One of the areas we want to address in the new Ask an Expert (AaE) is a better way for people to work together. To this effect, we are looking at introducing groups. Aside from being an organizational tool, groups would provide a new way to assign and answer questions. In fact, a group would function very similarly to an expert — i.e. it would have areas of expertise and geographic locations, and a group can be assigned a question. Groups would also become the new mechanism for creating an AaE widget.
Group Page in Ask an Expert
When a question is assigned to a group, the group leaders (plus anyone else who opted in) will get notifications. The leader can then function as a question wrangler and dole out assignments or leave the questions in the group queue.
Questions assigned to a group can be picked off by any group member when they have time to answer. This should prove helpful for groups with volunteers. (i.e. It’s not useful for someone to be assigned a question on Wednesday if they only volunteer on Monday and Tuesday.) We’ve also heard there can be a taboo against answering a question that’s been assigned to someone else — even if they haven’t started working on it yet. Hopefully when a question is assigned to a group, it will be easier for someone to answer a question without worrying about “taking” it from someone else.
For people outside the group, being able to assign to a group can reduce the difficulty of finding the exact right person to answer a question.
Group can also answer a question. When an expert posts an answer, that person can choose to attach the answer to their personal account or credit it to the group.
Answer as a Group
Please take a look at the these concepts and let us know what you think.