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There have been a couple of topics that have come up recently that seem to be of particular relevance to our site.

One of the topics is the recent announcement of a new AAP policy regarding media use by children under 2.

Other topics involve schools of thought as they related to parenting (e.g. "Growth Mindset"), or current events regarding topics that might be relevant to parenting.

While some of these can certainly be the basis for a good answer, or possibly even a good question, there seems to be a lot more that could be discussed that wouldn't necessarily be a good fit for our Q&A platform.

With that in mind, would there be an interest in bringing some of these topics to chat? We can create rooms specific to each topic, and users would be welcome to pop in and comment with their opinions of the topic, respond to other users' comments, or ask relevant questions.

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I think it's a very good idea to have this kind of scheduled chats occasionally! We should absolutely do this when the site has enough visitors. I'm not sure we have reached "critical mass" yet, so it may be too early just now.

This could of course be a great way to promote the chat more. I'm not sure we'd even need separate rooms for it; I think as long as our chat room's traffic isn't crazy high, it would be fine to keep it in there.

We also discussed a while back whether we should have a parenting blog. The challenge with a blog is that it requires a steady flow of good articles, and it would be hard to keep that going for months (and years!). But occasional chat sessions sound like a brilliant alternative - it's way more interactive, and it doesn't carry the expectation of regularity the way a blog does.

I realize I haven't answered your question, though: is there enough interest to drive this? I think there will be, soonish. By coming up with these ideas in advance, we're well prepared for the times ahead.

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I, for one, like the idea. Perhaps having a focused topic would encourage more to participate in the chat room. I review the chat room everyday, but I rarely see an opportunity for active participation in a parent centered topic that interests me. I see others drop by from time to time also. Maybe they too are looking for a reason to connect. It may be that this will be quite productive.

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I also like the idea. The current chat is very Torben and Beofett heavy, and while I'm interested in what you guys have to say, chats on Topics are more likely to attract other voices.

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    We certainly don't mean to hog the chat :) The more the merrier! – user420 Mar 13 '12 at 12:29
  • I don't think it's deliberate, but it does feel like a moderator chat in there, because anything else that goes on gets swept away by the incoming chat. Breakout chats would go a long way to helping with that. – deworde Mar 13 '12 at 14:04
  • I think that was far more of an issue when we were having active discussions in there. More recently (the past few months), it is frequently days between messages, and Torben and I have probably averaged about 2-4 messages on those few days when we actively chat. I do agree about the breakout chats, though (which is why I suggested it). – user420 Mar 13 '12 at 14:10

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