Bountify.co is like SE, a Q&A site, only bounties are placed w/ real $
Since bevanb was representing bountify.co in Is bountify.co a legit site or something to be concerned about? during 2012, it is reasonable to assume it ≥ 6 yo.

A site can be considered successful by satisfying one, or both, of the following conditions: (a) big user-base (b) big profits. I will show that it satisfies neither.

Big user-base?
@ https://bountify.co/bounties the 1st 66 pg's had 20 posts each, and the 67th pg had 8 so that is 1328 total posts in ≥ 6 years (less than 1 post/day on avg).

At the time of writing, the most recent post is 6 days old and the ONLY active bounty!

The user-base is thin and inactive.

Big profits?
I sorted the posts by bounty and gathered the following data (b = bounty):

(0 < pg ≤ 37 → 0 < b ≤ 10,
37 < pg ≤ 44 → 10 ≤ b ≤ 25,
44 < pg ≤ 54 → 25 ≤ b ≤ 50,
54 < pg ≤ 62 → 50 ≤ b ≤ 100,
62 < pg ≤ 67 → b = 100)

Taking into account their fee convention, ignoring revenue received from tip fees ($0.99 + $1 per increase in denomination) which is difficult (if not impossible) to estimate, and compensating by making the following change (r = revenue):

(0 < pg ≤ 37 → r = 2.99,
37 < pg ≤ 44 → r = 4.99,
44 < pg ≤ 54 → r = 8.99,
54 < pg ≤ 67 → r = 14.99)

we can get a rough estimate of their all-time revenue:

all-time r = 20*(2.99*37 + 4.99*7 + 8.99*10 + 14.99*12) + 8*14.99*1

→ all-time r = 8426.72

Which is an avg revenue of $3.85 a day.

There might be no profits at all.

What is bountify.co doing wrong & what would it take for a monetized SE to succeed?

  • 8
    Where does your idea come from that SE should be monetized in the first place? Secondly: this is not the meta for bountify.co so what they are doing wrong is better discussed at their meta.
    – rene
    Jul 25 '18 at 9:45
  • 4
    Stack Exchange is monetized, it just isn't trying to take that monetization from the very users providing its content. (See: jobs, teams, not-crap ads) Jul 25 '18 at 9:55
  • 1
    Maybe relevant, if not a duplicate if the bountify.co stuff is not considered: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/79435/…
    – rene
    Jul 25 '18 at 9:56
  • Also the suggestion stems from the question that SE doesn't succeed at this very moment or wouldn't succeed in the future. Do you have evidence or inside information that this is indeed the case?
    – rene
    Jul 25 '18 at 9:59
  • Some of us are a bit confused about the discussion topic of this post; are you discussing about SE monetization, or bountify monetization? If it's the former, could you clarify the question? If it's the latter, then it's off-topic since this site is for questions related to Stack Exchange network, not bountify (and only bountify's rep can answer that, not us). Jul 25 '18 at 10:12
  • I kinda suspect that this post could be simply scaled down to "what would it take for a monetized SE to succeed?" The stuff about bountify is a bit of a distraction.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Jul 25 '18 at 10:25
  • @JourneymanGeek is correct, the focus is too much on something which isn't related to SE, hence it was closed. If edited properly it might get reopened. Jul 25 '18 at 12:32
  • I've seen a lot of people called out on SE for not doing their research or showing that they put effort into understanding their question before asking. My goal was to open a discussion about what it would take for a paid version of SE to be successful. I used bountify.co as it was a good example of a paid version, and established that it isn't doing so well, to provide the starting grounds for said discussion.
    – Landon
    Jul 25 '18 at 19:19

Simple. If there are better, free alternatives, people are not going to pay.

SE differenciated itself from the hyphen site (which had a subscription to view model) by having free, user generated content, and other revenue streams. I suppose the success they've had with it is mixed but advertising + jobs + SAAS are models that have all worked, independently for many web sites.

Something like bountify doesn't help the commons, and well, isn't really that fun. It also seems to cover the ground sites like donationcoder does more than SE. It's a place to pay people to do coding for you, rather than act as a knowledge base. It's designed to get one, working answer quickly. This also means that you are unlikely to get new answers once the bounty is awarded... Which is bad for keeping folks engaged.

To succeed - in terms of a userbase, you need critical mass. SE talks about questions per day for beta sites, but it's also the intangible - an engaged community is likely to hang around.

SE did a few very clever things in the early days. They gamified very effectively. They incentivised early users with swag (I for one have one of the first-year SU T shirts. It's faded, cracked, I have 2 more of the same colour, but it stays). They had contests - with sweet prizes. In a sense they incentivised overall participation.

There are two problems with the pay to win/get answers model. You need to get a critical mass of people willing to pay for an answer, and the assurance that they will get an answer (so people who will answer). You need community engagement in that model as well.

I'm not sure a monetized SE would succeed. You could maybe sell and buy reputation - but it's an idea that... is deeply unpopular and cheapens the idea of reputation as an abstraction of what you know. You could have a second tier of paid bounties, but why would anyone answer questions for free if you can get paid.

We also have the chicken and egg model. We don't have people paying to ask questions if people who answer questions aren't there. Or vice versa. I guess you could hire a small farm of workers in a third world country to google it... but I think folks have tried that before.

In short? Bountify's model is a little flawed unless you can burn through enough money to get people to answer things initially, and set yourself up as the place for answers.

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