Satsoverflow is a new app built on lightning network.

Anyone can earn money anywhere in the world by answering questions.

When you answer a question, you set a price for the answer to be unlocked. Then, anyone who wants to view the answer must pay the price to view it.

After the buyer views the answer, they can leave a thumbs-up or thumbs-down.

All accounts have a reputation score calculated from their answer feedback history, so you can decide before you buy an answer if it looks promising.

All payments and withdrawals are on lightning network.

483 sats \ 24 replies \ @kobie 12 Sep

To really work the answers need to be free IMO. I'm not going to buy an answer I haven't seen.

235 sats \ 0 replies \ @stick 12 Sep

This! Just use the same model as Stacker News - people pay for upvotes, but you can see the text before paying for it. It's OK to charge for asking questions, though.

What if:

  • you are stuck on a programming bug at work
  • you have a deadline to finish your program
  • someone has answered the question you need, and the answer already has 10 upvotes

Would you buy the answer in that situation?

Quite a corner case, you'll hit this situation in very rare circumstances, if ever.

Most likely you'll never gain enough traction because you'll be repelling 9 out of 10 users with this policy. That's what I suspect.

Maybe. But the current model implies 10 people paid for an answer out of interest when they had no deadline (or incentive to upvote). All this happened before my hypothetical deadline. If I found myself on this scenario, I'd just use SO.

Yeah, I can't even get to the point where I would upvote something because it feels too risky to pay for a shit answer.

On the other hand I would happily tip/pay to upvote helpful answers.

Try looking at the user "Total earned" and "Weighted rating" fields under the answer.

That should give you a good indication of whether the answerer has a history of giving good answers.

I think that helps but it still feels like too much friction for me personally, as a casual viewer.

Maybe it's only an issue because I don't feel like I need an answer for any of the questions on there enough?

110 sats \ 4 replies \ @k00b 12 Sep

I think your point stands IMO.

The solution is reputation but reputation doesn't exist because no one is paying because no one has reputation. It is circular.

If the thought is that paid answers will win - fine. But you need to bootstrap reputation which will be hard if users have to pay, risking money, to assign reputation.

The incentives here make assumptions about a robust reputation system existing while also preventing a robust reputation system from forming.

This is the same dynamic that exists on darknet markets. New sellers have to establish a reputation before they can gain traction and sell in large quantities.

Usually new sellers start with low prices, and then they raise prices after they have built up reputation.

10 sats \ 2 replies \ @k00b 12 Sep

Don't they escrow on dark net markets?

The escrow doesn't really help. You are putting your trust in the market administrator to arbitrate the dispute, and they have no idea or incentive on how to decide which side is right.

The best protection against fraud is a good rating/reputation system.

view replies
10 sats \ 0 replies \ @kobie 12 Sep

Yeah, too much friction.

The use case for this app is mostly people who are searching for answers to specific questions. So I think they will be motivated to pay if they are desperate enough for the answer.

But I agree, there is too much friction with the payment right now. I'm working on integrating WebLN/Alby, so it will be a one-click payment.

131 sats \ 1 replies \ @kobie 12 Sep

It's not the payment that is the friction, it's the requirement to pay before seeing the answer

I think there is a use case for that, but you're potentially sacrificing the casual use case, which might be necessary to build up a userbase.

People on stack overflow already spend a lot of effort answering questions for little tangible personal gain already, why? Seems like that open model with tipping for upvotes like SN would be great by itself/maybe all you need to do.

I personally believe that the answerer should be able to decide their price, not ask for tips. Make it a true fair market.

Fair enough, IMO that's a bit sterile and transactional compared to SN where the incentives balance out to make it a bit more fun and community-fostering. I'll definitely be checking back for updates though, good luck!

100 sats \ 3 replies \ @v4v 13 Sep

I like to see all the answers. Often the unchosen answer or a less upvoted answer turns out to solve my particular problem. But I wouldn't want to open chests to find gold that way. It gets in the way of inquisitive processes like the process of elimination.

What if all of the answers had a flat price of 100 sats? Would you be willing to do a single click for each individual answer if you didn't have to think about the variations of the price?

0 sats \ 1 replies \ @v4v 13 Sep

I think I would be fine with 100 sats per answer with single clicks. Btw, do search engines pick up the information from answers, or just the questions?

