The First Week for WPQuestions

A week after its launch, I’m happy to say WPQuestions has gotten overwhelming positive feedback and healthy traffic. The community has reached 300+ registered members who are beginning to accumulate earnings. This exceeded our expectations.

It felt especially tricky to launch this project within a development community like WordPress where issues like premium themes and GPL issues are debated heavily and treated with scrutiny. It was a good omen to have the encouragement of friends like Ian Stewart, Justin Tadlock, Adii, Jean-Baptiste Jung and Nathan Rice, all of whom influence the WordPress universe with their work and opinions.

Squashed Bugs

As expected, there were a few issues with pasting PHP into replies and escaping the code properly, so we fixed that and made the answer-editing process easier which is addressed below in “Added Features”. There was a hitch or two in the money-withdrawal process which was cleared up pretty quickly.

We also realized some of the FAQ needed clarification in regard to PayPal. In short, your PayPal info is not stored in WPQuestions. You can use separate accounts for different questions if you choose.

New Features

Here are some things we’ve added since the launch:

  1. A lowered minimum price. Ultimately, we realized the value of a question should be determined by the participants without Lawrence or I imposing anything. The Asker can now ask a question for as low as $4 theoretically, but will do so knowing that the amount of money offered may affect the quality of the Answer. And Experts should ultimately only answer questions they feel are worth their time. They are encouraged to be vocal if they feel an Asker should be offering more money for a question. Over time, we hope this will help define standards within the community.
  2. Ability to edit answers. There is now an ‘Edit’ button which lets you edit answers you have given. But what’s to prevent people from abusing the system by changing their answer….
  3. Answer versioning. Changes made to answers are now recorded in our database in case there is a dispute. Versioning may be added to the public

    interface eventually. And if the Asker needs to see them…

  4. Email alerts for edits. The Asker now receives an email if an Expert changes his answer so that tabs can be kept on what changes were made and when.
  5. Email alerts for answers. Askers now get an email when new answers are posted.
  6. “Best Answer” styling. When a question gets archived, it’s only visible to Asker and Experts who participated in it. Old questions can be viewed via the control panel and winning answers are now marked with a beige background and green check mark.

To-Do List

  1. Archive subscriptions. Once the archive is more heavily populated, we will offer a subscription-based plan for unlimited access to old questions and answers.
  2. Twitter integration. Our Twitter account will soon be tweeting recently asked questions so that Twitter addicts can be alerted more quickly.
  3. In-thread Asker replies. Right now there is now way for you, the Asker, to reply to answers. Hopefully we will devise something that’s more like WP’s threaded comments that lets the Asker clarify.
  4. Business PayPal account. We will get an official WPQuestions business account with PayPal rather than using Lawrence’s personal account.
  5. Expert karma rankings. Using a star system, we’ll make it possible to rank Experts by the quality of answers they give. This will especially serve developers who are building a
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    reputation and want to point others to their accomplishments.

  6. Tiers of urgency. There are some questions which are only useful if answered in a short period of time like 1-12 hours and the money offered (and fees) will vary accordingly. We hope to implement something that will allow more fine-tuning if necessary.
  7. More question-and-answer sites! Ultimately, we will continue learn from feedback given by WPQuestions users. As that feedback is gathered, processed and implemented, we will also refine the feature-set and begin launching identical sites for other communities like Javascript, Ruby, Objective C and so on.
  8. Software sales. We have already gotten lots of questions about the creation of WPQuestions which Lawrence did skillfully with the Symfony framework. We are considering packaging the results, adding more features and selling software licenses for users to set up their own contest/question-and-answer based sites.

As always, if you’ve got feedback positive or negative, please let us know.

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2 Responses to The First Week for WPQuestions

  1. Pingback: Living with the Launch | WP Questions

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