A lot of people have asked me why anyone would use our site when questions will be
answered for free on StackOverflow. I usually respond by saying “WP Questions is not a question and answer site, rather, it is a micro-consulting site, for projects too small for eLance or Freelancer.”
Most of the problems (of question and answer sites) that Joel Spolsky identifies do not really apply to WP Questions:
- Out of date/obsolete results –
Not relevant for us since every asker is paying to have their unique question answered with some answer tailored specifically to them.
- Wrong results –
Not relevant since the answerers are suppose to keep working until the asker has a working solution. Otherwise we refund the money.
- Rare problems, so obscure that no one wants, or can, post an answer –
One of the major reasons our site exists. If you can find the answer for free on Google then why pay money to get an answer? Our site is, in part, for those who have a question so obscure that they can not find their answer on Google.
- Too many ways to phrase the same problem –
Not relevant. We assume most folks have already used Google to find an answer, and they are coming to our site because they didn’t find an answer. On our site, it is perfectly legitimate to answer a question by pointing to a previous answer that just happens to answer the same question. The askers take care of the work of remembering the different ways that the same question can be asked.
- People will do stuff for free that they won’t do for small amounts of money –
Our site proves this wrong, though has been an issue for us. Rspindel posted a question on our site that accused us of being exploitive. A fantastic debate then occurred in the comments, as people on both sides of the issue weighed in. But clearly, some people are willing to answer questions for $5 or $10 or $20. Almost $8,000 of such questions have been answered this way.
Also, and this may simply be a personal preference on my part, I do not like earning points that are meaningless. Here are the things Spolsky lists as being motivational techniques on StackOverflow:
Rather than any of that junk, I would rather just earn money.