I believe users should be able to message each other, similar to how you can send private messages on other forums and social networking sites. This would help with continuation of help during a project, if other help is required. Is this a possibility to include not only in Code Review, but in other StackExchange sites as well?
As @IvoFlipse notes in the comment, this (or similar) requests have been declined every time:
- Any way to send a personal message to another user?
- How do I contact other users?
- instant messaging on SO SF SU
And there are probably a dozen similar meta questions on other sites, that just point to the above MSO questions.
I'd absolutely hate any similar feature, and probably would stop caring for this site and the others I'm active in, sooner than later. I've written a highly opinionated meta answer on Programmers saying more or less that I don't even consider down vote comments particularly helpful. Of course you don't really have to see things my way, but the reasons I don't like down vote comments are more or less the same I wouldn't enjoy any kind of personal communication: Extremely high potential for abuse and insanely difficult to safeguard.
This would help with continuation of help during a project, if other help is required.
I believe chat, if used properly, could be an excellent alternative. If you need more help with a question or a project, you can always create a chat room just for that. Or ask around in the main chat room. Granted, not many people use the chat as it is, but if you have something interesting to say in there, you may be the inspiration people need to get a little bit more involved.
Furthermore, one of the very important aspects of how the system works is that preference is always towards the community and not the individual (any individual). Everything is readable by everyone, and anyone can comment on / answer any question. Let's say it's an open system1, and while personal communication will not make it a closed system, it doesn't do anything to promote it's openness. If you take some time to look at the features added every now and then you'll see that most of them (if not all) in smaller or larger ways are geared towards making this an even more open system.
And of course you can always choose to have your email, twitter account, or whatever other means of personal communication you prefer publicly displayed on your profile and let people know they can contact you personally if they wish. And you can assume that others who do so wouldn't mind if you dropped them a line once in a while, but please don't spam. If you do contact someone personally and they don't answer - just leave it at that.
1 Extremely liberal use of the term, if someone can describe it better, feel free to edit.