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instant messaging on SO SF SU

Is there any way one can engage in a private conversation with another user?

If not, why not?

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marked as duplicate by Timothy Carter, Shog9, Robert Cartaino, Brad Gilbert, GEOCHET Aug 26 '09 at 21:17

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers 2

Two reasons:

  1. Looking at other help sites, the most common use for this system is new users bugging established experts to look at their questions. If you were Jon Skeet, would you really want to have to filter through 100 requests per day? ... delete delete delete

  2. The whole point of StackOverflow is to get programming solutions out in the open, where anyone can see them and benefit. The 2nd most common use of a PM system is for private discussion of questions. So it would serve to lock up this information in private, which is contrary to the site's mission.

That said, I think this meta site might benefit from some more social features. But that's really low on the priority list.

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This has been asked repeatedly in the past and most often shot down by the majority of those who choose to speak up about it.

The reason being is that this site is not intended to be a social networking site. It is a Question & Answer site.

If the user wants you to be able to contact them, they will leave contact details on their public profile (such as my profile on SuperUser). Otherwise, if they don't make it available, that probably means that they don't want to hear from you (or anybody else for that matter).

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