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instant messaging on SO SF SU

I have just had the experience of asking a question on server fault. I then was informed that it belonged on superuser. So I deleted the question and asked it there. Now a fellow who was educating me about correct usage of these forums i.e. the correct place to ask, different types of questions, then came over to superuser where I added the question and left a comment, which was directly related to my use of the system and not the question itself, thus detracting from the question, NOISE if you will. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the comment but I felt it would have been better if the user could have clicked an icon next to my display name and it say, send this user a message.

Is it more that this would introduce hidden solutions and then this facility would detract from the intended usage of the site?


3 Answers 3


Everything is supposed to be out in the open for everyone to see on S[OFU]. Now anyone else that reads that question on SU will potentially get the education too.


IM is death for StackOverflow. I can't imagine how many people will ask various questions, small and big, by IMing Jon, Marc, etc. and believe me, it will be very irritating.

  • This assumes IM would allow anybody to contact anybody. Certainly, if IM were implemented it would work on friend-lists that would require you to accept a friend before they could contact you.
    – Sampson
    Aug 30, 2009 at 19:41
  • 2
    In that case, if you're Jon, for instance, everybody would send you a friend request and (1) if you accept, you'll get bothered by questions. (2) if you don't, people might think you're too arrogant.
    – mmx
    Aug 30, 2009 at 19:49
  • @Jonathan: I would reject you all. Well, the three of you who would try to friend me.
    – Eric
    Aug 30, 2009 at 20:28
  • Unless the IM capability is opt-in, that way when you look for Jon you get a "Jon is not subscribed to IM service". In any case I'm opposed to the idea as well, just mentioning a possible way out of that conundrum. Waffles!
    – Vinko Vrsalovic StaffMod
    Aug 30, 2009 at 20:45

No. Please, no.

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