What is DDIChat?
DDIChat is a chat platform that allows individuals to chat with subject matter experts in different fields.
How does DDIChat work?
DDIChat allows individuals and businesses to find domain experts, book chat sessions with them, and pay only for the time spent during a session.
In what form(s) does DDIChat session take place?
DDIChat (v1) offers text-chat sessions only.
DDIChat (v2) offers text, audio, video chat sessions with more useful and unique features, and is expected to release in July-September of 2021.
Why should we trust the quality of DDIChat Experts in a given category?
DDI has a strong and growing presence in tech, finance, and entrepreneurship.
With a strong knowledge-based audience of about 800k - 1 million readers per month from all over the world (on our main site and its popular medium publication), we consistently rank high on AI, blockchain, and other topics. You can read more about it here.
For now, we invite experts in different fields to join us primarily from our DDI medium publication. But we are also inviting experts from outside the medium community.
With the above, however, it doesn’t mean each of our experts will be able to help solve all kinds of problems in a certain field. We don’t mean that.
The primary issue is that expertise is relative. The client who is seeking advice may already be quite knowledgeable in a certain area. In this situation, the expectation of expertise being experienced by the client will be much higher than that from an average client.
Instead of guaranteeing the absolute standard of expertise (which doesn’t exist especially in a world that is changing fast), we encourage our clients to go beyond the limitations of language when the word “expert” is referred to. What we genuinely mean is that DDIChat offers a cluster of professionals who demonstrates a level of expertise, passion, and availability for informal discussions on projects/problems in different fields.
Use it as a platform to find people to explore solutions to problems and projects related to a certain field. Learn from each other. And learn together.
Is there a way to filter through the experts using different criteria, such as price, category, location, etc?
On our platform, we have a good initial foundation to filter expertise through on-going review and rating, improved filtering functionality, and real-time listing of popular topics / experts, which will be implemented in upcoming releases.
What fields of expertise are currently being offered on DDIChat platform?
Currently we offer more than 20 categories of expertises, and more are being added as we speak. You can check out our expertise coverage here.
Can DDIChat user suggest a new area of expertise?
Any site visitor can suggest a new expertise by submitting this form.
We will consider the newly suggested categories and add them over time.
What are the mechanics (or steps) of booking a DDIChat session?
Step 1: Pick a data scientist from the category. In this case, we will select Natassha as an example;
Step 2: Scroll down on the page and you will see the blue button, click on it to enter the booking page;
Step 3: On the booking page, press “Book Now”
DDIChat client is charged using the concept of BlockTime,
BlockTime is specified by the expert. It could be 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or other custom length of time. The whole amount that the client will be charged will only be known after the client ends the session, and the charge will be computed based on the number of blocktimes being used during the chat session.
At the stage of each booking, though, client will only be charged the 1st block of time when Expert confirms the booking over email. Each additional blocktime will be charged when the session goes beyond the initial block, according to the timer on the upper right side of the session window. If the chat session is shorter than the initial block of time, client will not be charged (as the initial block is already charged when expert confirms the consultation over email). But if the chat session goes beyond the initial block, there will be 1 final charge that is based on the # of additional blocks being used in the session.
Step 4: After clicking “Book Now”, user selects the date and time according to the user’s time zone (which is auto-detected by our system). It will then display the time slots when the expert is available, and notify the expert the client’s preferred time according to his/her time zone.”
To book a session, client will fill out his/her contact email, and more importantly, what the chat session is about. This information will be sent to expert through email, including any simple attachment (such as a n image or pdf file) that is relevant for the session.
The design here is to ensure expert can help with a client's problem before confirming the session.
After entering the credit card information on pressing the “Continue to payment” button, the charge of the 1st blocktime won’t be made UNTIL the expert clicks “confirm” in the booking request email.
Step 5: Now that the expert has confirmed the consultation, both client and expert will receive a chat confirmation email, which includes a special link for the chat session. At the specific session time, expert and client will need to click that specific URL to enter the chat session.
What if the expert doesn’t respond to the booking request?
The DDIChat session request will be automatically cancelled if expert doesn’t click the Confirm button (in the booking notification email) 30 minutes before the session.
In this case, no charge would be made to client’s credit card.
Can the session be cancelled by client user?
Yes, client can cancel the chat session before expert confirms it over email. Client can cancel unconfirmed sessions inside the client’s account dashboard in https://app.ddichat.com.
