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Possible that in the future I will train users on chatter, but currently attempting to reduce the surface area of Salesforce that requires training and management. Appears that if I turn off chatter, global search is also turned off; which makes zero sense to me, and sounds like forcing a feature by bundling it, though possible there's some aspect I'm missing.

Taking a step back, I would like to isolate and disable all chatter functionality and feeds. By disable, I mean that a user is not able to turn it on if they happen to find chatter listed in the tab customization setup, or some other place where they're able to enable chatter on their own. I do not want to delete chatter, so any steps taken must be reversible, and if reversing the steps taken is not as simple as move off-to-on, then please outline how to reverse the steps to disable chatter.

If for some reason this is not possible, please explain why.

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You could try and signup to the Chatter Profile-Based Rollout—Pilot by contacting your Salesforce Rep.

Roll out Chatter for a subset of users instead of all users in your organization.

Up to now, enabling Chatter meant giving all users in your organization full access to Chatter. Starting with this release, Salesforce introduces Chatter profile-based rollout. Use this new feature to make Chatter available for a part of your organization, but not for all users. Once Chatter profile-based rollout is enabled for your organization, your administrator can turn on Chatter for only the users that have been assigned the required user profile or permission sets. All other users in your organization won’t have access to Chatter.

See also: Ideas - Restrict Visibility of Chatter by Profile

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