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How to get a question answered quickly?

Just saw this interesting exchange going on in a neglected question:

Author posted a high priority question. Also said at the end they needed an answer ASAP today.
First Expert responded they should try EE Gigs if they needed something right away.
Author replied back they set one up the day before but no response (not there now, so must have expired?)

So, EE staff... Where do you intend that customers should go if they need an answer in a hurry? Gigs or priority question?
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Expert Comment

Mr. Wolfe2017-11-27 09:09 AMID: 2075154
I have seen a couple of main reasons why questions do not get answers.  Either the question is poorly written or it is a topic where we do not have many Experts.   When in doubt, you can always have them use the help bell http://support.experts-exchange.com/customer/portal/articles/2876492 and that will get the process started including alerting the Moderators.  While you can report the thread (request attention) on your own, it is best to show the Asker how to do this. That way they will know how to use the site and the Moderators can communicate directly with the Asker.

If there is a Topic Advisor in the thread, they can also assist by working with the question Author to edit the title and question to make the question easier to understand for Experts.

If you are a level 5 (50,000 points) or above, you have the ability to adjust topics. http://support.experts-exchange.com/customer/portal/articles/2569102  Let's say you come across a SQL question and recognize they really need help with MS Access, you may have the ability on your own to adjust the topics to include MS Access.
Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

footech2017-11-27 12:10 PMID: 2075248
I think the whole question priority thing is a bust.  Unless an expert is really motivated by the couple thousand points, there's really no difference.  I'd say most of the experts who have been around a while barely distinguish between the different priorities when deciding if/how they're going to try to answer a question.  Perhaps if high priority were worth an amount really noticeable, like 20,000 points.

For some reason, in my main topic areas, I'd say the majority of questions are low priority.  And the priority has no relation to whether the question is well-asked or not.  If a question is designated as high priority, it's a nice bonus, but typically has very little impact on my participation.

No matter the priority, unless the expert is getting paid via Gigs or Live, they are volunteering their time, when they have it, and that availability can change one second to the next.  So, they may be very responsive for a period, and then get called away to do their actual job and have no chance to follow up for a few hours.  As such, it seems Live is the only reasonable way of expecting immediate help, and even then it's dependent on the availability of the right expert.  Gigs (in my mind) is for larger projects - taking longer to actually dive into any work as first you have to get all the requirements and proposals out of the way.
Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

PatHartman2017-11-27 12:55 PMID: 2075261
I just responded to the question we are discussing and gave him some help on his three specific questions with a probable easy solution for one.  The other two are complicated and require much more of an understanding of the process than I was able to obtain from the question itself and I wasn't willing to download the database from an unknown web site.

People who pay for the EE membership expect better service.  Since none of us gets paid to provide answers (at least I don't) there's much room for disappointment.  I don't distinguish between normal and high priority requests.  I just look at questions that are new that don't have an answer.
Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

I have never really looked at the priority when answering a question.  I look at the Question itself, and if I don't know the answer I dismiss it, if I think I know the answer I will take a look, and if I am sure I know the answer I will delve into it.  If the question has not been asked well and/or the OP doesn't provide nearly enough information, even when asked, I tend to ignore the question.  This may not be the best way to go about answering questions, but with so many I need some method to weed out the bad from the good.  It is similar to using SAT scores to only look at a selection of academic candidates.  Both SAT scores and the way a question is asked do not really predict success, they are just tools.

I suppose if there was more incentive, in some way - not sure what, to answer these questions that would be different.  The current system of priority questions does not really cut it.  If one is really worried about points, then answering neglected questions seems like a better way to go about it.  Which is a problem in and of itself.  Neglected questions need to be answered, but the high priority questions probably shouldn't be ignored.  I haven't done the math, but that seems to be a place to start.  Is there a way to make it so answering a specific question will garner more points than answering a neglected question?  That seems to me to be the way in which to solve this.

Just my 2 cents.
Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

PortletPaul2017-11-27 11:22 PMID: 2075384
Isn't LIVE really THE most immediate response type available?

I don't see how gigs would work for v.high priority as you require a bid process

Otherwise putting effort into the question quality (and choice of tags) leads to faster resolution time in my experience.
Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

I believe Live is fastest, but it is also more expensive, so less likely to be used.  But if someone wants something answered right away, Live seems to be the way to go.