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Until I clicked on the link, I was excited, as the comments on monetization lead me think they might be providing a marketplace for me to provide for-fee answers to users.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

As it is, I don't bother to use StackOverflow. My questions would be too esoteric for the audience/format, and nearly all of the questions I see are boring, easily answerable with a search of the documentation. The questions would be less boring if I were paid to answer them, and then I'd be more likely to find a few gems to answer, too.




How much money would make it worth your time? If your expertise is too high / too esoteric for the StackOverflow community, then you should command high prices in the marketplace.

It's doubtful to me that you could appeal to expert users to exchange time for money when it is better leveraged by consulting and entrepreneurship.

This topic comes up quite often on the StackOverflow podcast.


How much money would make it worth your time? If your expertise is too high / too esoteric for the StackOverflow community, then you should command high prices in the marketplace.

$5-$15 per answer would be reasonable given the limited time involvement.

It's doubtful to me that you could appeal to expert users to exchange time for money when it is better leveraged by consulting and entrepreneurship.

I seem to have enough free time to blow a fair portion of it commenting on Hacker News.


Keep money per answer out of this. It's amazing what happens when you keep a site like SO working on social norms and avoiding market norms.

To understand how powerful this difference can be, this book is an eye-opener (outlined here): http://bookoutlines.pbworks.com/Predictably-Irrational


Keep money per answer out of this. It's amazing what happens when you keep a site like SO working on social norms and avoiding market norms.

Other than money, how do you prevent an expert-exodus as expert users are deluged with simpleton questions? Amidst a deluge of bad questions, there's little value to remain active, as your own questions can rarely be answered, and users aren't providing interesting questions.

Something else is needed to provide a substitute for that value.

Alternatively, you must prevent the exodus by filtering the kinds of interactions/questions that occur. Mailing lists, for instance, have a barrier to entry to serve as a first-pass filter (the subscription), and then a community to enforce community norms.


Some experts are not only in for the money - they enjoy helping the novice, the less experienced. They're not only in for answering only the most interesting "gems" - a true expert can give a much better answer to a newbie question than an intermediate developer.

Similarly, (most) university professors don't teach for getting rich or just fort the research - they enjoy overseeing and helping the youngest generations of their particular field.


Listen to the StackOverflow podcasts and you'll read why money based answer systems don't work. In fact, this is why they are beating Experts Exchange.


Because that business model worked so well for Google Answers?


On the other hand, Stack Overflow is racing to the bottom, so to speak, on the quality of questions and the people answering them.

Either way, money is what would entice me to answer questions on the web. Currently I do it for free on IRC, but only because standing community helps ensure that the quality of questions is reasonable on the channels I frequent.


I stopped answering questions on SO after Mr Atwood himself decide to delete three of my replies.

Call me stupid, but I though the SO down vote button was designed to do the message filtering and not Mr Atwood super SO user ID.


I find StackOverflow very boring as well .. but I don't need to use it much. I've only visited the few times in interest because I always like to find nice technological discussions, but .. so far .. its been pretty "meh".

There haven't been any mind-blowing awesome gems of answers in there that have caught my eye - mostly pretty mundane things, content-wise, and as a programmer looking for an interesting community, I don't really get that vibe from it much at all.

To me it just seems like a place for kids to go and get their homework done for them by lonely strung out alpha dogs looking to place some authority in the world.

For me, sites like this will never replace the good ol' USENET groups and subsidiary mailing lists. Once again (as is the case with Twitter), a web site springs up to try to capture an audience from the pool of people who are just not competent enough with E-mail to manage it properly and exploit the results ..


I disagree. There is always something to be learned from Stackoverflow. It is impossible that 1 person has the same knowledge of all the users on the site. There are very interesting questions and answers.

Are there allot of simple questions? Yes because there are many people just learning how to do basic things in one language or another. However even in the most basic question answering it can be an worthwhile experience. You can filter out the simple questions and get on to the more advance ones pretty easy.


USENET is for discussions; SO is for questions and answers. Those are orthogonal.


>Those are orthogonal.

Nope.


Discussions rarely or never result in one "right" answer. Questions, on other hand, often do.


Jay?


Wut?


Programming is boring; unless it's not. If you have something to say on a non-trivial subject, you better write an article. Stack Overflow deals with boring, gadfly-style problems. You can get some specific bits of knowledge there, not the wide-spectrum wisdom.




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