Enabling voting on Codewi.se sites

Denzel Chia writes to suggest we show the top experts of the last 30 days, along with the top experts of all time, and he adds:

I think this suggestion will benefit WP Questions, as more experts can get recognized for their efforts. And it is “fair play” for top experts of the current month, even new comers gets a
chance to top the column! This will certainly spur more competition and benefit WP Questions, and could reducing the amount of questions not answered or not solved.

I responded:

Absolutely. We’ve been planning this awhile, as part of our move towards voting. We no longer think askers should have sole authority to assign money, rather, all money should be assigned by a vote. To gain the right to vote, people will need to contribute something to the community, either money or their time (in the form of answers). There will be 4 categories of voters:

1.) experts who earned 1% of all the money that’s gone through the site so far (these are the people currently listed as The True Elite)

2.) experts who earn at least 2% of the money that’s gone through the site in the last 30 days

3.) community supporters

4.) all askers

Of #3, these are basically advertisers who put money into the “community pot”.

Of #4, this has the strange implication that askers will be able to vote on each other’s questions. But we want to encourage more of a community feeling to the
site, so we think this is good.

The “community pot” is then automatically divided up each month among the experts, based on how much the expert earned that month. So if there is $500 in the community pot and one expert earned 5% of all the prize money for questions that month, then that expert would get an extra bonus of $25 (that’s 5% of $500). The goal of this “community pot” is to get more money to the experts who answer questions, basically by funneling advertising money to them.

You will see all these

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changes on the site over the next 2 weeks.

Am I saying that everyone has to vote on every question? No. Actually, the voting will only be open for 24 hours. I think the new system will be much faster than the old system. After all, with the old system, askers sometimes took weeks to pick a winner, and sometimes the askers never pick winners and then I have to log in and pick the winner. We used to give askers a 3 week grace period, but now every question will be resolved in 24 hours, so everything will move much faster. In fact, speeding up the process is my main motivation for the new system.

Although a large number of people will have a right to vote, I assume most of them won’t. I’m assuming that most questions will only have 1 or 2 or 3 voters. They vote, and the money gets distributed.

For fairness, an expert won’t be allowed to vote on a question if they posted an answer for that question. So the experts will mostly have to vote on each other’s work. I’m hoping this builds friendship and community.

The money in the “community pot” (mostly advertising money) will only be distributed once a month, but that is new money that never existed in the system before, an added bonus on top of everything else, so one couldn’t argue that it represents a slow down of the system.

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3 Responses to Enabling voting on Codewi.se sites

  1. Denzel Chia says:


    These are my doubts;

    1) Does this means that if the asker votes my answer and nobody else votes, I will get the full price?
    2) What happens to the system that askers can share the price money amount answerers?

    Most important of all, what if a voter is trigger happy?
    All it takes is a single vote that makes the difference.

    I really don’t think this idea will work well.

    I think we should allow voting only after the question expires and not when the question is still valid.
    This is because asker should have the right to award price to any answer that he thinks provides him a working solution.

    Lastly, some questions here really takes more than 24 hours to solve, because people live in different time zones.


  2. Lawrence Krubner says:

    In trying to be brief, I think I have introduced new confusions. I will here post a longer email that I sent to my business partners last week. I think this explains things with more depth:


    On WPQuestions (and my other sites) I’m going to be making some changes to the software soon. Hopefully I can describe these clearly to you. If I can not explain them to you, then I’m probably unlikely to explain them to our customers.

    I hope to fix 3 problems:

    1.) Sometimes the askers on WPQuestions are unfair, and they do not give the money to the right person.

    2.) There is a cutthroat competition on WPQuestions, with the experts desperate to please the asker.

    3.) The experts are not being paid enough.

    All of these problems are caused because the asker has the sole authority to distribute money. So this must change. More so, I’m hoping to cultivate a sense of professional community on our sites. Therefore, the money, in the future, will be distributed by a vote. The people enabled to vote will be:

    1.) anyone who pays to ask a question during the last 30 days

    2.) any expert who has earned at least 1% of all the money that has ever gone through the site

    3.) any expert who has earned at least 5% of all the money that went through the site in the last 30 days

    4.) any sponsor who would like to pay money to support the site

    The group that I mention in #2 are shown here: http://www.wpquestions.com/user/winners/order/desc/

    The group in #3 is mostly meant for those times when some new expert discovers the site and becomes very active — I’d like for them to have the vote. Giving them the vote even though they are new to the site is a way of saying “We appreciate how hard you are working this month.”

    The purpose of #4 is to raise more money for the experts. Basically, this is a form of advertising – we ask people to donate to the community, and in the exchange they get listed as sponsors, and they can promote whatever service they are offering. Of #4, the money they donate will go into a community pot. More about this below.

    One of the odd things about the group in #1 is that now askers will be able to vote on each others questions. Again, the idea is to create a sense of community, rather than the awful individualism of the current system.

