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How to *contact* a specific user? / Is there any sort of PM (private message) facility available?
How to interact with the others?

Sometimes I have a question I want answering or I'd atleast like someone to look at but obviously I can't tell if they've seen it or not. Is it possible for me to message them asking for their help?

Assume that they CAN do the question because they've answered similar questions, other questions in that topic, etc.


In addition to what others have said, it might be possible to find the email of a person through their profile, or a personal page linked from the profile (and in some cases, through Google as well).

$$ \Huge\textbf{DO NOT SEND}\\ \Huge\textbf{ UNSOLICITED EMAILS}\\ \Huge\textbf{ TO PEOPLE }\\ \Huge\textbf{YOU DO NOT KNOW.}$$

Some people might take offense, and sometimes you can just ensure that the one person you wanted to answer your question will dislike you enough as to deliberately not answer your questions.

  • $\begingroup$ I will have to admit breaking this rule more than once. But after receiving more than several emails, some with actual mathematical content (comments, or follow up questions), and others with just "I saw you edited my post, but couldn't find any changes"... I felt horrible for sending any previous email. (Although only twice I sent emails to people which I didn't have sort of a well-established communication through questions, answers or comments before the email.) $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jan 10 '13 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ I will just add that information in the users profile might be indication to which extent they are against being contacted by other math.SE users. I remember at least one user which has hist email visible on his profile and he wrote there that he did this on purpose. I remember another users which used to have in his profile that he can be contacted via email (visible in his profile) in issues related to moderating this site, but only if necessary. And there is another user which specifically writes in his profile that he does not wish to be contacted via e-mail about math.SE related issues. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 3 '15 at 11:51
  • $\begingroup$ Having said that, if there is a some reason to contact some specific user, then using mechanisms already available on the site (ping in comment, chat if they participate there) is definitely a better solution than private e-mail. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Oct 3 '15 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak In my experience, writing in your profile that you don't want to receive emails doesn't work. I even got a very nasty email from a child once (mostly telling me I was a vulva and a cigarette). $\endgroup$ – Najib Idrissi Oct 3 '15 at 12:32

There is no mechanism on the main Q&A site to contact other users directly. However, if someone has answered similar questions, they might notice your question if it has similar tags.

  • $\begingroup$ Does it not work any longer to contact the person with the @username syntax? People have used this in the past to ping me by leaving a comment for me on some other question I have answered. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Jan 10 '13 at 0:56
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    $\begingroup$ @CarlMummert: I don't think @username works in a question/answer. Furthermore, it is not usually considered proper to contact a user with @username in a comment to one question/answer in regard to another question/answer. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Jan 10 '13 at 1:01

You can find an old answer the person left, and leave a comment with the @username syntax to ping them with a link to the new question.

This could certainly be irritating if it is done very often, but if it is done rarely and after the new question has been open for a sufficient time, I don't think there will be much complaint. I have never objected when I was contacted in this way. New comments will not bump the question on the main page, and they can always be deleted if the person responds.

  • $\begingroup$ This might get flagged and deleted for being off-topic, but technically, it would work. $\endgroup$ – robjohn Jan 10 '13 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ @robjohn: If you do it on a very old post, it's possible no one will notice that. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jan 10 '13 at 1:19
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila: but it would be wrong ;-) $\endgroup$ – robjohn Jan 10 '13 at 2:34
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    $\begingroup$ I don't really think there is anything wrong with it as long as it is done with discretion and moderation. We have to make do with the software that we have. $\endgroup$ – Carl Mummert Jan 10 '13 at 12:22

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