The problem that I see with this is that no one person can be an expert in all areas of even the category or forum that they know most things in. So if a person has an issue with something, say medical, and they contact someone from the list of members with Educators badges in the Emergency section, the member they contact might not know ALL there is to know about the condition needed to fully help this person. There are SO many members out there with a lot of knowledge and expertise that may not be on BYC all that much or have been on BYC long enough to be recognized and do not have any badges at all! So this person that is seeking knowledge might be missing out on precious information that might save a birds life. It is by far BETTER, in my opinion, if a person has an issue to start a thread in that area so that more opinions and possibly more experience with this issue is brought up. No one person can know it all. BYC is large enough that MANY people have so much to offer, getting more opinions on an issue is always a better idea than the opinion of just one person. This is the foundation of BYC....LOTS of members helping out that one member that needs help.
Maybe not like a singular expert but maybe a badge for the area they tend to help out a lot in. For example, I've seen casportpony in Peafowl, Duck, Emergencies, and in the Chicken I believe. So place a badge for each one or maybe once you've achieved so many species you get a badge like, Mixed Poultry, meaning that the person has experience with many different species. Maybe do like the person tends to thrive in info with this/these bird species. Kind of have it for the search engine. Type in, "Info about peafowl" and it gives a list of members that appear to be knowledgeable about peafowl to get some knowledge from different sources. That could sometimes be a lot easier than just digging through a long thread or if you're new you don't know hardly anyone.
I think it's probably still best to start a new thread... Example - one with a sick pea should start a new thread, then the people that frequent the pea forum can tag those they think might be able to help and maybe someone else will be able to help. Meanwhile, the person with the sick pea can read through the various threads. Same is true for the other forums...
X2 It is important to get the knowledge out there. PM's are behind the scenes and while you might help someone save the life of one bird, threads can save thousands of birds. I am not saying that a person should never PM someone, but a thread is WAY more valuable to ALL of us than a private conversation.
A little too behind the scenes, lol. There is one PM I think about a lot, and it would have been far more beneficial to fellow bird owners had it been discussed in a thread.