New feature: experts can suggest an appropriate prize for a question

One of the toughest issues that we have faced on sites like WP Questions regards the prize money offered. In general, the

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prize money offered is too low, and when I say too low, I mean, this is one of the main things that WordPress experts complain about, regarding the site.

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In the post “Is this site exploitive of the WP community” rspindel argued that experts were underpaid. In reply, I pointed out that experts were free to write to any asker who had posted a question, and simply tell them: “I think the prize is too low, you should offer more money.” However, many have felt that there needs to be some formal way of expressing a desire for a different prize amount.

One thought we had was simply an input where anyone could suggest, anonymously, what they thought the prize should be for a question. But then we thought, what would stop people from suggesting that the prize should be $1,000, and in fact, why not put $10,000 as the suggested prize on every question? If the suggestion was anonymous, then people were free to offer nonsense suggestions, and this becomes another form of spam.

So it was clear we needed a way for experts to suggest a prize amount, and the suggestion could not be anonymous. However, posting the suggestions on the question page itself might seem a little bit rude. So what to do?

What we are going to try, for now, is that each expert who posts an answer can suggest what they think the prize should be. Their suggestions appear on a page on their personal profile pages, but the suggestion does not appear with their name on the question page itself. Instead, what appears on the question page is an average of all the suggestions that answerers have made for that question.

We just rolled this out to our 3 sites. We will see how this works, and we will make adjustments when they seem necessary.

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4 Responses to New feature: experts can suggest an appropriate prize for a question

  1. John says:

    I think this is a good idea.

    Some “prizes” are a joke which is a shame since the idea of the site is a good one.

    The problem comes (I think) from non-commercial webmasters wanting commercial solutions…


  2. Lawrence Krubner says:

    John, exactly. The prizes have, in general, been too low. We have thought a lot about the issue, of how to offer ways by which the experts might gently suggest that the prize should be higher. This is what we’ve come up with so far, and we will continue to tweak the interface until we get it right.

  3. Denzel Chia says:


    I totally agree with John. The problem is most askers that price ridiculously low are non programmers by profession and they have no idea how difficult the question is or the time frame needed to answer it, so as to give the question a justifiable price money.

    I also noticed that inappropriately priced question does not attract answers from skilled programmers, most answers posted are either links to tutorials or wild guesses that does not solve the question. This may also make askers think that there are no serious answerers here, only “gold diggers” looking for a quick buck. Which in turn may damage the reputation of WP Questions.

    I think for the good of WP Questions, we as the answerers should behave professionally and responsibly for our answers. Do not answer if you have no idea of how to solve the question, do not post only links to tutorials, as askers can google themselves, instead provide at least a working code sample so that askers can test or respond with further questions that leads to the development of the working answer.

    Improving the professional level of answerers may make askers realize that they need to pay them with “professional fees”.

    Lastly, I think answerers should not answer inappropriately priced questions, so as to make asker realize that only appropriate priced question, gets professionally workable answers and not wild guesses.

    Thanks again for this superb feature.


  4. Lawrence Krubner says:

    Denzel, thank you for the kind words. We will continue to look for ways that make it easy for the answerers to suggest appropriate prizes to those who are asking the questions. As you say, many of the askers are non-programmers and they have no idea what to offer. We need to find polite ways to educate them.

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