After expert confirms the session, client cannot cancel the session on dashboard. If client wants to cancel it and receives the refund of the 1st blocktime’s fee, client will need to email DDIChat support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can the session be cancelled by expert user?
Yes, expert can cancel the chat session before he/she confirms the session over email. Expert can cancel unconfirmed sessions inside the expert’s account dashboard in https://app.ddichat.com.
After expert confirms the session, he/she cannot cancel the session on dashboard. If expert wants to cancel it and process a refund of the 1st blocktime’s fee for the client, expert will need to email DDIChat support at email@example.com.
Does DDIChat retain the information in the chat sessions?
To mitigate potential disputes from DDIChat clients, information exchanged during the chat sessions will be retained for a period of 7 days, after which they will be automatically deleted from the system.
Is DDIChat liable for what is shared by Expert Users to Clients during DDIChat sessions?
Since there is no control over what is being shared between Experts and Clients in DDIChat sessions, DDIChat cannot be held liable for any material or content that is being shared in the DDIChat sessions. DDIChat should be seen as a tool (like a messaging app) for individuals to connect with individuals, and will not be legally responsible for any misbehavior or offence caused by either side during DDIChat sessions.
What is DDIChat Expert User Account?
Here’s a list of useful resources for DDIChat Expert Users.
All DDIChat User Account has the basic function of a Client Account.
An Expert User Account is a Client Account that has the Expert functionality enabled on the DDIChat platform.
It means a user who has a DDIChat Expert account can use the same account to book a consultation with another expert. To learn about how to use the Client functionality, please refer to the FAQs for Client User Account section.
But a user who has a DDIChat Client account cannot access the set of functionalities that are designed for Expert Users only.
For any person who would like to have an Expert Account, he/she will need to fill out this form.
If the person is granted an Expert Account, his/her existing Client Account (if any) will be upgraded to Expert Account.
If the person is granted an Expert Account but he/she doesn’t have a Client Account, he/she will need to register one here.
Anyone who successfully books a consultation as a Client User would have automatically registered a Client User account. To gain access to that account, though, one needs to reset password with the email address one uses in the consultation booking above.
What is the set of DDIChat Expert functionalities that are enabled for Expert User Account?
Expert functionalities include:
- Set up expert profile page (access the guide here);
- Expert profile page that is set up with profile image, tagline, and areas of expertise defined will be shown on our Expert Listing Page;
- Select Area(s) of Expertise and launch DDIChat service on those area(s);
- Define length of BlockTime (BT, in minutes) for each area of expertises;
- Specify fees (in USD) for each BlockTime for each area of expertise on the account;
- Make availability settings so Client User can make bookings at days and time slots when you are available for DDIChat sessions;
- Make payout request;
I have been approved as an Expert user, but after setting up my account profile, it doesn’t show up on the expert listing page https://app.ddichat.com/experts. What is the reason?
For better experience on the client’s side, we can show expert profile on our expert listing page only if the expert has made the following settings in his/her profile:
- Service categories (i.e. area(s) of expertise) are selected;
- A profile image is provided;
- A tag line is provided;
With all 3 of the above specified, your profile will show up on the expert listing page and can be shown when a category is selected.
For an expert user, is it necessary for me to show my authentic image and legal name on the profile?
Profile image: It is advisable to show a professional profile image but it is not essential. It will however improve the chances that client users will make a booking with you if you show up as an authentic individual. If your situation forbids you from showing your real image, consider using an individual avatar here or a similar image.
Legal name: It is not a must to show your legal name on an expert profile page. However, DDI team would internally verify expert user as individual (not agency or business or a logo) and perform the necessary due-diligence in the approval process to ensure a certain level of expertise is being delivered to client users through DDIChat sessions.
Is an expert user required to be an individual? Can it be a business entity?
Expert user must be an individual and it cannot be a business.
What is BlockTime (BT)?
We use the concept of BlockTime (BT) to measure and charge client for the DDIChat session. Expert user defines the length of BT, and specifies the fees for each BT.
After client makes a booking with an expert, client will enter payment information but will not be charged the initial BT until expert user “confirms” the session. Subsequent BTs will then be charged when consultation goes beyond the 1st BT.
How should Expert determine the price of each BT?
