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I've posted one or two 'tumbleweed' questions which I'm sure the mighty Jon Skeet could answer while sleeping. He doesn't seem to have noticed them yet (probably beneath him) but I'd still like the benefit of his encyclopaedic knowledge of C# and the .Net framework.

Would I be damned for my impudence if I were to contact him directly to enslist a few milliseconds of this time?

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+1 for asking before doing it. –  Pëkka Dec 7 '10 at 15:39
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+1 You got John Skeet to answer your question clap –  karlphillip Dec 7 '10 at 15:59
    
AND I dared challenge him regarding a tertiary matter related to it. I'm clearly on a roll today. I better ask my boss for a payrise before it wears off ;-) –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 16:09
    
Who the hell gave the OP a -1? And on what basis? –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 16:27
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@5arx, "the OP"? –  Pops Dec 7 '10 at 16:37
    
@PopularDemand OP = Original Post/er –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 16:37
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@5arx, I know... but you are the OP. Why switch to the third person? –  Pops Dec 7 '10 at 17:58
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@5arx ~ On MetaSO it's considered acceptable practice to downvote things you merely disagree with rather than it being poorly written or what have you. Also, downvotes don't normally carry a comment here. Best of luck –  jcolebrand Dec 7 '10 at 18:01
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@PopularDemand - I meant OP as in Original Post here, I tend not to suffer from delusions of grandeur and refer to myself in the third person or use the royal 'we' ;-) –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 20:58
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@Drachenstern - how can you disagree with a question/ predicate? "How do I get to the railway station?" "No, I disagree" Eh? –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 20:59
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@5arx ~ I have no clue. Also note I didn't downvote you. I'm just telling you what the general attitude is. Also see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/66092/… –  jcolebrand Dec 7 '10 at 21:21
    
@Drachenstern - noted. In which case I find the 'general attitude' incomprehensible ;-) –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 21:24
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The hell? He didn't answer my questions yet. –  sinni800 Jan 26 '11 at 12:57

3 Answers 3

up vote 24 down vote accepted

People do email me questions all the time. I rarely get cross about it :)

If you've already asked the question on Stack Overflow, waited 24 hours and not seen a suitable answer, that's fine. That's much better than just emailing me directly, bypassing Stack Overflow completely. In particular, it's better than repeatedly emailing me despite my answer always being "ask on Stack Overflow" which has happened a few times...

Of course, quite often I'll ignore a .NET-based question because it's in an area of .NET I know very little about, like WCF... but I can always say so by email. And if it's a genuinely language-based question that I happen to have missed, I'll be grateful for the heads-up :)

Different users will have different preferences, of course. I deliberately make my email address very public - I want to make it easy for people to contact me. If someone doesn't make it obvious (e.g. it's not on their SO profile) then I think it would be slightly rude to start trying to find their contact details elsewhere.

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I thought of you when asking this one as its pretty obscure and so far the only person who responded seems a bit ... unusual. I'll understand if you don't, but I'm going to leave it here for everyone to see anyway: stackoverflow.com/questions/4376765/… –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 15:30
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Well, this is obviously the canonical answer! Just keep in mind that not every user is necessarily as generous about this as Jon is. I know I'm not :) –  Pëkka Dec 7 '10 at 15:34
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When Jon Skeet answers your question.. YOU WIN! –  karlphillip Dec 7 '10 at 15:58
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"Scholar, Gentleman and, quite possibly, robot and/or hyper-advanced extra-terrestrial" ;-) Many thanks again. –  5arx Dec 7 '10 at 16:10

Is it OK to email Jon Skeet and Ask Him to Answer Posts Which Mere Mortals Cannot?

Of course only Jon can answer this specific question, but generally: No. When people have time to donate to answer questions, they will come to Stack Overflow. E-Mailing them help requests is rude, pushy, and tactless.

If you must contact a user, use the comments function underneath a random contribution by the user. But be careful even with that.

It's always best to edit and improve your question instead, attracting new attention to it the normal way.

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This is really what the bounty feature is for. If your question has fallen off everyone's radar then either:

  1. Edit it to further clarify it and address any questions left in the comments. This will bump the post; just don't edit for the sake of bumping alone.

  2. Consider adding a bounty to it, especially if it's not a simple question.

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Jon Skeet doesn't need the extra bounty points ;-) –  5arx Jan 27 '11 at 0:06

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