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Earn points in Live—beta launched today

Hello Everyone!

We’ve shared a few posts recently about the evolution of Live and the changes coming down the pipeline. We’re excited to announce that we are now in beta for the feature that allows consultants to earn points for helping clients in Live.  

At the heart of all these improvements is the ease of access to Live for both consultants and clients. One of the biggest current barriers to entry is that experts are required to earn money in order to participate, bringing up the following issues:
  1. Some of you are prohibited from earning money for providing assistance (ex. job conflicts or Microsoft MVPs).
  2. Some of you don’t want to affect your income level, take on tax implications, or opt-in with PayPal.
  3. Some of you just want to help people, for points, like you’ve always done.

Live is a great enhancement to our Q&A platform that give users a more personalized experience to better solve their tech issues. With the introduction of this points feature and new improvements coming down the pipeline, we’re excited to give our community better tools to get solutions in real-time so they can influence the future of technology.

What’s Included in the Beta

Improved “handshake” process
  • Live sessions for points include an improved handshake process. These improvements are intended to reduce confusion about the trial period vs. Live session, where consultants earn points. Our goal is to better define expectations so clients know their issue won’t be solved during the trial. These improvements will be rolled out to paid sessions in the near future.

Accepting sessions
  • As with existing paid sessions in Live, consultants will continue with the ability to review and deny a session request.

Points breakdown
  • Begins after “handshake” is complete
  • 200 points per minute
  • Rounded up to the nearest 15-second increment
  • Max of 10,000 points per session

Note: This beta and feature will not be announced to clients just yet.
  • Client requests for a Live session in return for points may occur, because consultants that opt in for points may appear in the recommended consultants and in the chat bar.

What’s Next

Moderator review
  • For sessions where points are earned, moderators will be able to review transcripts, modify topics, and adjust points earned if needed.
Client side coming soon
  • We will announce this feature to the rest of the community in October.
  • Experts that are opted-in to earn cash will continue to receive paid requests from free members, as well as Premium Members that select these consultants.

Additional improvements
  • Enhancements to the Live session interface and functionality will continue to be made in the coming weeks.

Already Opted-in to Live?

At the moment, consultants who are opted-in to Live for cash are unable to participate in the beta. We are eagerly looking forward to November, when experts will have more flexibility to accept Live requests for points or cash.  

Feedback

We’re excited to launch these improvements in the near future and are happy to provide any needed clarification. We’d love to hear about your Live experiences, your impression of the beta, and other improvements you would like to see. Feedback can be sent to live@experts-exchange.com or posted in this discussion.

We’ll be posting updates on the beta and feature in the Live Group. Join the group to learn more and stay up to date.

Thank you!
 
Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

Andrew Leniart2017-08-29 02:54 AMID: 2053581
This is excellent news that can only improve the value of Experts Exchange as a resource for those seeking help from experts and can't afford to pay $100 an hour or whatever for their home computer problem. It is sure to be a huge hit and will, without doubt, put EE on the map as one of the best technical self-help resources available.  Buy yourself a premium membership and have access to hundreds of experts who can help you with issues on the spot. Incredible value! That's my perspective from a "client's" side .

Experts Exchange will, of course, need to make sure that paid members are aware that experts offering Live help for points are still volunteers, giving their time freely, so that there are no unrealistic expectations of instant Live help for points even with a premium membership, but I see that as a minor issue for the sales and subscription staff to sort out and get right.

From an Experts perspective, this is a feature I've been asking for, and poking various EE staff members about for months now! :)

There have been many times where I *knew* I could solve a problem quickly and easily, yet was hampered by others chiming in with suggestions like "oh just re-install windows and be done with it" or similar. One particular instance that stays in my mind is a fellow who was having difficulties seeing the fonts on his screen.

Because of a language barrier, it was painfully obvious that he wasn't following the suggestions being made to him completely, so the same instructions had to be repeated over and over again. He eventually gave up and awarded me full points for my efforts, but that gave me little to no satisfaction. I wanted to know the problem was solved so I offered further help via Live for free, using the free 5 minutes of paid Live functionality to establish a secure screen share connection. The offer was made *after* the question was already closed.  

I ended up getting a kick in the ass by a Mod for my trouble when he found out I'd done that (a polite kick it may have been, but a kick it still was) and was warned not to do that again. As the issue was something to do with an identical problem one of my family member's experience, it was important to me that after alll the effort I'd already made, to know that I'd actually helped this chap resolve his problem, yet I was denied that satisfaction by EE help policy.  

Live for Points will finally provide the mechanism needed to provide such help at times when the asker is clearly worthy (in the experts view) of such free and valuable help.  I say free because once a premium membership is purchased, points cost a paid member nothing, yet at the same time, the awarding of them reward the expert for his or her efforts. An excellent system that's already proven here to work.

I'd better stop here or I'll end up writing a book... it's just that this is such great news to me, I felt highly motivated to share my thoughts :)

Cheers...
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Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

Glad to see this happening, although, 10k points for 13 minutes effort seems a little extreme to me.

I would happily like to offer support for a mix of points and money.

 As most of my live sessions are several hours work, and I usually give a half hour talk-over with the asker to explain to them the issue and how it was over-come, and I often end up giving additional time segments away for free because of the way it works for people to set-up the session and pay for initial extention and future extentions.

 Especially for the more impatient askers it would be nice to offer them segments of the time for points, especially if I think we're wrapping up, and in the initial warm-up segment, where sometimes it can be 20 minutes (after the initial 5 minutes) before I can really give them a specific ETR, because of variables which need to be accounted for.

So being able to say I can work for points in the initial scoping period while we setup remote access and check things through and all that is a nice gimmie for both parties.

Likewise switching again near the end to points again is a nice gimmie too.

Since paid lives can be so variable the ability to do 2-3 15 to 30 minute segments for points could be of real value to everyone.
2
 

Expert Comment

Sina May2017-09-01 03:20 PMID: 2054575
Hi Ben and Andrew!

We're glad to see you both so excited about this feature :D We're right there with you!

"although, 10k points for 13 minutes effort seems a little extreme to me"
The max point value will be reached after 50 minutes with experts earning 200 pts/min. I agree that 13 minutes would be extreme.

"I would happily like to offer support for a mix of points and money."
We are actively working toward this goal. Our current plan is that experts will have the flexibility to accept Live requests for points or cash by November. We'll be sure to keep everyone updated on our progress via the Release Notes and the Live group Craig mentioned above.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!
3
 
Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

Got it, you meant 50 points per 15 seconds, somehow took that to mean 200 points per 15 seconds because of the phrasing, my mistake.
1
 

Expert Comment

Sina May2017-10-12 06:55 AMID: 2064611
We've posted our first feature update in the Live group! https://www.experts-exchange.com/discussions/219643/10-12-Live-Feature-Updates.html
1
 
Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

Thanks for the note on the update :)
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