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I would like to ask a user about a previous question they have posted. Either PM or add a query to an existing post. Apparently this is not available.

They asked a question similar to the one I have. 'Apparently' they didn't get any productive, obvious responses. Would like to find out if they solved the issue - which, I am sure would be handy for multiple users, but I can't ask the question, either by adding to an existing query, or by PMing the user.

Added a question to the original post, but this has been hidden.

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    Or, you could just ask your own question. Your original user may never come back here again, or may have sidestepped his problem. May 25 at 10:39

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I can understand your frustration but this site, like all Stack Exchange network sites, is not a forum. This is a Q&A site, and we don't want to have discussions between users.

So instead of trying to get that user to help you, just post a new question. Not as an answer to the existing question, as you did, but as a new question. You can link to the original question, and show that the attempts there didn't solve your problem, and then add any new things you may have tried.

I cannot guarantee it will not be closed as a duplicate, but that's your best chance. If you can make your question different somehow (specify your hardware is different for example), that will also help.

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    Asking a brand new question also allows the new user to describe their issue in their own words, explaining the specific circumstances and context, etc., which may slightly differ from the original user's situation.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    May 25 at 14:20
  • Think I'll just take the query to a different forum, where questions can be asked, and answered.
    – hornetster
    May 29 at 10:15
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    @hornetster If the question is on-topic here, you could ask it on the U&L main site. This is what terdon was saying.
    – Kusalananda Mod
    May 30 at 9:31
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I had a similar impression in the beginning, but I also had an opportunity to test it. While it is hidden from new users, it is technically possible to post comments requesting an update on the question. However, when I tried that, I was mostly ignored or politely answered that the solution is still not found or already forgotten. I also had a taste of the same from the other side: some people tried to contact me directly via the contact details in my profile. I found it rather annoying that I was distracted with random questions. Many technical questions require quite specific knowledge. It made me realize that the Q&A system here is more efficient: it is possible to actively look for the questions to answer when you are ready to answer them.

If you did not post your question here yet, then you do not know whether the community here can answer, unless you found the same exact question asked already and not answered. If you find an answer elsewhere, may be in a subject-focused forum or Internet-chat where they love to hear and discuss the matter, then please come back here and post the answer! It appears from your post that it is what you expected the author of the question to do. This is the right thing to do here, but no one can force anybody to do this. There might be different reasons why they don't.

The community here is focused on finding solutions to problems, not discussion. Please note that the comments under the posts are intended for refining the questions and answers respectively, not for discussion, so don't repeat my mistakes by asking for an update.

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  • I really don't think it's a problem to post a comment asking whether someone ever found an answer to their question. Stack Exchange definitely prefers that that answers be posted if they are found. There are even mechanisms to "bump" older questions without upvoted or accepted answers. A comment to that effect is really the same process, but "manually" (and only notifies the OP). As you said, we might expect that someone would post the answer to their own question if they found it (it could even be considered "proper etiquette"), but they may not remember to once they've "moved on". Jun 16 at 15:00
  • However, realize that (a) new users here are restricted from posting comments on other posts until they reach 20 rep, (b) only the OP will typically be notified of a comment, (c) unless you @tag a user that wasn't the OP, (d) it can sometimes be months or longer before someone returns to the site after they post. You can get some idea of how long it has been by looking at their profile. But I do agree that comments are often not going to be a way to get a fast (or sometimes any) response. Jun 16 at 15:00

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