I am a moderator on two Stack Exchange sites and I occasionally see users who would rather directly address (through pinging in chat) the Community Managers or moderators of the site they're using to ask questions than to actually ask the community, despite there being several options for doing so (child metas, Meta Stack Exchange, chat, etc...) or in using the standard methods for getting the attention of the CMs/mods (flags or the contact us form).
As an example, a user might come in to chat and say:
- Hey, @moderator, how do I do X?
- Hey, @CM, can you help me understand why Y is the way it is?
Neither of these things are something that only the moderator or CM can answer... it's often something that's general knowledge, so pinging them is pointless and exclusionary of other users - at least to me, it seems like responding to a message someone directed at another person is weird.
I wouldn't normally step in but, in the cases I'm referring to, they do it repeatedly (multiple times a day sometimes) and their questions aren't really something that only the CMs/mods can respond to, so I'd like to remind them that they should ask their question generally before asking a CM or mod directly. I'm sure the CMs and mods are capable of ignoring the repeated pings but I'd like to encourage them to use other methods first rather than making a CM or mod their first point of contact for a couple of reasons:
Their question may be one that others have, so asking it in chat doesn't give the question an audience the way asking it on meta would, for example.
The specific person they're pinging may be on holiday or ill (flu season!), so their call for assistance may go unheard in that case.
How can I remind them of and encourage them to use these primary resources before trying to reach out to a Community Manager or moderator?