Today we launch Travel Questions: A Questions, Answers and Solutions (Q&A & S) system, which we hope will provide a way for Red Planetter users who are regular travellers, and experts in specialist fields from all over the world can combine to make and maintain a repository of information related to all aspects of Travel, by answering questions from other Red Planetter users, and finally these answers are "road tested" and posted as Solutions.
Sectors include and are not limited to:
- Transportation - information about airlines, airports, trains, buses, ferries and cruise lines, and anything else that moves.
- Accommodation - hotels, guest houses, hostels, as well as people renting out their own homes, and arranging house swaps for free.
- Medical - preparedness when travelling treatment & Medical Tourism procedures.
How it works
At the heart of the Travel Q&A & S system is the process of asking a Question and receiving Answers from other Red Planetter users, followed by the posting of a Solution by the original Question Asker.
The Question asker uses tags to classify the question with broad topic areas, such as City or Airline. Red Planetters can monitor tags from their User home page to be alerted when a question they might know about is asked.
A question can receive 1 or more answers - hopefully answering the question that the original user wanted to know. The Solution is a write up of what the Asker found (if he/she proceeded) or reasoning behind any change of plan.
Questions and Answers can be voted on by users - voting signifies that the voting user feels that the question or answer is worthy in some way: It may be a question where the asker has shown clearly what research he has done, and what exactly the problem is, or an answer shows insight and a deep understanding of situation and suggest a good solution.
Once a Solution is posted with the feedback of the Asker it become a resource for other travellers who can look up the information immediately.
How it is designed
Users of any Q&A system will feel immediately at home. One of the most popular and frequented by Red Planet Travel's system developers is Stackoverflow. It has been very cleverly designed by a couple of smart and hugely humorous guys called Joel Spolsky and his partner Jeff Atwood.
The Q&A system premise differs from typical Internet Forum-type systems in that is a Question & Answer system - meaning that specific answers can be given, and these can be ranked by suitability - based on votes by the Asker and others, whearas Fourms are for more open-ended discussions without necessarily ranking or grading discussions. This means that often Forum questions become abandoned and yet still fill up search engine results.
What is different about our Q&A & S system
There are two key differences between our system and other Q&A systems:
Specifically, and unlike other Q & A sites, we have extended the process to reward question Askers for returning to the site and posting the solution they used, detailing the pros and cons discovered and encountered on the way.
The second is that we do not suggest you 'Answer your Own Question' - typically this is done on other Q & A sites to act as an "Information Repository" for other users to find solutions.
This is bad because you are not really asking a question and expecting a response - in other words using the system for something other than its intended purpose - and it denies other Red Planetter users the opportunity to gain reputation by answering, and it clogs up the system with alerts to users who are not actually required if you answering your own question.
Moreover Red Planet Travel is much more than just a Q&A system - we have pages on just about anything - Countries, Cities, Routes, Places, Hotels, Attractions and all Transport Companies (Airlines, Trains, Buses, Ferries and Cruise Lines).
For this reason - and you can still increase your Reputation Score - and achieve a better result if you apply to contribute your travel discoveries on the page on our site dedicated to that place, company or route.
Getting paid to answer travel questions
Red planetters who answer questions will not only get a warm glow in the knowledge that they helped others - you can also be tipped real dollars (or euros, or yen or sterling) if someone appreciates your answer.
Read about our TravelTip$ program. You get all the money sent to you - Red Planet Travel have no part in the money transfer process.
Get alerted when questions you might know the answer to are posted
You can configure a Question Tag Monitor in your account which will send you an alert when a question is posted that you may be able to answer.
This is based on the Tags of a question. High level reputation score Red planetter users are tasked with editing questions to ensure the tags are correctly set.
Simply login to your account and navigate to Questions. Select Tag Monitor and set as many tags are you are interested or knowledgeable about.
Sign up for an account and get earning reputation and real money. This could be a great way to get paid and travel the world.