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It may happen sometime that you really like someone's answer on your question at Stack Exchange.

You go see his profile and find his personal website. You email him saying thank you and ask him to be friends with you and share knowledge.

Is it a good practice? Is there anybody who have done this and perhaps want to share your experience?

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I can't imagine a faster way to end up in my twit filter. –  Al E. Oct 7 '12 at 16:54

1 Answer 1

Generally, no.

See Jon Skeet's Stack Overflow and Personal Emails. With rare exception, contacting someone privately, particularly to ask a question (which should instead be posted on the site as normal) can look pretty creepy pretty easily.

If you have a Stack Overflow question, ask it on Stack Overflow (repeat for any relevant site).

If, in the rare case where you and this person have actually built up a bit of a friendship (via chat, publicly posted, non-invasive stuff like Twitter) sure, go ahead and ask though. I've added several people from Arqade to my Steam friends because hey, we know each other, we play games, why not. I've added several people on Twitter because it's a public, low friction venue and I recognize their names. When it starts off as much more than "I know you, you know me, let us add each other on (social network/chat program)" it gets into the creepy zone fast.

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Appreciate the answer. Everyone should have their own privacy. However, one may use twitter and other social networking websites for making friends online, but why don't use stack exchange either? –  Darshan Thanki Oct 7 '12 at 16:28
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Making friend isn't the same thing as asking a service again to somebody you recognized as an expert online. There are people I saw on SO with whom I think I might like to be friend but certainly not to ask them to help me. –  dystroy Oct 7 '12 at 16:46
    
Wow, hadn't read that blog post, and I think it's the first time I detect (even the slightest hint of) annoyance in Jon's writings. The ugly side of being a micro celebrity I guess... I've been contacted once off site, and it was damn creepy, I can't even begin to imagine how Jon feels (I'm assuming he gets a ton of these e-mails). –  Yannis Oct 8 '12 at 5:06
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@YannisRizos: I didn't mind when it was only occasional. It's still only about a mail or two per day... but that's enough to be irritating. I'm glad the annoyance hasn't pervaded other writing though :) –  Jon Skeet Oct 8 '12 at 6:23
    
@JonSkeet A mail or two per day? Ouch! –  Yannis Oct 8 '12 at 6:33

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