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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.




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