    The community pot is a new idea. A sponsor can donate some amount, let’s say $10, to community pot. We charge our normal fees — 12% plus .90 cents, so the sponsor pays $12.10. That $10 goes into the community pot.

    Each month the community pot will get divided up several ways. I’ll start with the simplest case. Assume that 100% of the community pot is being distributed to the experts who answered questions that month. So if there is $1000 in the community pot, and our top expert earned 10% of all the money on the site that month, then, as an additional bonus, they also get an extra $100 from the community pot. And if our second best expert answered enough questions that they earned 8% of all the money on the site that month, then, as an added bonus, they will also get $80 from the community pot. Thus, we hopefully raise more money for the experts, by asking people to donate and then having that money go to the experts.

    Eventually I’ll enable voting on other issues, including giving the voters the ability to do other things with the money in the community pot. They could, for instance, decide that 10% of all the money should be donated to WordPress project (since the WordPress project is free software, in part built by volunteers). Or they can donate the money to any of the free plugins built to work with WordPress. Many creators of free plugins have registered their software with our site, a list of them is here: http://www.wpquestions.com/support_open_source/index

    The goal is to eventually make WPQuestions something of a self-governing society, voting on what to do with its money. The voting will happen using a form just like the form we use now. The asker can divide up money among several experts, as is explained here:


    But now, the numbers refer to votes rather than dollars (though the votes become dollars in the end). Each voter gets as many votes as there are dollars, and when the money is finally paid out, its based on how everyone voted.

    An example: let’s suppose someone asks a question like “How can I resize the images on my website?”. They offer a $20 prize. 4 experts offer answers. Once the question is closed, the voting can begin. Let’s say there are, in any given month, 30 people who have the right to vote, but only 10 of them actually care enough to vote. So only 10 people vote on this question. Each of them logs into a screen like the one seen in the screenshots at the tutorial I just linked to. The prize was $20 so each voter must assign 20 votes among 4 experts who tried to answer. There will be a total of 200 votes, since there are 10 people voting and they each get 20 votes. After all of the voting is done, the first expert, who offered a great answer, has 100 votes. The 2nd and 3rd experts both got 50 votes. The 4th expert only posted nonsense, so they get zero votes. So then the money is sent out, proportional to the votes, so the first expert gets $10, and then 2nd and 3rd
    experts each get $5, and the 4th expert gets $0.

    I hope that makes sense?

    As to the timing of all this, I think that will work like this: someone pays money to ask a question. The question is then active for 3 days. Then it closes. Then the question lives in limbo for 24 hours – this is to give the asker time to ask for a refund. If they think their question was unanswered, they will be encouraged to donate the money to the community pot, and thereby become one of our sponsors, rather than demand a refund. But of course, they can also ask for a refund. If they do not ask for a refund, then after the 24 hours, the voting can begin. Voting will last 48 hours (or till the first vote is cast, if for some weird reason no one votes during the first 48 hours). When that 48 hours closes, the money is distributed.

    I hope I am making sense. I worry this is too complicated to explain to the people using the site, though I am hopeful that once they see how it all works, it will make sense to them.

    The software on the site will send out monthly reminders (via email) to anyone who has the right to vote on the site, and this email will carry an explanation of the voting process. I like your help figuring out the text of that email! Something more concise than this current email would be wonderful.

    About refunds, I mentioned this once before, but I’ll say it again. I’m hoping to work on the software soon, and make some changes. I’d like to automate refunds, if they are uncontested. What do I mean by uncontested? I’d like for the process to work like this: if an asker thinks they did not get an answer, they can fill out a form that says they’d like a refund, and they can write a reason. Their question will then be shown on a page called “Pending refunds”. If the experts feel they did provide an answer, and the asker is being unfair, then they (the experts) can post their opinion on the matter, contesting the viewpoint of the asker. If none of the experts contest the refund request, then the refund goes through automatically after 48 hours. The software can handle all of it. That way, we only need to get involved if the refund is contested. Then perhaps we will split the difference and send the asker a partial refund.

    I’ve a new mission statement for WP Questions:

    “The mission of WP Questions is to support WordPress experts, so that they can help others by providing the information that others need. We will support WordPress experts in 2 ways, by enabling them to earn some money from their knowledge, and by providing public acknowledgement and praise of their skill.”

    Any suggestions about the wording are welcome.

    — lawrence

  3. Lawrence Krubner says:


    Please note the paragraph where I mention the timing of things:

    1.) the question is active for 3 days

    2.) the question is then in limbo for 1 day, during which time the asker can ask for a refund, if they feel they are deserving of one

    3.) assuming there was no refund the question, the question is then open to voting. I originally was thinking of 48 hours, but now I’m thinking of keeping it to just 24 hours, for the sake of speed.

    I’m also adding the option for an asker to declare a question “solved” so that nobody needs to wait for that initial full 3 days. If the question is marked “solved” one hour after it was first posted, then the voting period can start right away. No need to wait.

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