Only from questions.

The questions are rendered server side (Server-side rendering), so they get indexed by search engine crawlers. The answers are rendered on the client side, so even if unlocked, they would not get indexed as well.

That's why there is a user rating system. Even when a question has zero upvotes, you can still see the seller rating, which is calculated from the total history of their sales.

So if you see an answer with zero upvotes, but the user has 500k sats in total sales, and a 90% positive rating, you have a good chance that his answer will be good.

It's the same principle used for darknet markets, the seller can rug-pull you, but they will ruin their reputation.

Pretty cool project

  1. I think its cool that one has to pay to write or signup

  2. Paying for an answer that one has not read yet is weird. What if somebody answers a shit answer but I only find out the answer was shit AFTER I payed for it.

My suggestion: Let the asker pay a bounty and the asker gives the bounty to his answer of choice. Let the people answering compete for the best answer!

This would also prohibit the typical stackoverflow shit answers like "why do you even ask, just do it like this: <completely different setup>".

I thought about doing it like that, but I realized that it's difficult to prevent someone from cheating:

  1. User creates a question with a 1 BTC bounty.
  2. User gets hundreds of high quality answers from people who want to win the bounty.
  3. User creates a sock-puppet account and gives himself the bounty, after reading all the answers.
194 sats \ 0 replies \ @v4v 12 Sep

I think the stacker news model is working and a stackoverflow type of site would work perfectly with the same model. And then the viablilty of micropayments as a business model is a question of scale. In this model, any kind of engagement beyond just reading costs some sats. On the other hand, overly paywalled sites seem to languish for lack of engagement. Imho, even the people who don't boost/tip are providing the value of of their eyeballs, which incentives those that do engage.

Could this be mitigated by charging a fee % of bounty + distributing to productive users like SN does?

Let people vote for which is the best response!

Very cool!

But you probably want to use a logo that does not have the graphic ripped straight from SO.

Thanks for the feedback! I agree, I have a person who promised me to make a logo, but it's taking longer than expected.

40 sats \ 0 replies \ @v4v 12 Sep

Yeah if you want search engines to start picking it up

Awesome idea! It would be great to also be able to register/login with LNURL (like here on SN)

This please, why do we need to create an account when we should be able to connect with LNURL

Call me spoiled, but these days I rarely register for any new service that's not supporting "Login with Lightning".

the whole process is just so tedious

  1. create a one-time email alias
  2. register on the site
  3. unlock password manager and add new site's login details
  4. open email programm
  5. click the confirmation email
  6. Log in to the actual site

With LNurl-auth on the other hand, I can just use my Alby extension, one-click and I'm in.

Thanks for the feedback! It's not quite that bad, it uses username login, so you don't need to register any email address. Just sign up the new username, and pay the lightning activation fee.

I don't want to discourage innovation, but I think Stacker News is in a prime position to create the best Stack Overflow on Lighting implementation right now.

Add a questions board, add tags, and Bob's your uncle.

Sounds like feature creep

Possibly, maybe rather a separate site built on the same platform as SN.

Yes, separate site sounds better. What do you mean with "same platform"?

Take SN's codebase and modify where needed. I feel like it's quite close with what it already supports.

Actually, please do this @koob 🙏

200 sats \ 5 replies \ @conner 12 Sep

Cool idea of buying answers. Never thought of that.

I was originally coding up a satsoverflow of my own. (Which you can find here: I pivoted to a different idea though that is more influencer related.

Would be nice to have a custodial service and have invoice payments automatically refresh the page (using LND's SubscribeSingleInvoice)

Interesting. I wonder how did you plan to involve lightning payments? I experimented with a few different monetization ideas before settling on the current idea.

What do you mean by "custodial service"? Does that mean the user deposits funds ahead of time?

100 sats \ 1 replies \ @conner 12 Sep

What other monetization ideas did you consider and why did you rule them out?

I also considered doing a bounty. The person who asks the question will pay the bounty as a deposit when they post the question.

Then they have 24 hours or 1 week to choose one of the answers to receive the bounty. If they don't choose any answer, the app will keep the bounty.

I am probably going to add this to the existing app, but I wanted to make the pay-for-answers the central feature.

