1) Everything you want to know about quilting is on the Quilting Expertise Co-op, or if not, just Ask TheQEC.
a) TheQEC is a comprehensive enough for research, learning and idea generation.
b) A large variety of experts are on one site.
c) Users are community validated with Reputation scores (see FAQ for how).
d) You can view profiles of people asking, answering or commenting (see Users).
e) Ask any question you have about quilting and it is immediately seen.
f) Many times you will receive numerous answers to your questions.
g) Find solutions to your most perplexing problems.
h) Educate yourself by browsing or specific searching.
2) The subject matter is well organized and easy to navigate.
a) Search “Categories” - broad pre-defined classification of information on the database.
b) Search “Tags” – community defined key words that are very specific and constantly being enhanced.
c) The “Search Box” is site-wide; simply type in some text and the system searches the entire database (questions/answers/comments/users/etc.) for matches.
d) Information is time stamped so you know its currency.
3) The website is community run
a) The community defines the website – all questions, answers and comments are given by users. You are creating the community and knowledge base as you participate.
b) It’s self policing – the community votes on the quality of questions and answers and can warn or even ban abusers.
c) Wiki means the community can comment on and even edit your questions and answers.
d) Reputation is awarded by the community.
e) Increased Reputation means an increased ability to influence the information on and direction of the website.
4) Focus on your unique areas of interest.
a) Follow Categories you are interested in by selecting the RSS feed for each Category of interest.
b) Follow Tags (community defined key words) you are interested in by requesting RSS feeds for any updates to any Tags of interest
c) Keep up on what’s being asked by via an RSS feed on Recent Questions.
d) If you want to build your Reputation, get RSS feeds of Unanswered Questions and respond to all you can.
5) You can quickly evaluate the quality of the answers you receive.
a) Check the Reputation score for the various answers.
b) Check the profile of the person responding.
c) See how different experts respond to the same questions. Many questions will have multiple answers or comments providing clarification, alternate approaches, etc.
6) You can and should share your knowledge and become recognized as an Expert.
a) The more you participate by asking and answering questions, the higher your Reputation score.
b) Your Reputation is increased as the community likes the information you contribute, especially when you are selected as the best answer to a question.
c) Reputation can be used for credibility outside the website. As your expertise is recognized on TheQEC.org, you can direct traffic from anywhere else to view your accomplishments – from the ease of tweeting, or posting to Facebook to stating your status on business cards (e.g., Patty Quilter, Gold Star Expert on TheQEC.org)