TwoToReal is for questions that are hard to frame

Wisdom of the Ancients

Exchange wisdom – trade attention

Did you ever feel like the hacker in this XKCD strip? Maybe you were in an even worse situation of not even being able to frame the question in the first place? Rest assured that you are not alone. We all know this dead-end: after having browsed through StackOverflow and Quora, realizing that not even one remotely similar question has been answered. So you roll up your sleeves and try to frame a question...

But then you realize that your particular problem is so hard that you even need guidance in asking.

TwoToReal is for questions and problems like this! And it helps by giving you back what you invest: your attention.

Get going

Let's say you have a technical problem and you don't know the cause of it. For example, you think that your graphics card is not running at full speed or your desktop is restarting every now and then without reason. Things like these are typically very difficult to describe precisely enough to get a decent answer for. In this case, you need someone to guide you through the myriad of possible reasons, configuration files, and traps. In the best case, you are in a real–time communication with an expert. And hopefully, that expert would be pulled into that chat immediately after you have tried to come up with the notoriously vague question. This is all what TwoToReal is doing for you.

How to start

But for this to work it requires that you

  1. go to your profile page
  2. provide your Jabber or Google instant messaging address (or any other Jabber–based one) and
  3. connect it to TwoToReal's IM account
  4. Your IM client will ask you to authorize TwoToReal's IM bot

Bragging (or the lack of it)

TwoToReal is not about bragging. So, instead of putting "bragging numbers" (aka karma, points, etc.) into the face of every user, we don't show them at all. In fact, internally we don't even measure the "godness" of users. Instead, TwoToReal simply measures how much time a user devotes to answering other users' questions – and how timely she reacts. This is then factored in, once she has a question. This has the effect that nobodoy has the urge to brag or answer because of bragging...

Quite the contrary: over time other users will read your answers and decide at one point or another that you are an expert in field X. They can then invite you as their personal expert, which you then can see in your expert page – that's really something you can then be proud of!

So, in order to get quick responses of many experts, it requires that you – a potential expert in other fields – are willing to give back your time to someone else who is requiring help.

Under the hood, TwoToReal will keep track of when you are more likely to help other people and when not (by not answering a IM request for a new question). It will also learn over time which topics you are more likely to help with. We use some nice machine learning machinery to make this happen.

Hopefully, TwoToReal will be able to get you answered your more intricate questions. If that is true, you will also have fun to help others answering their until now unanswerable questions.

Thanks for trusting us,
The TwoToReal team