I think NetPro should have a message box for every member, when you login you will be able to look at your messages by selecting 'inbox'.
A message will be sent to your message box for the following;
- Which of your post/s (replies/solutions/recommendations) has been rated (and when) including the link to the conversation (or your post/s) which has been rated. This way, we can track which of our post/s has been rated and when it was rated. Surely, we want to know which of our recommendation make sense to other NetPros and the original poster.
- Warning message from Forum Police for violations of Forum Rules with the link to the post/s.
Up to the DEV whether to use this also for private communication between members.
I participate in several other forum, all of which also provide PM capability.
What happens is that people will send you PMs (or emails) directly with a question, or wanting specific assistance for some very complex issues.
At least when they post in the forum, and you respond in the forum, there's a chance that you are helping more than one party.
If you don't know, or aren't comfortable answering a question posted in the forum, you don't ... when someone PMs or emails you, it can be taken as a snub when you don't answer (and they feel that you could or should) ... the foundation for flame wars or worse.
I haven't looked lately, but there might be a selectable feature to permit viewing your email address from your profile, or maybe another field could be added for a "public email" for anyone that would want to take emails directly.
The only issue with that is (like in Career Certifications) people are advertising for free. Those folks have nooooooo problem putting up their email accounts.
The other problem might be like a couple years ago, someone offered a copy of a study guide that they'd put together for themselves, or friends ... something like that. Within a few days there was like twenty-seven Jillion (that's with a "J"!!) responses requesting a copy too .. imagine if that person had a public email address posted or even a PM box here...oh man, what a nightmare.
Warning messages are usually sent by Dan directly to the account email, another system (IMO) wouldn't be helpful.