I really miss the possibility to send a personal thank you message to people that helped me. I've just read some topics in this meta about this. According to a moderator:

"Just say thanks and add something like \${}{}{}{}{}\$ which is invisible and takes up space."

Some people argue that short messages like "thank you" are just noise, and should be avoided. Others think that 'thank you's' should only be posted if you explain why you're thankful, why a post was useful to you.

My personal opinion is that it is just a healthy human desire to express gratefulness. But I also agree that for it add noise for all the other readers. I could say thank you and put some more details why the post was helpful, but most of the time I'm thankful not in any rational way. It's just an emotion that I want to express when someone spend time helping me out.

What about being able to leave a personal message on a profile ? This keeps the noise out of the topic without holding back normal human interaction.

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    $\begingroup$ Since you seem to be fairly new here, let me (pre-emptively) explain that for discussions and feature requests on meta, down votes mean that the voters disagree with your proposal. In this case I surmise that the -1 currently shown on this post is because the voter does not think "being able to leave a personal message on a profile" is a feature s/he wants. $\endgroup$ – Willie Wong Dec 14 '12 at 9:34
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    $\begingroup$ This discussion seems to be (to some extent) related: How to "contact" a specific user? / Is there any sort of PM (private message) facility available? $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Dec 14 '12 at 10:52
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    $\begingroup$ @WillieWong Actually, my -1 is about the "short thank you message", not about the PM feature, and I am even more against a Thank you button. One can already vote, accept and assign bounties. $\endgroup$ – Phira Dec 14 '12 at 11:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Phira Not all users can assign bounties. But how do you think a user should express his gratitude if another user spend time helping him out with math? I would say a vote is not really something personal, and shouldn't be something personal. Thank you button or a place at the profile where people can leave personal messages, both would fill the gap I'm missing at MSE $\endgroup$ – Kasper Dec 14 '12 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ I’ve never understood the objection to short thank you comments. I appreciate them when they’re offered and try to remember to acknowledge them. They’re not noise to the commenter or (I hope) to the recipient, and since are short and generally come near the end of the thread, they’re easily ignored by those who don’t care about them. $\endgroup$ – Brian M. Scott Dec 14 '12 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ I think I actually agree with BrianM.Scott and Georges Elencwajg. Thank you's are to short to really be a noise. Alltough I'm almost convinced, there is still a little voice in me saying that it would be neat to completely leave personal remarks from the question at MSE. In some sort of sense this seems to fit the MSE model better. An idea that flying by my head right now: What about opening a gratitude chat room ? A chat room which only function is that people can leave thank you's. Short, long, personal or creative, whatever the user want. $\endgroup$ – Kasper Dec 15 '12 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ An other advantages of such a chat room would be that the thank you "receiver" can feel free to post something back, without adding more noise/ going completely off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Kasper Dec 15 '12 at 1:45

Thanking someone for his help is an excellent habit: being a boor is no indication of mathematical excellence.
On MathOverflow I usually thank for an answer in a comment to my question or even in an Edit to that question.
I haven't asked any question here yet but I have thanked people in comments for teaching me something (even though I hadn't asked the question) or for answering a previous comment of mine.
A "thank you" button would, I feel, be a colder way of showing gratitude.

Conversely, I really appreciate it when someone thanks me in a comment for an answer I gave.
And if it is in flattering terms, I can only repeat what someone (unfortunately I have forgotten who) put so accurately:
"I'm totally impervious to flattery, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try"

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    $\begingroup$ I'm flattered (!) by the upvotes to my answer, but do they mean that there is a special reputation system for this meta site ? $\endgroup$ – Georges Elencwajg Dec 14 '12 at 18:25
  • $\begingroup$ There is no reputation gain (or loss) from meta posts. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Mod Dec 15 '12 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the explanation, @Asaf. So I'll have to be content with the local flattery of upvotes for just this answer:-) $\endgroup$ – Georges Elencwajg Dec 15 '12 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ +1 . Very good post ! $\endgroup$ – IDOK Dec 15 '12 at 18:08

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