1) Leverage yourself and your current efforts.
a) Your expert profile is visible to all. A professional write-up, classes and subjects you teach, shows you attend, and your website can all be included in your profile.
b) Reach people far beyond your personal sphere of influence.
c) Good experts “float to the top” – the community recognizes your good Q & A and you are rewarded.
d) Gain revenue, credibility and value across the globe.
e) Reputation can be used for credibility outside the website. As your expertise is recognized on TheQEC.org, you can directs traffic from anywhere else to view your accomplishments – from the ease of tweeting, or posting to Facebook to stating your status on business cards (i.e. Patty Quilter, Gold Star Expert on TheQEC.org)
f) Your questions and answers on a high traffic site links to your website.
g) Reference and link to your products or other products you want to support.
2) Focus your interests
a) Choose the Categories and Tags you are most interested in and request RSS feeds for any updates to that information.
b) Or, if you know your stuff and want to become a respected expert quickly, subscribe to recent questions or unanswered questions and respond to every question for which you have a good answer.
3) Everyone who sees your answers are specific to your target market. Anyone visiting TheQEC.org is interested in or already involved in quilting. They have questions or problems they are trying to solve and need to be taught. If they find answers, they will come back for more.
4) See how other experts respond to the same questions.
5) The subject matter is well organized and easy to navigate so users can find your information.
a) Categories are a broad pre-defined classification of information that facilitates search and retrieval by those interested.
b) Tags are community defined, constantly growing, very specific terms that also facilitate search and retrieval. Since you can have up to 5 tags on a question, it gives you multiple ways to facilitate your information being retrieved.
c) The Search Box is site-wide, users simply type in some text and the system searches the entire database (questions/answers/comments/users/etc.) for matches.
d) Information is time stamped users know it’s currency.
6) 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 as you participate.
b) Self policing – the community can warn or even ban abusers.
c) Ranking is awarded by the community
d) Increased reputation = increased ability to influence the direction of the website.