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Why, why, why is there no way of contacting another user? I searched for this topic and found threads regarding this site not being used for promotional purposes, but... Seriously, this is just kind of ridiculous.

All I want is to ask a particular user a question about a recipe they posted in a thread. The thread is from 2008, so I don't think posting there will be of much help to me. The user still appears to be active on this site, but there is no way for me to get them a message, other than starting a thread or responding to one in which they've posted, then cross my fingers that they'll happen to see it. This is ridiculous and stupid and inconvenient.

  1. The original comment has been removed
    1. When a response is made, even on an old thread, it brings the thread up to the top of the "My CHOW" page of any user who participated on that thread, so it's not as unlikely as you seem to think it is that they'll see your post. Plus, if you have a question, chances are others reading along either may have the same question, or had it and figured it out. So post your question on the recipe... there's nothing to lose and you'll probably be doing a favor to others!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chris VR

        Thanks, guess I'll try that... i just figured that people might tend to ignore necro'ed topics.

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        1. The original comment has been removed
          1. This isn't a dating site. The purpose of Chowhound isn't to facilitate one-on-one hookups, but to provide information about good chow to the entire community. The issue has been discussed to death; just type "private message" in the search box. You don't have to like the policy, but it's there for a reason, it's been in place for a long time, and it isn't going to change just because you complain about it.

            If you really want to get in touch with people off the boards, then yes, you're going to have to - gasp! - post your email in a public place on the internet. But seriously, it's not like having a published telephone number, where people can interrupt your dinner. You can always alter the format a little to prevent spiders from picking it up and/or open a separate email account that you can abandon if things don't go to your liking. If that's too ridiculous and stupid and inconvenient for you, well...

            5 Replies
            1. re: alanbarnes

              All right, sorry. I did search "private message" (or a similar term) and did not think I saw any pertinent results, but I guess I didn't look hard enough before posting. I still disagree with the policy but I'll shut up if it's already been discussed to death.

              I wouldn't have bothered to complain in the first place except that Chow is a site I enjoy and use a lot. When I like a site I tend to assume that they ought to know if one of their features (or lack thereof) is causing their users frustration.

              1. re: sonia darrow

                Just want to echo Chris VR -- if you have a question, chances are other have too, and it makes sense to post a query. If you're afraid that some people don't read threads that are several years old, you could start a fresh one -- it's important and useful that issues get revived from time to time, be discussed from different angles by different people.

                In such scenarios, a private message benefits 1 person, whereas posting a query where anyone could answer (and some could provide better answers that the original poster that inspired a question) benefits everyone. Sharing is an important feature of the site, and I would encourage you and everyone to post chowhoundish questions as much as possible.

                1. re: sonia darrow

                  No apology necessary, and I'm sorry if I sounded snippy. You tried to find the answer and it didn't pop up. What else are you supposed to do?

                  One of my main complaints about the site is its atrocious search feature. Doing the search myself, the relevant threads do not show up on the first page of results unless "Sort By / Relevance" is selected in "Search Options." And since the default search options aren't automatically visible on the search page, it's easy enough to miss relevant threads.

                  For future reference, third-party search engines are often far better at searching the site than the resident software. Try Googling "private message site:chow.com."

                  1. re: alanbarnes

                    I only recently started searching CH using google and it's SO much better, isn't it?

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      Good call, I think I will use Google in the future. I hadn't really thought about it, but now that you mention it I never do seem to find relevant results using Chow's search--and the site is so extensive that I always just KNOW that what I'm looking for must be there somewhere.