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ETpro's avatar

Is there a way to search for users interested in a particular topic?

Asked by ETpro (34466points) June 14th, 2011

I know how to search for a particular user when I recall their screen name. I just enter the screen name in the search box preceeded by the ”@” symbol. But is there any way to search to topics users have listed in their profiles so that you can invite those with specific interest in a question to answer it?

I got to thinking about this when @roundsquare asked this question, Is there a good online forum for religious debate?.

I know there are quite a few users here that chime in on religious debates and that are very well informed on the subject. But the only way I can think of to locate such users if I don’t remember their exact screen name is to search questions for topics such as religion, atheism, morality, etc. and then go to each thread and read answers, picking out those users who seem to know what they’re talking about and constructing a list of them. Cumbersome to say the least.

Is there a way to specify a search so it only applies to topics users have specified in their profiles? If not, can the powers that be at Fluther consider this a feature request? Perhaps preceding the word with a ”#” symbol could narrow the search to user topics of interest. Wouldn’t it be super swell if we could do this?

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14 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

When you go to a page for a topic there is a People tab. It doesn’t show all of them but it is at least something.

rebbel's avatar

Another way is to direct your question to the persons that you added to your Fluther (if you have done that of course, they are probably added because you share interests).
I believe that functionality exists.

Seaofclouds's avatar

Part of the reason we have the topics is so that people get questions sent to them automatically in their “questions for you” section. Once the topic is added to the question, the question is sent to users that have that topic added to their profile. With that, and the list that @johnpowell mentioned on each topic’s page, finding users that are interested in that particular topic shouldn’t be too hard.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Usually I just forward questions to people if they haven’t chimed in & I want to read their OP.

ETpro's avatar

@johnpowell, @rebbel & @Seaofclouds All valid ways to connect, but I was thinking more of being able to do what @SpatzieLover suggests more easily. But if nobody else thanks it would be a useful feature I’ll shut up and soldier on.

Plucky's avatar

@ETpro I’ve actually wondered this myself. I’d find it a useful tool.

augustlan's avatar

What @johnpowell said works, but, as he also said, it won’t show you everyone that lists that particular topic in their profile, just a random selection of them. Perhaps we could add a “see all” button, like there is for questions in search.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@ETpro I get what you are saying about forwarding the question to people and it would be nice if there was an easier way. My point was, if you search for a person based on their topics, if the topic is listed in the question, it already gets sent to them. They could overlook it though, so forwarding the question to them might get their attention. I think a “see all” button would be nice so we could see everyone that has the topics listed on their profile on the lists on the topic pages.

ETpro's avatar

@augustlan If you really want to make the tool powerful, allow listing those with a given topic by frequency that they post on questions with that topic. That would quickly identify people who are truly interested in and potentially have some expertise in a given topic.

@Seaofclouds Yes, I follow that. The problem is that what we list as topics is not necessarily definitive. I might write Religions whereas a user has selected religion. To a computer, they are as different as night and day.

Plucky's avatar

The issue with questions being automatically sent to the user ..they often disappear from the list before the user actually gets to see them.

ETpro's avatar

@PluckyDog Very true, particularly if a user isn’t able to check in for 24 hours or more.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Yep. That’s why I PM them…Hopefully especially if they’re a regular they read their Fluther updates sent to their email account.

ETpro's avatar

@SpatzieLover I certainly do, and even in the middle of work, I will usually click through to a PM and answer.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Me too. As a matter of fact, it’s why I came back. Several friends from here PM’d me about various things.

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