It depends on many factors: the area of expertise, the expert’s branding, rating, etc. For examples, in the legal field, a typical lawyer charges $600 - $1000 USD an hour. If an expert in the equivalent field uses this as a reference to price a 30-min BT, he/she should price the 30-min session at $300 / 30 minutes.
But, since DDIChat is a new marketplace, it will take time for this market to be formed, in which true market price emerges from forces of demand and supply.
Lastly, because of the cost of maintaining the platform, we currently require the implied rate per minute of BT to be $1 USD / minute.
It means, for examples, a 15-minute BT should at least be priced at $15.
How does DDIChat work?
Please refer to the corresponding answer in FAQs for Client User Account.
How does DDIChat Expert get paid?
DDIChat Expert user receives all revenue net of platform fee via Stripe/Paypal tied to the payment email address specified in the Expert User account.
When does DDIChat Expert get paid?
[Temporary for current version] Expert user clicks the “New Payout Request” button on the Payouts tab in dashboard, and a payment, after platform fee, will be sent to the payment email address through stripe / paypal.
[In Upcoming Version 2.x] DDIChat Expert user receives payment on a bi-weekly basis, disbursed before noon EST on the 16th and 1st of next month.
How much does DDIChat Expert share in the gross revenue?
[Temporary for current version] Expert User will share a fixed 75% of gross revenue of the DDIChat sessions.
[In Upcoming Version 2.x] In the new version, a volume-tiered split arrangement will be implemented, based on Expert’s revenue for the period since the last payout date (see question above).
Expert will share % of revenue based on the following:
|Expert Shares||If Revenue X since last payout date|
|75%||X < Q1|
|80%||Q1 <= X < Q2|
|85%||Q2 <= X < Q3|
|90%||X >= Q3|
Initially, Q1, Q2, and Q3 will be $500, $1000, and $1500 respectively.
Once DDIChat has more transactions, we will implement quartile cutoff points for Q1, Q2, and Q3 for each revenue period before payout date, based on Q1 = 25%, Q2 = 50%, and Q3 = 75% quartile for all expert users’ revenue in the same revenue generation bi-weekly period before a payout date.
Quartile cutoff points for each payout date will be posted in the expert user account (the payout tab).
What are the advantages for the volume-tiered split arrangement?
The volume tiers have 3 effects for the expert users.
- Expert user will be rewarded with a higher share % of the revenue if he/she generates more revenue in the system (compared to all other expert users);
- In order for an expert user to consistently exceed a quartile cutoff Q1, Q2, and Q3, he/she will not be charging too low for each BlockTime (BT). The reason is that if an expert user charges too low, such as $1 per min (or $15 per 15 minutes), it will take much more BTs for a given revenue amount to be generated. Since quartile cutoffs are determined by pooling all experts’ revenue contribution to the system, pricing as a whole will gravitate toward an optimal point where expert user will price session time with an upward bias, but yet will be restrained by competitive force (which is a downward bias). The overall effect is still DDIChat operation (including marketing for the system) will be supported more (in %) by low-revenue-generating expert users than high-revenue-generating expert users.
- Because of the revenue tiers, expert user will be motivated to also join in the marketing of his/her own DDIChat session, by putting the links to expert booking page in their articles and social postings. The aggregate effect of most experts doing this will help make DDIChat gain popularity, which will indirectly benefit all expert users (because they are all shown on the expert listing page). In a way, expert user who promotes his/her own DDIChat session will stand a higher chance of exceeding higher quartile cutoff, and thus share higher % in his/her own revenue stream.
How does DDIChat market its service?
DDIChat markets its service through
- Medium articles and main site articles;
- Social Media postings;
- Paid ad campaigns (at category levels);
Are there suggestions for Expert User on how they might market their own DDIChat session?
We recommend the following ways of self-marketing for DDIChat expert users:
- Introducing his/her own chat sessions in his/her articles (even articles written in the past) and pasting the Expert URL in the articles;
- Introducing his/her own chat sessions using social media or youtube video;
- Use the DDI image creator https://ddimages.xyz/ddichat to generate image quotes that are relevant for his/her area(s) of expertise; to gain access of this tool, register a new account at https://ddimages.xyz and send a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “DDImages”. The access of the DDIChat sub-tool will be provided to the expert user. Of course, anyone who is a normal user of DDImages is welcome to use the main tool to create images for DDI articles as well.