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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?


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 '09 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 '09 at 19:49
  • @Jonathan: I would reject you all. Well, the three of you who would try to friend me.
    – Eric
    Aug 30 '09 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 '09 at 20:45

No. Please, no.

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