On several occasions, I was reading a question thinking "I know a guy that knows the answer to this" and that guy (or gal) also happens to be a registered user. How can I bring this to the attention of this user?


2 Answers 2


Why not keep it simple? Just email or IM or {your preferred method of communication} them the URL to the question.

It's how the rest of the web works...

  • 4
    But how? The site doesn't show people's addresses, quite rightly. Mar 2, 2010 at 11:40
  • @Peter - just right click and "Send Link..." on Firefox, or what ever the equivalent is on your browser of choice.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Mar 2, 2010 at 12:21
  • 4
    @Peter: If you really need that person's help you should try searching for their website, twitter, ... and asking them. This is a lot of work but you are asking for their help so it should be. If it was easy, some people would get messages non stop. Like Jon Skeet. If they don't have a website or an online way to contact them, then they probably don't want to be contacted. Mar 2, 2010 at 13:30
  • 1
    @ChrisF - that's just how to send a message. It doesn't give you their address. @Brian - I quite agree, and it's right that addresses are hidden. I agree with Pekka too. My point was only that Jeff's answer doesn't actually answer the question at all. Mar 2, 2010 at 15:03
  • 3
    @Peter Westlake: Yes, it does. You asked for the best way; Jeff gave you the best way.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Mar 2, 2010 at 15:09
  • @Peter - I assumed that you knew their contact details...
    – ChrisF Mod
    Mar 2, 2010 at 15:11
  • 5
    @Peter: If they haven't provided contact information in their profile they don't want you to contact them. There is no PM system, and that lack is [by-design] ; this is not a social networking site. Mar 2, 2010 at 20:59
  • @dmckee: that sounds much more like a proper answer to the question: there is no PM mechanism. No-one had actually said it till now. Mar 3, 2010 at 11:10
  • @balpha: Just to clarify, I didn't ask the question. Apologies if you realized that already. Mar 3, 2010 at 11:11
  • 1
    @Peter Westlake: You're right; s/you/the OP/g
    – balpha StaffMod
    Mar 3, 2010 at 11:16

I don't think it's good form to approach users on SO with questions just because they have shown to be knowledgeable in the past. Most people who can competently answer questions here have work to do. SO is a forum for people to pick from and answer questions whenever they are in the mood to, and have the time.

I find it okay to hint at a follow-up question in the comments of an question or answer. Anything beyond that I personally find rude.

Tag the question well so that the Guru of your choice is likely to stumble upon it if they are on SO at the moment.

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