What makes a great Question on Shakodo?
It's been a little over 2 months since we launched Shakodo and we had a close look at the Questions asked by our members. On review, we decided to share some tips how to write a great Question which will receive also great Answers.
How do I write a great Question?
Questions are just like photographs. A well composed image taken at the right time in the right location attracts while a quick thoughtless snapshot often fails to get any attention.
Let's stay with this analogy, because this site is catered to photographers on the way to profitability and we probably all agree that knowledge will help us to achieve our goals better and faster.
There is a reason it is called "composing" a photo, the very same can be said about a Question. Put some thought into it and "compose" it well. The best way is to write a short but detailed story to describe the situation about the Question you have, this way people can empathize with it and might share their knowledge. More details are always better, but make sure that the story contains a clear Question which can be answered.
Also make sure that you put the Question in the right location. If you mix up the categories - Assignments, Licensing or General Business - and place your Question in the wrong one, nobody might see it.
You might also wonder why we are asking for "Tags". Tags are just glorified "Keywords" which allow you to "tag" your Questions with the most important related keywords. If you, for example, ask a Question about Rights, the Law and Contracts, it makes sense to add these 3 words as Tags to your Question. Behind the scenes we relate your Question to other Questions which share similar Tags with the ones you supplied. As a photographer you should be aware of keywording your images, so show the audience your professional skills by also keywording your Question properly.
When you are happy with your Question, make sure you read your Question again at least twice before submitting it. Better make that 3 times. Once submitted, there is no way back - we don't allow editing at this stage - and your Question will instantly be pushed out to the subscribers of our RSS feeds and our followers on Twitter.
After you asked a Question, keep track of your Question. There is a reason why you asked a Question in the first step, so stay with your Question for a while (Shakodo helps you to monitor responses with the "Notify me by email of responses to my Questions" feature in your Settings) and make sure that you react on Answers and Comments and add clarifying information in case your Question was not fully understood.
How do I make sure I get great Answers to my Question?
One thing we noticed when a new Question is asked、the first thing people check is the members Username, Avatar and Reputation plus many also click for further info into your profile. By filling the profile out first, people can get a better understanding of who you are and adjust their answers according to your level.
Please note that just asking Questions and not contributing to Shakodo, gives other members little incentive to answer your Question, because it appears that you don't care much about your new audience.
You must know that people who have the knowledge to answer also like to see reactions on their Answers and Comments, at least by seeing votes coming in for their answers.
Votes are directly tied to a members Reputation - a value which shows how your much your fellow photographer colleagues trusts you. You can receive votes for good Questions as well as for good Answers and Comments. To find out how, have a look at the Reputation FAQ.
To see an example of a great Reputation, go and check the profile of renowned photographer and consultant Seth Resnick and how his Reputation developed over time by contributing fantastic Answers and information to Shakodo.
You as somebody who might ask a Question for the first time can also start working on your own Reputation by participating in Shakodo and answering other member’s Questions and watching your Reputation grow over time.
When you found your Answer
If you found the Answer you were looking for, please use the "Accept as official Answer" feature, so the Question is resolved for you. People can still add more Answers and Comments to it, but since an Answer was already accepted, further responses will tail off very quickly.
Promotion of your Question
If you are having trouble getting a good Answer, then spread the word. Each Question has a "Short Link" at the bottom which you could use to send it to Twitter, FaceBook or other photo related forums, so that a broader audience sees it and might help you.
Also don't hesitate to contact the Shakodo team and ask us to "Feature" your Question. This will put the Question at the top of the page of the forum for a limited time.
We hope this article gave you a better understanding of what makes a good Question and what you should do when people take the time to write Answers and Comments. Be sure to return the favor and participate by sharing your knowledge with other members on Shakodo!