5 Shortcuts To Get Answers In Record Time

Wraparound reflective glasses, black spandex pants and neon green jacket.


NOT my guy friend!

I wouldn’t pass up a chance to ride with a guy like that, would you?

I rest my case.

But as we bicycled north under the sun on a cold winter day, he asked me a technical question about WordPress.

Now, I don’t profess to be the expert although I have learned a few tricks from blogging.

But here I was stumped.

“I’ve heard raves about the WordPress platform, but can WordPress handle a site like mine with tons of events, where a back end needs to tie together objects in a way that only databases can?”

As I said, that one stumped me. I knew what he meant. When I went to Eventbrite, the site architecture recognized that I had once purchased tickets for a music festival, so it suggested things happening around that zip code.

My guy friend–who has his own event site–wanted to move his business ahead of its competitors and put it onto a platform that could use the power of relational databases to give users an even better experience, with a front-end that was likewise easy to manipulate.

Make sense?

Of course it does. But you can’t ask me whether WordPress is suited to that; there is no complex database in the trunk of the Mojo40 engine!

Where to go when you need to get answers

When you don’t know whom to ask, you not only feel out of the action, you feel second-rate. You’ve been there, and so have I.

So have huge swaths of people from the smartest to the dimwits. And the fact that everybody knows the frustration means it is ripe for problem-solving.

The case for getting online answers: simple to use, quick, and you can do it in your bunny slippers (or docksiders)

1. LinkedIn Answers–ask your question in LinkedIn Answers and you will get a ton of responses.

get answers on the More tab of LinkedIn

Questions and answers are on the More tab.

Rate the best. See their profile and background, how many questions they have previously answered, and how many of their responses were rated “Best.” Questions and answers cover all industries and an array of thorny issues.

2. Quora–another great site for Q&A. Some incredibly astute types are here since answers are accessible to search bots (and therefore help to build a personal brand). Questions range from utilizing complex algorithms for financial investing to how to identify alliance partners or swing a golf club.

3. Stackoverflow–ask any highly technical question and you’ll hear back from some of the major tech deities as they compete for bragging rights on a site mainly geared toward programmers and systems-integrator types.

4. Meetup groups–you have to be a member of the Meetup to participate in Q&A. However, membership is free. I’ve heard lots of people use the NY Tech Meetup to source answers.

5. Webgrrls–a membership organization, but one of the very first places that I turn to for answers. Their “collective mind” is well worth the membership fee.

For example, recently I asked Webgrrls an arcane and a mundane question.

The community did not disappoint on Q&A that cuts to the chase.

Question #1: My site cannot be seen in China, what can be done about it?

(As an aside, thank you Shan for letting me know. It really pisses me off since I thought that the folks in soul-sapping jobs in China would really do well to grab my tips! But seriously, I wanted Shan to read the story of a 70-year-old woman who made good, since she is a psychiatrist who can appreciate this.)

I heard back from Isabel Summers of Turtle Island that all sites hosted by GoDaddy are completely blocked in China. Censorship incarnate! I was advised to use IX Web Hosting instead, by this executive who had to solve the very problem for her overseas supply chain.

Question #2: My site takes too long to load. I’ve put a ton of time into Mojo40, so I’m determined to improve load times. Which domain host is better?

I received more than 5 responses with recommendations for other hosting services, and the web expert Amelie Walker actually pointed out that she insists on using another web hosting company for a client on WordPress.

As always, the crowd is more brilliant than I, but be grateful that here at Mojo40, someone tells you which crowd to go to for answers!

Mojo Moves

  • Spend 5 minutes digging into one of the Q&A sites mentioned above.
  • Make an account (or sign up for membership) and try asking a question. It takes practically no time, and when you start getting answers, you’ll feel the love!
  • If you wish to ask ME a question, make a point to join my Google+ Hangout for Job Search and Mid-Career Transition, every Tuesday in February 2012, 1-2 PM Eastern. For FAQs, see here.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons 2.0, Melvin Schlubman. Disclosure: We participate in Webgrrls referral program.

What do you think? Are you game for trying online questions and answers?

MuCash lets you make donations quicky in increments as small as a single penny. By leaving a small donation every time you find something of value on Mojo40, you can help me (Diane) keep creating content like this for you to enjoy.
Did you enjoy this post?
  • http://www.MissingSecretToParenting.com denny hagel

    Thanks for sharing these great resources! Awesome!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      You’re so welcome, Denny! Glad to help.

  • http://www.MyExecutiveCareerCoach.com Linda Van Valkenburgh

    Once again – brilliant! Your mind is a marvel! You consistently come up with interesting, relevant topics. Bravo!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Thank you so much, Linda, you have made me feel inches taller!

  • http://sharonoday.com Sharon O’Day

    At one time Google Answers was a great resource and I miss it. (I’m not sure why it was shut down.) Thanks for this new list of alternatives, Diane! I’ll go start digging around for 5 (or more) minutes… ;-)

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Hey, Sharon, if you choose to dig in Quora, you might find it interesting to look up Byrne Hobart and his answers re investing and investment strategy… can you believe that he did this in his copious free time? Hundreds of answers, on a topic–investments–which had absolutely nothing to do with his full-time, high pressure day job.

  • http://pathtolifesuccess.net Hughie Bagnell

    Hi Diane…thank you for sharing these resources! Great info. …Cheers, Hughie :)

  • http://www.ad-virtualassistance.com Anastasiya Day

    Diane, thank you so much for sharing this article with us! I agree – You consistently come up with interesting, relevant topics. Great post!

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Anastasiya, you really made my day. Sometimes I feel a bit demoralized, but getting a comment like this feels like a victory. I truly appreciate it!

  • Susan

    Thanks for sharing this valuable information. The other articles on job searching tips are very relevant. I am an HR professional and what has been written is right on the money. I will recommend this site to others. thanks.

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Do that and I would be so very grateful, Sue.

  • http://www.EventsFeedcast.com conflux

    Diane, you are simply amazing – with an incredibly sharp mind! You always manage to weave what might appear at first to be mundane into golden nuggets of wisdom. You have a very engaging, entertaining and refreshing writing style.

    Crowdsourcing is fascinating not only in how it works, but also in how it ends up broadening one’s horizon. As your beautiful article indicates, knowing where to crowdsource could make so much difference in the quality of answers you get back.

    Now that you so eloquently discussed crowdsourcing, I would love to hear your take on Amazon Mechanical Turks.

    Nice job! :)

    • Diane Dolinsky-Pickar

      Do they wear spandex pants and look pretty good–no bed head in the morning? No seriously, I like Turks. I like Turkish Food. I like Seth Godin. But my favorite: the Kurdish people.

  • Sara

    Great tips! Would never have know this info and will send it to colleagues who would benefit. They’ll really appreciate it too!!

  • Michael B

    What a great blog! Your ideas and concepts are truly wonderful. I will also send this to friends who can benefit greatly from this site. It would be very helpful if I start applying these ideas to my everyday work life. I look forward to following your ideas and will update you on my progress.

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