Don't ask to ask. Just ask, please.

Often someone comes along in the local discord or IRC and asks

DudeGuy: Any $Thing experts around?

What you are actually asking here is

DudeGuy: Any $Thing experts around who are willing to commit into looking into my problem, whatever that may turn out to be, even if it's not actually related to $Thing or if someone who doesn't know anything about $Thing could actually answer my question?

There are a lot of reasons why people who do have the knowledge would not admit to it. By asking, you're asking for more than what you think you're asking.

You're asking people to take responsibility. You're questioning people's confidence in their abilities. You're also unnecessarily walling other people out. Someone could know the answer while not neccesarely being knowledgeable about the exact $Thing because it might just be common sense to us.

If you're not willing to spend the time formulating a proper question, why should we take the time to help you?

The solution is not to ask to ask, but just to ask. Someone who is idling on the channel and only every now and then glances what's going on is unlikely to answer to your "asking to ask" question, but your actual problem description may pique their interest and get them to answer.

Plagiarized from