Those of you in Mexico might be interested to know that Luis Abarca is teaching WordPress courses. These are taught on Saturdays, running through late November and into December.
F. Javier Carazo Gil has a post up about us:
La asesoría y consultoría es algo básico dentro de los modelos de negocio del software libre. WordPress es a día de hoy uno de los proyectos más dinámicos dentro de todo el panorama libre: es el CMS más popular y su crecimiento sigue siendo constante.
Dentro de los modelos de negocio del software libre, la consultaría es un pilar básico. Existe el asesoramiento clásico, donde particulares o empresas ofrecen mediante comunicaciones a otros particulares o empresas; soluciones para problemas puntuales.
Sin embargo, gracias a los sistemas en la nube, es posible extrapolar este servicio para hacerlo llegar al gran público. WordPress Questions es un proyecto creado por Lawrence Krubner y Darren Hoyt.
I am currently working a contract job. It consumes all of my time. It lasts till December 16th. After that, I will have almost 2 months that I can devote to TMA full time.
Features I think need to be added:
1.) Payment options other than PayPal, both for askers, and for experts who wish to withdraw money (Stripe, for paying, and Payooneer for those experts who live in countries that PayPal refuses to deal with).
2.) templates that allow the software to be translated into any language.
3.) chat rooms so that experts can help the askers in real time. The chat rooms should be integrated into the voting process so experts can get voted money for the effort they make in the chat rooms.
4.) An internal messaging system, so people can keep track of their conversations on the site. Less reliance on email.
5.) The ability to pay for questions using your balance, assuming you have a balance on the site.
That is 6 weeks of work right there.
Anything else I should add to the list?
An expert just wrote to me and expressed the concern that the asker would forget about the question they had asked. The expert pointed out that they had posted a correct answer. I checked on this and, yes, their answer looks correct (though I can not take the time to check and be absolutely sure).
I wrote this reply:
Questions are pending/voting for 2 weeks. That question won’t be moved to the Community Pot until late November. The asker will have a lot of time to vote.
However, yes, it is very common that askers forget to vote. That is why we allow the top experts to vote on all questions.
Once voting begins, the voting is open for roughly 36 hours (actually, 2 AM of the day after the day after that voting started, so if voting begins on November 14th, then it closes at 2 AM on November 16th. We have a cron script that runs every night at 2 AM and which closes these questions and awards the money.)
I suggest you start a conversation about this on the website. All of you experts should reach an agreement about correct etiquette for situations like this.
However, I do realize there is one thing I can do to help: I can add in an update, to the activity stream on the front page, announcing when a question becomes available for voting. I will do this over the weekend. I will make it more obvious when a question becomes available for voting.
This is an active forum:
I shall be very pleased if this site eventually emerges as the best WordPress forum on the web.
I apologize. I only now saw your complaint here:
Where on earth is the private messaging feature here on WPQuestions.com?
I am embarrassed to say that we have not yet built this feature into the software. Up till recently, it seemed enough to be able to send people email. However, I agree that we need a system of private messages on this site.
We are working on a massive rebuild of the user profile and dashboard pages, sort of like we just recently redid the front page of the site. Many new features will be rolled out over the next few weeks, including a system of private messages.
I thank you for reminding me how important this is.
Does this happen for anyone else? This is exciting if true. When I type “WordPress Questions” into Google, WP Questions is now the #1 site.
This is what I see:
This is a big change from just 6 months ago when WP Questions was not on the first page of results, if you searched for “wordpress questions”.
Just recently Google increased the amount of traffic we get from them. We are now getting about 1,400 visits a day from Google.
A warning to all the experts: on January 1st we must start charging a fee on the money you win. The fee will be 7%.
When we first started this site, we charged the askers 6% plus .60 cents. PayPal charges us 5% plus .30 cents. They charge us 2.9% when the money first comes in, and then they charge us 2% when you withdraw the money. We have other costs of course, including the cost of the servers.
We eventually raised our prices to .99 cents plus 12%. At this point the growth of the site stalled.
Over the summer we experimented with carols prices, including a flat price of $2.49. This was a disaster. You can see in our charts that in late July and August we lost business:
Then, for several weeks, we got rid of all listing fees. We took a loss on every question. Activity on the site revived.
We are for now charging the askers a small .90 cent fee. This is not enough to cover our costs, not even our PayPal costs.
We realize now that any listing fee holds back the growth of the site. So in the future, we will have to charge the experts a fee. Hopefully this will be a win-win situation – the site will grow and we all make more money, despite the 7% fee.
If I look at the Top Monthly Experts page, I see this:
During the last 30 days, a total of $1093 has been paid out, therefore the top montly experts are those who have earned at least $33.
That number is very low.
If I looked at the Community Supporters page, I see this:
During the last 30 days, a total of $760 has been given to Community Pot.
That number is very high.
The Community Pot now amounts to 41% of all the money going through the site? I never thought it would become that important.
I am curious how this effects the incentives on the site? I will be curious to see how this plays out over time.
By the way, at one point I thought it would be good if experts, when they vote money on a question, should be allowed to vote money to the Community Pot, if they felt none of the answers deserved all of the money. But we have one rule about voting: an expert cannot vote money to themselves, and now I realize that, for some experts, that would amount to voting money to themselves. One of the top experts is currently getting more than 30% of all the money that goes to the Community Pot, so they would be tempted to vote more money to the Community Pot if they could. So this is one feature that we will never add.
We have a chart that shows new user signups by week. As you can see, the rate of signups was flat for a long while, and then suddenly spiked:
I was curious about the spike, so I examined the email addresses of the new users, to see if I could spot a trend. I realized that almost all of the new users had email addresses of this type:
Almost all of the new users come from these 3 domains, so I looked up these sites:
The sites are in Chinese, so I can not read them. I do wonder what they are about. Are they well known Chinese portals, like Yahoo? Are they spam sites? I notice that tom.com has a lot of broken links, which made me wonder if it was a spam site.
Anyway, I’m curious if someone with an email address at one of these portals found out about WP Questions and then shared the site with their friends?