Chats are killing knowledge sharing

Our Gitter chat room now has 1000 participants, and it’s very friendly to beginners! @Cycle.js

Nowadays we have dozens of chat rooms where developers can communicate with each other, share some ideas, ask questions, find some local mates to have offline meetups. Gitter is a leader for such communities. Only 200ms ping separates you from a big world that respects, often, the same framework or library as you are. You can spend a whole day diving in the new framework, asking other developers or level up your expertise, just monitoring discussions. No time for talks? No problem, just close the chat window and back when you need.

Every knowledge, a code example or detailed answer will die in the mad flow of talks

Sounds pretty good. But chats are killing knowledge sharing. More participants — more talks. Try to ask something non-trivial, that needs a time to think and answer, close your chat and return in 1–2 hours or maybe in the evening. If you have a chat with 50 people, you can find an answer right in front of your eyes or maybe in 2–3 scrolls. What will happened if you have 1000–2000 people in the room? You will loose your question, you will loose responses, scroll, memes, scroll, USA elections, scroll, scroll, out of memory exception. And if you are lucky one and Jesus really loves you, there will be a chance to talk with developers who tried to help you. Or maybe they are offline. Yeah you can send a private message and wait for answer and the whole case will be hided from the public audience. What’s the point of public chats then?

Some developers are trying to make a detailed response, but in many cases you’ll get jus a bunch of short messages.

Have you ever tried to ignore the chat for a couple days or a week? My local BeerJS room got 1k messages from 62 people in 5 days. What’s the chance to read it all?

I left all public chats. 1000 people doesn’t mean you will get an answer. I had such cases over and over during months.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

C’mon, stop talking! You are wrong, chats helped me a lot! Yes they are, I’m not saying that chats are useless, NO. Newbie? Just jump asking for advise, don’t wait for an hour or more on StackOverflow.

Dear friend, when did you google an issue and found an answer in public chat like Gitter? 0% and 99% success on StackOverflow with grouped answers, various approaches and clean messages.

Chats for example:

It’s up to you to use chats or not. But if you like to save the knowledge for others, please use StackOverflow✌️

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