As far as I know I can see a user profile and the activity in this site. But is it possible to leave some message for a particular user? Say I want to (please read I have to) tell J.M. something about one of his very old post. I know the @ functionality to draw his attention. But for a definite way that he has looked into the post, PM functionality would be great (of course, with a possibility of abuse by requests/spam). So I am not requesting a feature, but asking what you guys do here in such a situation. Also, is there any kind of "leaving message" facility available here?

Please note J.M. can be any name :)

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry none of italics, italics worked. May be those don't work in question...? $\endgroup$ – Tapu Oct 28 '11 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ There are a number of reasons why they have consciously chosen not to implement a PM system; search meta.SO for the relevant threads. For the specific case of yours truly, I've left an (encoded) e-mail address in my profile if you need to correspond. $\endgroup$ – J. M. ain't a mathematician Oct 28 '11 at 15:15
  • $\begingroup$ Doesn't the comment notification system work no matter how old the post is? $\endgroup$ – hmakholm left over Monica Oct 28 '11 at 15:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Henning: That's correct. $\endgroup$ – Zev Chonoles Oct 28 '11 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ @J.M., its your kindness! But not every user will do it, for sure :) Henning, I have observed sometimes @ get erased automatically and I had to edit several times. I know this @ system will work...but say the comment functionality is not good for the message. Let say I wish to know when a user will be available to chat for a specific problem under discussion etc. $\endgroup$ – Tapu Oct 28 '11 at 16:03
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    $\begingroup$ One option is to leave a quick comment (e.g., "can we chat now?" ;)) and delete it subsequently. If it's an old post, chances are that no other user would notice that a new comment came and went. $\endgroup$ – Srivatsan Oct 28 '11 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Srivatsan, Good point! I already have used it.... $\endgroup$ – Tapu Oct 28 '11 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ Swapan, one reason why the @ might have been removed, is that it is not needed when addressing the poster of question/answer you are commenting on, in this case the system automatically removes the @. $\endgroup$ – Raeder Oct 29 '11 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Raeder, It was my guess...nice to know. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – Tapu Oct 30 '11 at 11:05
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    $\begingroup$ If a user doesn't leave an email address or any other means of contact in his profile, it means that he doesn't want to be contacted privately. So you shouldn't. $\endgroup$ – Alex B. Oct 31 '11 at 6:18
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    $\begingroup$ @AlexB., I agree! Let me mention couple of things: first I understood it (please read the parenthesis in my OP "with a possibility of abuse...", and if you missed it, J.M.'s comment indicated it). IMHO, there is a subtle difference between leaving email id and PM functionality. An email-id is always accessible to spammers, but PM has less such possibility. AFAIK, to PM a member, one must also be a member and if (s)he disturb someone by abusing PM, (s)he will be banned by moderator. $\endgroup$ – Tapu Nov 1 '11 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ Just to add: it may be an idea to allow PM for trusted user or even a large threshold value of reputation...? $\endgroup$ – Tapu Nov 1 '11 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ Related question on Meta Stack Exchange: How do I contact other users? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Nov 13 '19 at 13:01

SE has fairly consistently rejected any proposal for a PM system. So, the answer to your question is "no, not now, and not likely in the future."


On a couple of occasions I've sent emails to people saying something about their postings here. But that works only if you can find them via google or the like. If someone's name is Aristarchus Sampson and his user page says he's a professor of omphalology at the University of Both Putfords, then you can do that.

  • $\begingroup$ I just checked your profile :) $\endgroup$ – Tapu Dec 2 '11 at 6:16
  • $\begingroup$ I will add to this answer that contacting user via email was recently discussed here: How to send a mail here? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Dec 16 '17 at 8:31

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