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Q: ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: izibim-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 10 Aug 2003 00:03 PDT
Expires: 09 Sep 2003 00:03 PDT
Question ID: 242035
From the moment that I discovered this site, I've wanted a job here. I
believe that it would be a perfect fit for me. I soon found out that
applications aren't currently being accepted. So, I decided to write
to and ask what would improve the
possibility of myself being hired in the future. As with finding the
answer to any question, considering alternative sources seems like a
good idea to me. My question is, despite the fact that Google Answers isn't
accepting applications, is there anything I could do to improve the
possibility of myself being hired in the future, or to actually be
hired at this point?

I also figure that this isn't a terrible way to stress my interest.

And yes, I can think of at least one response that is worthy of a
tip... =)
Subject: Re:
Answered By: missy-ga on 10 Aug 2003 15:51 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello izibim,  

There probably isn't much you can do to get yourself hired at this
point, since Google Answers has, according to dLib magazine, 800
contracted Researchers.  Additional researchers were being brought
aboard for a brief interval if they came personally recommended by an
existing Google Answers Researcher (and passed the screening
requirements, of course), but that window of opportunity is now

Both current Researchers and prospective applicants have been told in
no uncertain that no more Researchers are being activated at this
time.  It would appear the program is full, and not even bribing the
Editors is going to help anyone's chances of being picked up right

To the best of my knowledge, there are hundreds of people interested
(some desperately so) in becoming Google Answers Researchers - heaven
knows, my inbox sees eight or ten people a day telling me how
incredibly interested they are and what a perfect fit they would be,
and can't I put in a good word for them to demonstrate how interested
they are so they can be Researchers too?

I'm afraid that doesn't help either.

That said, there may be a small possibility of being able to enter the
program in the future, should the program expand and find itself in
need.  There is absolutely no guarantee this will happen in the near
future, or even at all, but here are some questions to think about in
the event that Google Answers resumes taking applications:

You write:

<<From the moment that I discovered this site, I've wanted a job

Desire is certainly an admirable trait in a prospective applicant, but
how have you *demonstrated* this desire?  I don't mean asking the
Editors to make an exception or posting a question here.  Lots of
people do that.

I mean *really* demonstrated your interest.  How fully have you
participated in Google Answers to date?  How many questions have you
commented on, either to add a piece of information to an answer that's
been posted, or to ask a customer if he's tried an option that no one
else has asked him about?

Have you offered a hint to any Researchers who've been going back and
forth with a customer to try to untangle a tricky computer issue? 
Posted the contact information for an additional supplier of some
obscure item a customer has been desperately seeking, to supplement an
answer already given?  Added another perspective to the many history
and current events questions floating about?

Saying you're very, very interested in something is all well and fine,
but sometimes it's necessary to really *show* it.

You also write:

<<I believe that it would be a perfect fit for me.>>

Would it?  Why do you believe this?  What special skills and expertise
can you offer the customers?  Assistance with complex calculations? 
Can you find obscure book or movie titles with next to no trouble?  Is
your head stuffed with more pop culture trivia than one could shake a
stick at?  Can you fix a computer without ever laying hands on it? 
Are you willing to spend hours on a complex query for very little
money?  (Believe me, it's not enough to make a living from.)  What are
you *really good* at, and how can you turn that into an asset for the
Google Answers community?

What about your customer service skills?  Are you patient with
customers who might be confused?  Can you write witty, yet relevant
and polite answers that will satisfy your customers and make them want
to come back?  Are you willing to work with a customer until s/he is
completely satisfied, or are you more inclined to think that once
you've answered, your responsibility is fulfilled?  Can you put the
needs of the customer first, no matter what?  How hard are you willing
to work on a given question before throwing in the towel?  Are you
willing to suffer an unusual sleep schedule when working on a complex
question that might require *days* of research?

These are some things that are helpful to think about.

In the meantime, consider that some of our best and brightest
Researchers were those "culled from the herd", as it were.  Their
comments and freely offered, useful assistance caught the attention of
the Researcher community, which stomped its collective foot and said
"Give us that one!  We want that one to join us!"  And the Editors saw
that we were right and granted our wish, and it was good.

Perhaps you have that same potential.  We don't know, the Editors
don't know...only you know at this point, and you have to decide if
you're willing to show them and us.

Have a look at the open questions.  Hit the "Date" toggle at the top
of the column and peruse the ones that are about to expire unanswered.
 Can you answer any of them?  Or offer some piece of information that
will be useful to the customer?  Do so in the comments.

Browse the older questions, the ones that have already expired.  Are
there any that interest you?  Any that you think you can add something
to that will benefit the customer?  Again, do so in the comments -
even though the questions have expired, the customers still receive
notification of activity on them.

Be advised, chasing after freshly posted questions and answering them
fully in the comments will catch the attention of the community as
well, but not in the way that you want.  I can't speak for the entire
community, but I know that I'm reluctant to throw my support behind
someone who deliberately undercuts the Researchers.

If you've got what it takes and you're willing to demonstrate it, you
may very well be setting yourself up for a good chance of being
brought on, should Google Answers ever resume accepting applications
again.  Understand, though, that we've already been told "No more
Researchers right now", so even if we did holler and complain and
demand that you be brought on, there's no guarantee it would help.

Here's wishing you good luck!

izibim-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
Well, I thought it was a cute idea. Anyways, your answer was great.
Thanks for your time. I'll try following through on your advice, and
then just wait to see how things work out.

Best Wishes,


Subject: Re:
From: pinkfreud-ga on 10 Aug 2003 22:05 PDT
I wholeheartedly endorse what missy said about participating in Google
Answers and indicating one's interest and dedication by making

I was one of those who became a Google Answers Researcher by attending
the Peanut Gallery School of Researching. In other words, I graduated
from being a frequent commenter to being a GAR. At the time I found
GA, the doors to incoming Researchers were closed. I jumped right in
as a lay person and posted comments right and left, occasionally even
giving a full answer (on older questions that had stumped everyone

After a few hundred comments, I was brought onboard, presumably so
that I wouldn't keep giving away answers for free. ;-)

I cannot guarantee that this will work for everyone (or, indeed for
anyone, at the present time), but having my potential recognized in
the "Add a Comment" section made all the difference to me.

~pinkfreud-ga, Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re:
From: hofferino-ga on 10 Aug 2003 23:26 PDT
What baffles me is this:

I haven't studied the issue thoroughly, but it seems to me that a vast
majority of questions are going unanswered. Furthermore, again
unscientific, but it seems that the questions that are being answered
are by and large being answered by the same 20-30 researchers again
and again.

So, 1) Where are the 800+ researchers that are holding back the rest
(myself included!)? 2) What is to be lost by bringing more researchers
into the fold? (If they're concerned about taking away from the
already established researchers, I have a great suggestion: Why not
take on new researchers, but only allow them to answer questions that
have gone more than 24-48 hours unaswered, until they "graduate" by
answering a certain quota of such questions, and will at that point be
allowed to answer all questions.) 3) Why not weed out some of the less
productive answerers, and allow some fresh blood on board, or perhaps
at least demote them to not answering questions within first 24-48 hrs
Subject: Re:
From: chromedome-ga on 11 Aug 2003 00:49 PDT
You raise an interesting point, hofferino, about the relatively small
number of researchers answering the majority of questions.  As a
less-than-prolific researcher, dating from May of 2002, perhaps I may
offer some perspective.

The large number of unanswered questions on the site is not due to any
lack of effort or diligence on the part of the existing researchers. 
They have been, for the most part, subjected to a great deal of
scrutiny.  They remain unanswered for a number of reasons, but several
spring to mind.

Some are simply unanswerable, or patently cannot be given an answer
that will suit the questioner.  Others require a degree of research
that absolutely does not correspond to the fee offered.  Still more -
a sore point touched on above - have been answered in the comments,
and no researcher has felt it necessary to add to the information
already given.  Finally, some questions simply raise a researcher's
hackles.  We've all looked at questions and decide that "whoever
answers this, it's not gonna be me..."

As for less-active researchers being culled to make way for "new
blood", a less-active researcher I take a dim view of that. 
Take a look at how many questions were asked yesterday.  I count 74,
and 73 the day before.  That's not a lot of work for 800 researchers,
or even the 300+ who communicate regularly among ourselves. 
Especially when you take into consideration the number of questions
which are unanswerable, or frivolous, or priced at a low enough level
to be uninteresting to most researchers (it's hard to justify the time
at $1.50 a crack).

At present, then, like many others, I have decided to bide my time
against the day the Powers That Be decide to advertise the site more
actively.  At an admittedly unscientific guess, I believe the current
crew of researchers could easily absorb three to four times the volume
of questions we currently see.  Until that day, I'll continue to
browse the site a couple of times a week, and answer a question once
in a while as opportunity presents itself.

As Missy and Pinkfreud have indicated, the best bet for anyone wanting
to become a researcher is to tackle the backlog of unanswered
questions.  If you can lick questions that have stumped the rest of
us, I guarantee you'll gain the attention of the Editors.  How quickly
that translates into a "welcome aboard" I could not begin to
speculate, but it will definitely put you ahead of the pack.

Good luck, 

-Chromedome (44 answers in 15 months' researching)

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