I noticed that Jagra made a comment about a question that is about something I'm interested in too. So I made a comment in the same question area asking him about it. But I assume we don't want to mix personal interest questions into answers.

Is there a way to direct a question to a member that doesn't show up as part of the answer/discussion to a question?


With sufficient "reputation" you can create a chat room. You can then post a single comment inviting that user to your chat room. The chat room will be public but out of the way of normal Question/Answer traffic.

There is no "private messaging system" provided, even for the moderators (outside of actions like suspensions). This is a deliberate "limitation" of the StackExchange platform. See the main Meta question regarding this:

Any way to send a personal message to another user?

But what if someone does not want to share information over a public channel (like revealing an email address)? As far as I know, there is no secure way to do this, as SE does not facilitate such private conversations between SE citizens. Am I wrong? – István Zachar Dec 5 '12 at 20:43
@István I think you are right and this is exactly why I have an email address in my profile. When I started using SO, I found it annoying that I couldn't contact some people, so at least I wanted to make sure people can contact me. Some choose to publish an "anonymised" email address that won't give away their real identity. – Szabolcs Dec 5 '12 at 22:29
@Mr.Wizard Thanks, I didn't know about the chat room thing. Perhaps I'm wrong, but it seems a bit cumbersome. I suppose I'm wishing for a way to send an email to a user's inbox so only he or she would see it. Perhaps invoked by clicking on the users name at the end of a comment. Not for secrecy, but to keep the discussion trail uncluttered. I gather we can't do that. – George Wolfe Dec 5 '12 at 23:02
@IstvánZachar I agree with Szabolcs. Users can choose to put an email address in their profile, if they wish, but they don't have to. Seems like a good way to empower the individual users. – Mark McClure Dec 6 '12 at 1:19
@George I updated my answer with relevant information. – Mr.Wizard Dec 7 '12 at 12:38

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