Rugatu Q&A Community
Online community that aims to be a place where members can share information and learn in exchange for bitcoins. The project was founded by individuals working together and pooling their resources for a common goal, to raise bitcoin awareness through useful online services. Project launched on June 9th, 2012 in beta (experimental) stage.
Rugatu is a Question and Answer site, where the asker offers a bitcoin reward to the person who will give the best answer. Like in most other Q&A sites, with an economic incentive, the winner is sure to get his reward. There is a voting system, but to prevent vote spamming, the best answer is determined only by the person who asks. A system of reputation (karma) points, independent from the reward system, is used to represent the commitment of each user in the community. You get karma by voting/being voted, and it grants you some privilege (commenting, editing, down-voting...)
Specific use cases
Getting custom help for any problem one may have, in one place and reasonably fast, without the need to spend hours or even days documenting the issue and then searching for solutions.
Freelance job board
Instead of asking questions, one could ask for a job to be done. The advantages compared to existing job-platform sites would be very low fees and no taxes.
Collaborative work platform
If a user who answers a question was inspired by a previous answer, he can publicly announce he will share the reward. If the reward goes to that user, he has to make the transaction manually, to the previous answerer. The first weak point of that method is that the public announcement can not be guaranteed. The second weak point is that the asker is not the one who decides to split the reward, it is the winner of the reward.
There is currently no possibility to split the reward of a question between many answerers (though this feature seems to be in the works), but one can still do it manually.
Examples of collaborative work:
In the logo example, the winner won 5 BTC, and is supposed to have given 2.5 BTC to another contributor. (Which may be true, because this contributor commented the question, after it was closed, and did not say he did not receive bitcoins). The admins of the site also decided to give a second price of 1 BTC to a third contributor.
Crowd-funding with bitcoin
If you have a project and need initial funding for it, you can present it as a question in Rugatu. Thanks to the feature of adding donations to a question, other users can give funds to your project. Discussing about the project is made via the answers and the comments.
The project initiator decides when the fund raising period ends. Then, he has to ask the site admins to get the reward back to himself, and not to anyone who gave any answer.
However, Rugatu is currently not very practical for this use. The admins have to manually operate on the question, to attribute the funds. The time limit is not shown, which is not a problem for a simple question, but a problem for crowd funding. There is no clear difference between real questions and crowd-funding questions. The donators are not publicly listed, so they can not get any fame or karma from the community for their funding action. An improvement of the site interface would be needed, to get the true potential of a crowd-funding platform.
Comparing with other paid Q&A sites
Rugatu takes 0.5 % of the reward for each question + the transaction cost of withdrawals (usually less than 1 %). As a comparison: justanswer.com takes 50% of the reward or more, and studentoffortune.com 18%, to which must be added the PayPal transaction fees, which are more than 1%.
Rugatu takes advantage of how bitcoin works, thus, there is no minimum withdrawal limit and transactions are executed immediately as you order them. You get your money in less than a few minutes.
However, there is no guarantee that this low percentage of 0.5% will stay in the future, as the community grows and the site become better-known.
There is no restriction on the reward amount for a question. It is only determined by "the market". You can ask a question for 1 satoshi or even nothing at all, and hope that people will give an answer only for fame and karma. Rugatu can be used as a free Q&A site, like Yahoo Answers, or to ask questions with prizes where users can increase the reward, even after it has been asked. It's an important feature, because it allows negotiations between users.
For example, you could see an unanswered question worth 20 mBTC. You know the answer, but think it deserves more. You could post a comment and tell the asker to raise the reward. Then, the asker can do the raise or wait for another user that could give the answer immediately for the initial reward.
You can donate to a question even if you are not the original asker. This feature allows specific use of Rugatu to help solve a question if is of importance to other members at the same time.
At the current date (June 2012) the Rugatu Community, like the whole bitcoin community, is quite young, and not so visible. Thus, a majority of the questions are about Bitcoin itself (mining, economy, other bitcoin-related sites, ...)
A system of tags exists, but currently there's not enough questions to arrange them in global categories. So, for the moment, the site would have difficulties to attract experts in any domain (except the domain of bitcoins itself).
However, you can already ask a question about anything, and reasonably hope for an answer of quality. Here are some examples of various themes: