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Q: Google Ratings ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   10 Comments )
Subject: Google Ratings
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: taxmama-ga
List Price: $2.50
Posted: 22 Nov 2002 16:17 PST
Expires: 22 Dec 2002 16:17 PST
Question ID: 112860
Hi Researchers,

How do you feel about getting your questions rated?

Me? I put all this great positive energy into my answers.
Then, wait on pins and needles to see the rating.

And when I think I've done a really great job, it's so
depressing when someone rates it poorly.

And when they don't rate it all...don't you wonder why?

What about you?

Clarification of Question by taxmama-ga on 22 Nov 2002 17:03 PST

Please use the Comments section to answer
so we can get the most feedback.

Don't lock this question up for hours so people are shut out.

I'll rate the best response and accept that as the answer ;~)

Request for Question Clarification by webadept-ga on 27 Nov 2002 19:27 PST

We have a forum for discussing these issues, if you look in your
newsletter. In fact there are two. GA really isn't a discussion board,
it's a question answer service. Are you looking for an answer, or a
discussion? By promoting the misuse of this service, you are promoting
the continuing effects you are asking about. If you are looking for a
straight answer, you are willing to pay a researcher for, please
indicate that, otherwise you might consider closing this question and
opening a discussion in one of the venues supplied for that purpose.



Clarification of Question by taxmama-ga on 27 Nov 2002 22:53 PST
Hi Adept,

Yes, I've visited the Researcher forum.
Didn't see anything much going on there except posts from you. 
Perhaps I was too confused. I tried to post, but the system 
said something about only the moderator being able to post.
So, I moved on.

Frankly, this was intended to be kind of a fun challenge,
much like this question (although, I didn't want 500 answers).

And certainly, I have every intention of paying for a response.
Why not? This is a legitimate question.

We have all kinds of silly, frivolous and fun things that people
ask here. There's no need for reprimands like that. Please
read the newsletter - it actually spells that out.

Thank you for your comment. But it's not the one I'm willing to
pay for. 

Best wishes

Your TaxMama-ga

Request for Question Clarification by bobby_d-ga on 28 Nov 2002 02:24 PST

I appreciate your comments, but I think you will find that Webadept's
forum is an extremely useful tool in the discussion of such subjects. 
I imagine that you entered a sub-forum of the Researchers forum when
you entered - one designed for specific information only, and Webadept
keeps these managed by himself to save our troubles, and he does it
very well indeed.  If you enter the "Google Researchers" sub-forum,
you will be able to post and reply to posts freely, and you will find
a vast array of discussions.

Hope to see you there...


Clarification of Question by taxmama-ga on 28 Nov 2002 08:59 PST
Hey bobby_d,

Happy Thanksgiving. And thank you so much for clarifying.

The Answers Editors praise the forum highly.
So, I am sure it must be helpful.

Chuckle. I'll go back and try it again. When I get back.

Let me leave this question open until December 10th, when I
return from vacation. 

So, please check back then. I'll announce the person who is
entitled to the fee. And hopefully, you'll post a few words
in the answer section at that time.

If more than one person really inspires or amuses, I'll
post the question again so they can also get paid.

Best wishes for a lovely Thanksgiving and Chanukah to all.

Your TaxMama-ga

P.S. Naturally, the Researcher(s) I select will be assured
of a five star rating.

Clarification of Question by taxmama-ga on 10 Dec 2002 14:50 PST
Hi All, 

Just got back to town. 

I'd like to close this question. So unless anyone has anything else to
add, I'd like to have legolas-ga post an answer for the payment and
the rating. 

Also, claudietta-ga, please be on the lookout for a question with
your name on it. Your observation about the weighted ratings was
excellent. It's well worth acknowledgement. 

Thank you all for the time, effort and observations.

Best wishes,

Your TaxMama-ga
Subject: Re: Google Ratings
Answered By: legolas-ga on 10 Dec 2002 15:32 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks taxmama! I'd like to thank my Wise Owl for telling me to answer
the question (as I didn't even think to read through the RFC's again
;) ), and you for such a fun question to answer. Oh, and to the
academy, and my wife for... oh, what's that, my time's up? oh.. ok
then.. :)

Thanks again!


Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 11 Dec 2002 09:42 PST
Wow! Thanks so much for the 5-stars, and the tip! I'm speechless!
taxmama-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Thanks for the delightful acceptance speech.

Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: leeann-ga on 25 Nov 2002 10:28 PST

The rating system is quite subjective, and depends on how open the
user is. A lot of people come here with a certain question or
objective in mind, and they have a pre-conceived notion of what they
are going to get. As researchers, however, we cannot read their minds
or divine what, in their heads, makes an answer very good or not so
good. A first time user who feels like they did not get a good answer
sometimes doesn't realize that he or she can request clarification to
get exactly what he wants.

I have found that my best ratings come from those who I interact with
the most. If I have a question, I make sure to ask before taking my
research in the wrong direction. I always make sure the user knows
that I am open to questions about my answer and am always willing to
clarify it.

As far as the lack of ratings, that, my friend, is human laziness to a
great degree (this, of course, is my own personal opinion). Once a
user has received an answer, there is a prevalent perception that they
got everything they need. Rating the researcher forces him to go out
of his way. The people who are most motivated to rate a researcher are
those that are extremely pleased, feel some kind of connection with
the researcher, or those who are not pleased.

Generally, I don't see a lack of a rating as something to lament. If
someone doesn't rate me, I assume my answer was satisfactory and that
they just moved on. Hope this helps!

Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: taxmama-ga on 25 Nov 2002 16:48 PST
Hey Leeann,

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

And here I was thinking, if people don't rate it...
they're just not happy. 

You're probably quite right. 

Best wishes,

Your TaxMama-ga
Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: legolas-ga on 25 Nov 2002 19:51 PST
The rating system on GA is not uniformly applied in my opinion. What I
mean by that is that some people view 3-stars as representing
"Excellent Work" while others view 3-stars as "adequate". I've been
tipped on 4-stars. Received a one-star rating (just once) after having
almost written a thesis on the topic (or, at least it felt like that
to me :) ).

I think the rating method on GA could use some fine-tuning--perhaps a
more eBayish system of "Positive", "Neutral" or "Negative" with a
'number' to represent the number of "Positives" you've received less
any "Negatives". But, that might put new researchers at a disadvantage
to older members who simply have had more time to accumulate a high

Perhaps less emphasis on 'stars' and more on 'written feedback'. For
example, instead of assigning a point value, rate the post based on a
1 - 2 sentence comment. Short enough for people to read through a
bunch quickly, but, not long enough for customers to write entire
dissertations about why they thought the answer was good or bad. It
also leaves the question of 'overall' rating to the reader: not to a
math game...

Just my two cents...

Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: efn-ga on 25 Nov 2002 21:10 PST
Hi taxmama,

I'm new here, but I have had a lot of experience with this issue on
another question-answering website.

My observations are:

It is very common for the people who answer the questions to care a
lot about how they are rated.  They often get offended if not rated,
and insulted if rated too low.  Sometimes they burn out and quit the
whole game in disgust.

It is also very common for the people who ask the questions not to
rate the answers.  As leeann noted, there is not much incentive for
them to bother.  I also believe that answering questions is likely to
be a bigger part of the answerer's life than asking them is of the
inquirer's life.  In other words, while the expert is spending hours
reading, researching, and answering questions and checking for
ratings, the inquirer spends forty seconds writing a question, then a
couple of minutes reading the answer, and then goes on with his or her

I think the whole process is more enjoyable if you set your
expectations low and don't care too much about ratings.  It's nice to
have your hard work recognized and appreciated, but the chances are
that it won't happen a lot of the time--at least until Google Answers
gives a rebate for a rating.

Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: sublime1-ga on 27 Nov 2002 14:33 PST

I've had the same experience as legolas, of having
been tipped while receiving a 4-star rating and very
positive feedback. Questioners don't seem to realize
that the 5th star would, many times, feel better than
the tip, since both Google and clients use this to
gauge our performance.

And, like legolas, I've experienced one-star ratings
after pouring my heart into researching a question.
As efn-ga notes, this was very depressing, and affected
my motivation very negatively for a time. In some cases,
when the price was $25 or less, I had the answer removed
rather than face the necessity of answering enough
subsequent questions with a 5-star rating to offset the
1-star rating. In other cases, when the price was higher,
I had to accept that, if I set my standards too high,
I'll waste more time than I can afford to, and not make
enough $ to make this a worthwhile pursuit. I've 
attempted to adjust my sensitivity accordingly.

I'm not too disturbed by unrated answers, in that they
don't count against the average, but it does leave me
a bit unsettled, since it's not clear whether they have
decided not to rate you, neglected to rate you, or will
return in a week or two with a disatisfied rating. In
some cases, I wonder if it's not a blessing, in that
perhaps they decided not to rate the answer rather than
give it a low rating...LOL...perhaps thinking that NO
stars is worse than 1-star. Who knows how people think?
Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: ericynot-ga on 27 Nov 2002 15:27 PST
I'd prefer to be rated, good or bad, on each question answered just
for the feedback. And, if a client's going to give me a low rating, I
do want a written explanation of the reason so the rating will provide
some useful guidance.

Having said that, I've learned that about a third of my clients just
won't go to the trouble, and you just have to accept that.

Interestingly, I recently had somebody assign a rating to a question
more than two weeks after I answered it, so I go back every once in a
while to check on the older ones.
Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: claudietta-ga on 27 Nov 2002 15:52 PST
Two comments:

1. Unrated Answers - I feel that askers who have a difficult time
assessing how good (or bad) an answer is, have a difficult time rating
my questions.  I tend to answer questions which materials are not
readily accessible to the general public.

2. Rating Calculations - I am also disturbed that the 2-dollar
questions are weighted the same as the 200-dollar questions.  I wish
that Google would to a weighted-average rating, instead of a
straight-average rating.  The 2-dollar askers are usually unreasonable
in their expectations, and I have learned to simply stay away from
them for that reason.

Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: taxmama-ga on 27 Nov 2002 16:07 PST
Now, that's a good point, Claudietta.

The only poor rating I got was on a $5.00 question.
Uh, by a politicican, of course ;~)

Yet, it IS rated with the same weight, alongside the $100 ones. 

So far, all the answers have been very interesting.

Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: cynthia-ga on 27 Nov 2002 16:13 PST

It's all relative. I answered over 11,000 questions at (a
knowledge/expert site), about a quarter of them required some kind of
research. We received (1 to 5) star ratings there. As a result,
ratings mean very little to me, ...except --at Google they affect my
standing as a researcher, whereas at knowpost --ratings only affected
others OPINIONS of me.
Subject: Re: Google Ratings
From: legolas-ga on 29 Nov 2002 20:17 PST
This site is called Google Answers:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Google Answers.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is GA Day:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on GA day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Google of Mountain View,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Google Answers Day shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we Google Answers Researchers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon GA day.

-- with LARGE appologies to Shakespear... I'm sure I could have done
this better, but, hey.. It's still cute :)

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