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  We need a second system developer !

+ 2 like - 0 dislike

The (still small) community active at this site is very productive. Excellent propositions and an exciting business model have been developed and nice physics gets already done. I am sure that these concepts will be very successful and productive for the scientific community of physicists.

However, when we started this project last year, we talked about a revival of the closed TP site. Looking at the numbers that have been achieved by this old community, I have been convinced that we can do that without greater problems. Therefore (and because nobody else did it) I said yes to set up this site.

The actual requirements, if they have to be realized in a valuable time, need more than just an evening and weekend job. To fullfill the two general broader tasks concerning the system development of PhysicsOverflow we currently face, namely realizing the Reviews section and implementing (the most urgent) incoming feature requests at the same time, it would be nice to have a system development team that consists of more than one person ... ;-)

Therefore I ask you: Do you know any other person with an appropriate experience, able and willing to help Polarkernel? Q2A is built very modular, it would be easy to split the task into subprojects that can be solved independently by different developers.

This question is an upgrade and adaptation of the need of a second system developer stated by Polarkernel as an answer in another thread here.

asked Apr 17, 2014 in Discussion by Dilaton (6,240 points) [ revision history ]
edited Apr 17, 2014 by Arnold Neumaier
Most voted comments show all comments

@physicsnewbie I have used the term "exciting business model" in my first call for help, linked in Dilatons question above. One should not always relate business to money. I hope nobody here has the idea to make money with this site! Our business is to get as much competent and active users as possible to our site. A business model is a plan on how to reach such a goal. At the time of my call, the idea of the review section has been born and I think, this is still a valuable business model related to our goal. This was my only intention using the term "business model".

Ok, ok, but it is possible to make enough money (and stay nonprofit) by methods which do not interfere with the mission, and allow people to also get a small salary. The two methods I think are proper are paid academic advertizing and real-money bounties of which the site takes a certain percentage. People didn't like the second idea, but I think Erdos showed that it is effective and useful.

I wonder if hosting costs are small enough that we could just pitch in with donations, at least while we bootstrap?

While it seems an interesting idea to ask people getting reviews to fund some of the costs, maybe nicer ways than "pay to promote"? While such an approach is perfectly acceptable in the real world, it might be scorned in academia and used as an excuse to disregard. It might be better to request them to fund the small costs involved, but I think it's extremely important to exercise editorial neutrality in not selectively promoting (for whatever reason).

@Siva That's a very good point, regarding excuses. 

I think it's silly to ask people to pay for criticism of their own paper. I thought it would be something like google ads, just as a way to get attention.  People are still free to say whatever they want.

I thought that money bounties is more effective, because there will be questions which require nontrivial effort. Why not transmit a bounty to a person, with the site taking a percentage? Like an academic ebay. Dim10 doesn't like it, because he thinks money bounties will interfere with unpaid contributions. But money is not the main currency on these websites, rather it is acaemic attention. Money bounties (at least as Erdos did them in math) have only served the purpose of mildly stimulating interest in not-overly-difficult problems that would otherwise stagnate.

Hosting costs are not that much. The onerous thing is all the time and attention that programming requires.

Most recent comments show all comments

Did the person you said you knew from some hospital get back to you?  

He is back at work and has obtaine a new project to lead, therefore he has unfortunately not time ...

As at present we are not able to appropriately pay a full-time system developer, I (and originally Polarkernel) am rather reaching out for people who could help a bit just because they like PhysicsOverflow (as a second spare time system developer). For example Argonut once said he would help, but since then I have not yet seen him here.

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