeks in a row. It then occurred a few times, followed by a few more weeks of non-chatting. At the time of this edit (Shoftim), the last chat was D'varim.

Is it a time (or timing) issue? Is it a lack of interest?

What should we do about Parsha Chat?

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    The time is probably the best it can be, for me, if we're going to hold the chat at the same time every week (which we should, of course), but it's still only good for me some weeks. – msh210 Jun 8 '12 at 18:48
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    I'm noticing a decline in participation across the site. – Seth J Jun 27 '12 at 18:25
  • @msh210 did you also notice the decline? – Shmuel Jun 28 '12 at 18:36
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    @SethJ 1. could be that people no longer feel pressured to "graduate" or that the site will close down. 2. We no longer have statistics on the main page spurring us on. – Shmuel Jun 28 '12 at 18:39
  • @ShmuelBrin, I haven't. It is, however, summer in the Northern Hemisphere, traditionally a time when online fora have less activity. (Hence the idea of the Eternal September, etc.) – msh210 Jun 28 '12 at 18:44
  • @msh210 some may have moved to the country, where they have no internet – Shmuel Jun 28 '12 at 21:32
  • I showed up this week for the first time, and nobody was there. – Daniel Aug 23 '12 at 0:16
  • @Daniel, I'm sorry that happened to you. I hope your next experience is better. – Monica Cellio Aug 24 '12 at 23:15
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I am busy nowadays and I don't really have any set time to which I can commit.

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  • If the weekly Parsha chat event becomes shortened to 45 minutes, would you be more likely to be able to commit to attending? Also, if you only showed up for fifteen minutes and then left, it would still be worthwhile. – Adam Mosheh Jun 11 '12 at 3:22
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    @AdamMosheh, people do show up late and leave early, based on their external constraints. Perhaps it would be worthwhile to emphasize in the chat's landing page that it's an open house, and people are welcome to come for as long or as short as works for them, for the benefit of people who don't already realize that. – Isaac Moses Jun 11 '12 at 15:20
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We should publicize the chat weekly on Wednesday mornings by using Twitter, and then Tweet the parashah chat transcripts so that everyone else know what they were missing out on.

Also, maybe we could "force" people to commit themselves for being online in the chat room for only 5 minutes at any point during that hour. 5 minutes is nothing. When they see how easy it is to come for 5 minutes, then maybe they will stay for 10. And that could turn into 15 or 30 or 60. However, this would only work if people were online and chatting the whole hour anyway. To show up to an empty chatroom for 5 minutes would be pointless and extremely boring.

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    related: meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1183/759 – Double AA Jun 11 '12 at 2:12
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    +1 for the Twitter idea, assuming that we resolve meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1183/759 in a way that results in many people following and paying attention to whatever feed. Note that @SJ automatically announces chats ahead of time. – Isaac Moses Jun 11 '12 at 15:15
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    I'm not sure about trying to "force" people into 5-minute residency shifts. How would we force anyone? What would people be expecting to gain from their five minutes? If you drop in in the middle of a chat, it can take almost that long just to get your bearings in the conversation. – Isaac Moses Jun 11 '12 at 15:18
  • I'm not sure how we could force anyone. If they are there for 5, then they will enjoy being there and stay for 6. – Adam Mosheh Jun 11 '12 at 18:58
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    @IsaacMoses, who's @SJ? I know it's not me! – Seth J Jun 29 '12 at 19:18
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    @Seth, sorry, I meant the auto-populated Twitter account StackJudaism, which is referenced in the meta question DoubleAA and I mentioned. – Isaac Moses Jun 29 '12 at 20:29
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What if we have a meta post every Sunday where anyone who expects to be available that week answers/edits a community wiki post? If less than X number of people expect to come then we cancel that week.

Pros:

  • Advertised better in the meta stack.

  • Fewer quiet chats.

Cons:

  • Clogs the meta stack.

  • Some people might not know until just before hand what their schedule will be like.

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    Do people go out of their way to make themselves available for the chat, so that having a poor-quality chat inconveniences them? If not, I see no reason to cancel for lack of people. – msh210 Jun 27 '12 at 19:50
  • Interesting idea... – Adam Mosheh Jun 28 '12 at 3:38

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