Possible Duplicates:
Ask a question and notify users on specific users list
Any way to send a personal message to another user?

When I use Stack Overflow to ask a question, is there any way that I can I notify an expert user to inform him about this question?

Why do I want to do this? Because when I ask a question, I often get a perfect answer. I love this part of the site so much.

After that, I have another question which relates to my first question, and I hope that somewhere in the world he can see the question and try to help me again.

I don't know how to explain exactly my ideas. It's just same as a social network system.

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  • Only often, @Cody? ;-)
    – Arjan
    Aug 19, 2011 at 9:40
  • @Arjan: Well, I didn't want to put words in his mouth. :-p (Ironic, considering that I've edited every post on this page...) Aug 19, 2011 at 9:41
  • (As an aside, @vietean: voting on Meta often indicates people do not agree with your proposal. And even if this was merely intended to be a question rather than a proposal, you still tagged it as discussion yourself. So, despite the downvotes, people are generally nice here!)
    – Arjan
    Aug 19, 2011 at 9:42
  • @Cody Evidently I have been using that work incorrectly. leech-like then. Same difference? ;)
    – jonsca
    Aug 19, 2011 at 10:02
  • @jonsca: Ahh! haha that makes a lot more sense then. I like that, too. parasitic or even blood-sucking perhaps? Aug 19, 2011 at 10:03
  • @Arjan: It's hard for me to understand what did you mean? But I can guess. I am learning will improve (as: [at]talonmies's answer).
    – vietean
    Aug 19, 2011 at 10:12
  • @Cody: I am not a Western. So I don't know at all your culture. I just try to ask and then hope answers from others... Current, I could not write a good question, even if it's bad, don't know how to write a funny comment... But, thanks so much for your editing to my question.
    – vietean
    Aug 19, 2011 at 10:16
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    I don't think this has anything to do with culture. It's okay if people edit your posts to fix grammar and style issues. That shouldn't be seen as an insult. And like Arjan said, downvotes mean disagreement here on Meta, not necessarily that you asked a bad question. People feel very strongly that Stack Overflow should not be a Q&A system and that there shouldn't be a way of privately contacting other users. That's asking quite a lot of people that they be available to answer all of your questions. Just ask the question and let anyone who sees it answer. Aug 19, 2011 at 10:33
  • @vietean, not important. But I was just trying to say: the 8 downvotes on this question might not mean that people think your question is bad. Instead, the people who downvoted might simply not like the expert-notification that you want.
    – Arjan
    Aug 19, 2011 at 10:36
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    @Cody, the not in your Stack Overflow should not be a Q&A system might be erroneous?
    – Arjan
    Aug 19, 2011 at 10:38
  • @Arjan Ugh, yeah. I meant to say forum. I was apparently so troubled by the fact that Meta was experiencing downtime I couldn't even type straight! Aug 19, 2011 at 10:41

3 Answers 3


Hell no!

That feature would signal the end of my participation on Stack Overflow. I like answering questions here precisely because I get to choose when and how I participate, and there are none of the usual ways for questioners can nag and pester for advice and solutions. I doubt I am alone in feeling this way.

If you want to attract experts to help you with your problems, then the best thing to do is write excellent, compelling questions. Excellent, compelling solutions and answers will naturally follow. This is the "field of dreams" model of getting help—"write it and they will come"—and it really works!


It's just same as an social network system.

Stack Overflow is not a social network system, it is a Q&A site.

The feature you request is impractical for many reasons, but mostly because it's incredibly selfish. Why should high rep users be at your disposal like that? If they like your question, they will read it, and if they can and want to, they will answer it.


If you are asking a follow-up question, you could consider informing the user who helped you with your last question and providing him/her with a link to your new question.

The easiest way of doing this would be to leave a comment on their answer to your previous question, but you could also ping them with an @user comment. (The usual caveats apply, however: this only works in the comments, and it requires that the user you're trying to alert has been active in the post in some way already.)

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    Only if the user is involved in the post in some way (responding, leaving a comment, or editing it).
    – jonsca
    Aug 19, 2011 at 9:18
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    No the @ notation does not work in the actual question. Furthermore, when I am addressed directly in a question, I edit out the personal address. Aug 19, 2011 at 9:23
  • @Brock Thanks for clarifying, yes, only in the comments, and only if the criteria I mentioned are met.
    – jonsca
    Aug 19, 2011 at 9:26
  • The answer you had was misleading at best, and possibly even incorrect. I've re-phrased it to what I think you meant to say (or at least, what you should have meant to say). Feel free to rollback if you disagree. Aug 19, 2011 at 9:37

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