100 sats \ 1 replies \ @conner 12 Sep

Question asker posts a bounty. Some algorithm decides which answer(s) receives the bounty. But that seems really hard, which is why I'm moving on to a different idea.

My new idea revolves around making it so only a targeted influencer (e.g. twitter handle) can answer and claim the bounty. The bounty can be increased by the question asker or other people.

When I say custodial yes I mean deposit ahead of time, like what stacker or has.

I consider the app to be custodial as it is, because all of the user earnings are stored in the app wallet, and have to be withdrawn by the user.

But I decided to not use deposit-ahead-of-time, because that seems like an extra step for the user, and I want to make it easy for people to get started with low barrier to entry.

This needs LNURL-Auth support

I love the idea of using sats to access content behind a paywall but I don't think that people will pay to access information that could or should be public. I am working to liberate knowledge not charge money for it.

What I am more interested in is paywalling my own private information such as sending me an email, text, social media DMs, etc. I would never get spam DMs on Twitter or LinkedIn if I simply charged X sats to message me and I just increase X until I no longer receive any spam.

I love that you're building something that has paywalls with sats. It looks really good but I personally wouldn't pay to read an answer without knowing that the answer will actually solve my problem. I am much more likely to tip someone who provides it for free via a paid upvote like here on SN.

Thanks for the feedback!

I am going to make payment optional. When someone answers a question, they will be able to choose if it is free or payment required.

Additional feedback:

  1. Can't the fees get automatically get substracted from my balance? To reduce friction
  2. The interface for writing tags was a little unclear to me, It took 3 tries. Maybe automatically separate by hashtag or something?

This is really neat! I'd suggest that charging to ask questions, and then distributing those funds to accepted answers would be a better model. Well done though - very cool.

21 sats \ 0 replies \ @void 13 Sep

yfw somebody builds exactly what you had in mind for so long but didn't kick your own ass enough to take action ... and even with the same name! ( )

Congratulations sir, for actually delivering work.

After paying an invoice, it'd be nice to let the page confirm the payment automatically. Having to press "Refresh" makes one wonder if it'll generate a new invoice instead.

Awesome project! i see there is a lot of debating about wether answers should be free... how about making it optional? so you have both pay to see answers and answers that are visible without paywall? The free answers could be monetized with tips based on value4value. This way you could figure out which feature is liked more by the users in a more market research style.

another option would be for the author to set a price, but give the reader the option to refund a percentage based on how much value he got from the answer. if he got full value 0% refund, if he got no value 100% refund. you could then make the voting system based on this value system.

Thanks! I think I will do that. When someone creates an answer, they will have the option to make it free, or put a price on it.

Free answers will be visible without paying.

I'm glad my input was valuable to you! Looking forward to the progress of your project!

Interesting idea, but it seems that everyone has to pay, for every interaction. Plus the answers are not visible.

The interface is nice though.

If you put this interface to how works, you'll have a winner

The payments for user signup and post questions and answers is to prevent spam and keep a quality filter.

The answers should be visible after you pay for them.

Yeah, but what if I pay a lot of money for an answer and it's just nonsense?

Check the user rating of the seller before you buy.

Then, after you buy, if the answer is nonsense, downvote the answer to punish the reputation of the seller.

Would it be possible for you to add an option to add Satoshi! Add Satoshi using Lightning Address for example.

iamcais< ⚡🇧🇷

Very nice site, congratulations on the project, I just created an account on the site now.

iamcais< ⚡🇧🇷

Why do you put this annoying signature on all your messages everywhere?

Lamento pelo incômodo, jamais pensei que algo tão irrelevante, como isso pudesse incomodar. Mesmo assim... vou parar, só fazia por fazer, sem o propósito de ser irritante.

Muito obrigado.

Que isso, de nada... tenho certeza que eu posso fazer mais um agradecimento em nome de muitos, pela excelente contribuição. O Nostr Protocol, e esse agradecimento se estende a todos que de alguma forma estão contribuindo com as melhoria e implementações do Nostr Protocol. Até breve.

Oof, do you have rights to the logo?

Trademark is theft. Read Stephan Kinsella.

I like this idea. I would agree, though, that log in should be modified to the method used on SN

Now this is an impressive idea. This could really change how SO works for the better.