Although Quora and Stack Overflow work in different domains, both inherently share one common thing, they are Q & A sites.

One feature that Quora has, which I believe is not on Stack Overflow (or I was not able to find it) is Ask To Answer, inviting someone to answer a question.

I am not talking about bounties, but a general request to someone to answer a question, that just might have gone ignored by people (as it happened to me of late). A person might not be willing to offer a bounty, in which case, their question remains unanswered.

  • By invite someone, you mean a specific user who already is active on Stack Overflow? Or do you mean someone that you know who might not be a member and you think could answer the question? Dec 10, 2013 at 13:18
  • 12
    Jon Skeet might be interested in this feature :)
    – juergen d
    Dec 10, 2013 at 13:18
  • @psubsee2003..Someone already active...
    – user244195
    Dec 10, 2013 at 13:20
  • 14
    @alphacentauri ok, then no way. You'll have thousands of people inviting (i.e bugging) a handful of high profile users. Dec 10, 2013 at 13:21
  • There are already bounties, taking rep cap to be top-rep user you need to be a bounty hunter Dec 10, 2013 at 14:09
  • I'd better leave meta...This post is giving me nightmares...:P
    – user244195
    Dec 10, 2013 at 14:18

2 Answers 2



Lets put this to a thought experiment:

Suppose this feature existed. I have a question about technology X, and I can see who the top reputation user in this particular tag is. I have not gotten any answer, so will ask that user to answer it.

I do that, but so does everyone else with an issue on this tag.


High rep user gets thousands of requests to answer questions, some of which they can answer, some they can't and most of which are simply too many for them to be able to answer - they get flooded with requests.

They leave, never to come back to answer anything ever again.

  • 12
    Maybe the impact could be softend by installing a system where interested users in a given topic can be indirectly invited.... Wait! That's already there and called 'tags'. :)
    – Devolus
    Dec 10, 2013 at 13:31

In general if a question is ignored it is because (a) it is not sufficiently clear or (b) it is in a very small field and no one that could answer it has seen it. If (a) improve it, if (b) tag it using the correct tags, people interested in those fields will browse them.

This suggestion would lead to simply bugging famous users to answer questions. Very quickly these users would leave the site

  • ... or (c) it was swamped by a host of "please do my coding" or "where is the typo" type of questions.
    – Devolus
    Dec 10, 2013 at 13:29
  • 1
    "Very quickly these users would leave the site". Exactly!! Dec 10, 2013 at 14:52