There are several ways on StackEchange one can use to send a message to a specific user, f.e. by adding @username when posting a comment.

However, if I only want to 'contact' a user with a new request - but not necessarily linked to an existing posting anywhere on site - what is the 'correct' (Read: site policy accepted way) way of doing so?

And, is there a way to do it non-publically as well?

I also tagged this question because I think it would be good to have an according action-link on a users site-profile. (If this functionality doesn't exist already, and I'm just blind.)

Something alike a Invite this user to chat button which creates a new chat, brings you there, and alerts the user....


Something alike a Invite this user to chat button which creates a new chat, brings you there, and alerts the user....

Already exists.


enter image description here See here.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I thought it should exist, but I can still not find it. Where is this button exactly? $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 15 '16 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest Here. I actually don't know if it alerts them, as I've never tried it. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Jul 15 '16 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, if I want to chat with any user on the site, what I seem to have to do is: Go to the persons profile (by clicking the name), i.e. meta.puzzling.stackexchange.com/users/25966/mithrandir , then copy then change the initial URL before user to chat.stackexchange.com/users/25966/mithrandir and then use the button from this site?? There has to be something more convenient than that, I'm sure.... $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 15 '16 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest You can also go to chat.SE, then click 'Create room', the tick the 'Gallery' option, and then choose who can chat there. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Jul 15 '16 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest And also, that doesn't work, as the user ID is different for chat.SE and Puzzling.SE. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Jul 15 '16 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. I think what I would expect would be a button on a user profiles page to switch to this person's "chat profile" just like with other network users. BTW, did you get my chat-room invite as an alert? $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 15 '16 at 9:35
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest No. Hmm. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Jul 15 '16 at 9:38
  • $\begingroup$ Likely, because I fell into the user-id trap. I used the (written) link to chat.stackexchange.com/users/25966/mithrandir and then created a chat room with this user by the button. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 15 '16 at 9:40
  • $\begingroup$ I think that Sathariel might have gotten a notification. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Jul 15 '16 at 9:41
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Guess so :c). But this kind of loops back to the origin of my question: There really should be an EASY and obviouse way for a user on the main-site to go from another person's user-name to a chat-room with him. I think a two-to-three-click route via that person's profile is okay, but going to a DIFFERENT site and then searching the name is rather obscure.... $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Jul 15 '16 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest See. you didn't grant me access. I can't access the room as of right now. $\endgroup$ – Mithical Jul 15 '16 at 9:45

If a user wants to be contacted for "a new request" then information on how to do that will be in their profile. Otherwise the default is "you don't". These sites are supposed to be about content, not people. So you can comment on a question or answer if your comment is relevant to the question or answer, not just to talk to the person.

If they include an email address, twitter handle, forum they hang out in or whatnot on their public profile, then you know that reaching out to them like that saying "hi, I'm BmyGuest from Puzzling.se, and ..." should be welcome. And if they don't, then you know they don't want to be reached out to like that.


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