Some folks have been discussing the idea of paying for technical work… well, they are actually talking about paying for technical work done over email… but what is the difference?
I need some work done, whether that is easy or hard for the person I hire isn’t relevant… and if they answer my question too quickly that certainly shouldn’t be a problem either. So why is Jeff Julian upset by this? Why wouldn’t you have to pay for a technical resource doing work for you? If you want free support then do as Chris says, just post your question on a forum… (and some nice MVP or a non-MVP like myself will try and answer your question) if, on the other hand, you want someone to actually dig up an answer to your question (and whether that is easy or hard for them isn’t relevant) then you should have to pay.
Now, I understand a bit of Jeff’s worry… I’d hate to see everyone who answers questions on GotDotNet go this way, but I don’t think there is any danger of this… most of those people ask and answer questions in their spare time… like me… so they have no intention of making money off of it. For some people though, it is their entire career and a few emails a day asking for technical help could quickly cost you 4 hours of billable time.
I have a job that pays my salary, so I can choose to spend an hour or two answering a technical question for nothing, it is just sleep I’m missing after all. If I was trying to make a living out of being a online technical expert then I would start charging right away. There is a limited amount of time in the day, and a lot of other things that you might want to be doing, so if you are doing work for someone else then you certainly have the right (though not the need, feel free to do this work for nothing if you have the time) to get paid for it.