I have had one of my questions answered on SE and would like to contact the person who answered to see if they are interested in professional consultation for a related project. In my case, this is not an employment offer rather a one-time paid service.

The important thing here is that the question on SE has been discussed and answred so the community does not lose out.

What is the best way to go about this?

  • 2
    StackExchange is not a place to find people to work for you.
    – gen_Eric
    Sep 4, 2012 at 16:17
  • @Rocket Why not? ... we have Careers, right? Sep 4, 2012 at 16:17
  • @JeffFerland: Careers is special. I meant the Q&A sites. :-)
    – gen_Eric
    Sep 4, 2012 at 16:18
  • If a profile indicates a user is up for this it's entirely reasonable.
    – Flexo
    Sep 4, 2012 at 16:20
  • 2
    The right question might be "how to go from a SO profile to a careers profile ?" Sep 4, 2012 at 16:21
  • 4
    Welcome to Meta! On this site, downvotes don't necessarily mean you've asked a bad question. In this specific case, the downvotes probably indicate that the voters think soliciting professional consultation after the fact is not appropriate.
    – Pops
    Sep 4, 2012 at 16:22
  • @PopularDemand: Thank you. That makes sense. As you can tell, I'm new here and after treading carefully on other SE sites, it was a bit of a surprise to be down voted on questions that clearly pose the best of intentions. Sep 4, 2012 at 16:24
  • @dystroy: +1 for the suggestion. I will check to see if variations of that question have been asked on Meta. If not, it makes for a good question. Sep 4, 2012 at 16:42
  • I think the answer is mainly that you can't easily do it if the user didn't add a link in his SO profile (as I just did), apart guessing the URL. Sep 4, 2012 at 16:44
  • @dystroy: Lol. Glad you did so. It appears that not a majority of SE users end up on Meta (apparently that includes myself). That should explain my surprise at the down votes and PopularDemand's comment on not being a fan. Sep 4, 2012 at 16:50
  • If the user has made some form of communications handle available in their profile, or they have a careers profile, you may contact them outside the site. Otherwise, it is inappropriate to contact somebody for anything outside a question/answer they are already involved in. It is not OK to initiate personal contact with somebody via Stack Overflow. There is a reason we don't have direct-messages here.
    – user229044
    Sep 4, 2012 at 17:36

2 Answers 2


In the past, the community hasn't generally been receptive to getting money involved with Stack Overflow in any way, even a tangential one like what you're asking for. For the record, I think this is good. If you set a precedent that SO answering could lead to payment, even indirectly, you'll start to attract users who are motivated solely by money, which is not the direction we should take.

If the user in question has published contact info publicly, you two might be able to talk privately. Pinging the user with comments or sending repeated e-mails or the like could be considered abusive, though.

  • 1
    Thank you. Pinging more than once or directly contacting in a spamish way would indeed be offensive. What I had in mind was more along the lines of my last comment to this answer. What do you think? Sep 4, 2012 at 16:35
  • 2
    As you can probably guess, I'm not a huge fan. Points to you for being polite and calm, though. I suppose it's fine as long as you don't make a habit of it, and it doesn't seem like you will. (I should point out here that I'm not an SE employee or a moderator. I'm just a regular user like you, so don't take anything I'm saying as official.)
    – Pops
    Sep 4, 2012 at 16:42
  • 1
    Really, I'd suggest not to ask in comments. It's painful for everybody. If the user wants to be solicited, he has made it clear in his profile and he has given a proper way to do so. Sep 4, 2012 at 16:48
  • @PopularDemand: If you could, please look at the first revision to this question by GEOCHET. The revision apparently deleted an update I made with what I thought to be good purpose. Am I missing something major here? I hope you can explain why my attempts at transparency are being shot down. Sep 4, 2012 at 17:41
  • @RaheelKhan Well, your edit was really commentary about your post, not additional information directly related to your question. You might have been better off posting it as a comment. As for the point you were making in the edit, it doesn't make sense for us to vote inconsistently just because some new users might misunderstand our meaning at some point. That just leads to post scores being inconsistent and inaccurate as a measure of community opinion.
    – Pops
    Sep 4, 2012 at 17:55

Find their contact info and chat off-site about it.

  • 6
    Look on their profile for this. If they don't have any, sorry.
    – gen_Eric
    Sep 4, 2012 at 16:17

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .