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Q: GA etiquette ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   18 Comments )
Subject: GA etiquette
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: barneca-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 28 Nov 2006 15:17 PST
Expires: 28 Dec 2006 15:17 PST
Question ID: 786313
this subject has been bandied about in a few scattered comment threads
before, but i'd like to invite a (hopefully large) cross section of
opinions from GAR's and GAC's.

i just saw a $25 question that i knew the answer to.  after some
hesitation, i didn't answer it (if it had been $2, i would have).  i
then changed my mind, and went back to answer the question and save
the GAQ their $25, but it was locked.  this was just as well, since it
saved me making a decision.  but it got me thinking.

GAR's: what do you think of GAC's that post complete, final answers to
questions, so you can't in good conscience answer it yourself?

GAC's: how do you decide whether or not to post complete, final
answers to questions?

i know there are no written rules, i?m more interested in how the GA
culture has evolved in the absence of a written rule.  and i know
different GAC?s have different opinions.  i guess my overarching
question is whether there is a widely-held consensus on this, with a
few outliers, or whether people fall into two main camps, or whether
opinions are just all over the place.

i'm not talking about questions that have been around for a week or
two.  i think everyone agrees those a fair game.  i'm more interested
in recently asked questions with a decent likelihood of being answered
by a real GAR.

since i'm looking for opinion, not fact, no GAR's opinion will be
better than any other's.  so if GAR's will please guess a number
between 1 and 100 and include it with their comments, after a suitable
interval i will invite the one who comes closest to the number i have
just chosen to formally answer the question.


Clarification of Question by barneca-ga on 28 Nov 2006 15:33 PST
well, pinkfreud, that's slightly embarrassing.

i guess i'll leave this open in case anyone new wants to comment.  i
know i wasn't around back then.  plus, i'm actually *welcoming*
comments from GAC's.

and go ahead and guess a number, pinkfreud.


Clarification of Question by barneca-ga on 29 Nov 2006 06:18 PST
it has come to my attention that this question is now moot (see  i guess the writing has been on the
wall for a while, but it's still very disappointing.

pink, please go ahead and formally answer the question.  if you don't
mind me sneaking a new question in, i'd be interested to know if GAR's
were given any advance notice, or whether the rug was just yanked out
from under you.  if that's none of my business, saying so is a
legitimate answer too.

note that i have decreased the price as much as possible, to (in my
own small way) deprive "the new Microsoft" of as much revenue as i
can.  rest assured i will make it up in the tip.

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 29 Nov 2006 19:44 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Thank you for the number-guessing competition! My guess of '42' was
just a lucky stab in the dark. If I had psychic powers, I might've
known that GA was gonna fold, but it wouldn't have mattered, since I'd
have won the lottery. However, like practically everyone else, I
learned about GA's demise just last night.

At least I don't have to turn in my nifty Google Cap: it's keeping
what's left of my brains from flying away.

Best wishes always,
barneca-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $20.00
hi pinkfreud,

on top of everything else, sorry to hear the GAR’s were given so
little notice.  hope you all land on your feet, and especially hope
you find some way to stick together.

nice hat, though the brand name has taken a pretty big hit from my
perspective.  i have to say, it’s rather jarring to put a face to the
name.  ever since i started lurking on GA, something about your
answers and comments have reminded me of a friend i used to know a
long time ago in seattle.  i guess i subconsciously associated her
face with your name, and my first thought on seeing the image was
“that’s not what pinkfreud looks like!”

i doubt i need to actually say “goodbye” to anyone; there appear to be
a couple of sites ramping up where GAlaxians will be able to keep tabs
on each other if they so desire.  i'll probably check in from time to
time to satisfy my curiosity.  but man, am i ever going to miss the GA
environment.  i doubt we will ever see it’s equal.  i hope i’m wrong.

thanks, pink, for being what i know many of us here consider to be the
archetype of a GAR, and the soul of GA.

see ya around.

-chuck barnes aka barneca

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: pinkfreud-ga on 28 Nov 2006 15:26 PST

Some of the remarks here may be of interest to you:
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: pinkfreud-ga on 28 Nov 2006 15:36 PST
For the number-guessing contest, I'll choose 42. It's the Answer to
the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: zja-ga on 28 Nov 2006 15:36 PST
I've been perusing Google Answers for over a month now.  This is my
first comment and I'll soon be asking my first question (woohoo!), but
what I LOVE about this little Google Answers world is the sense of
teamwork amongst the GAR's.  Questions are answered politely,
efficiently, and everyone is doing their best to provide a complete
answer even if it is technically not their question to answer.  When
the GAR's disagree, it is generally done in the most respectful way
possible (see:
 Ultimately, I rarely leave GA with a negative vibe or feeling (unless
I finish my daily GA fix on a comment from pugwashjw65-ga).

Frequently the GAR's refer to past answers in order to save a
questioner from paying for an answer that is readily available on GA. 
Because of the volume of questions, I doubt the GAR's are left bitter
by a commentator answering a simple question.  In my month here, I do
not recall seeing a $50 or higher question answered in the comment
space before a GAR could get to it, so I doubt this is an issue that
causes much consternation.  I look forward to the GAR's take on this

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: barneca-ga on 28 Nov 2006 16:05 PST

you truly scare the hell out of me.  i just came back from reading the
thread you linked to, and i swear to god, that is my number.  even
more eerie, that is NOT the reason i chose the number, although i do
remember reading DA with very, very fond memories.  (pride and a
certain amount of middle-age angst prevent me from divulging the
reason i chose it :) ).

i hope you cannot truly read minds, as i have lately been having
thoughts about princess mandy that i am not proud of, and would not
want widely broadcast.

if you would, please hold off a while on officially answering the
question, as i suspect GAR's might skip over an answered question. 
but the purse will eventually be yours.  sorry, everyone else, but no
sense giving you a false sense of hope.

your humble, frightened servant (and possibly worshipper, if you can
do that anytime you want),

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: pinkfreud-ga on 28 Nov 2006 16:10 PST

I knew you'd say that. Bwahahahaha.

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: sublime1-ga on 28 Nov 2006 16:17 PST
I agree with the idea of commentors leaving questions with a higher
price alone for a few days, in terms of providing a complete answer.

It may not be well-known, but this is not just a hobby for some of
the researchers, and some of the researchers depend entirely on 
income from GA.

Additionally, since GA has lost its former link on the Google 'Other'
page, as well as other links, and since the email notification system
has gone unrepaired for so long, the question volume on GA has dropped
considerably in the past few months, increasing the difficulty of 
making decent income.

As a result, the competition for even $10 questions is much greater,
and their relative value has gone up considerably, such that I now
wince to see free answers in $10 questions, much less $50 ones.

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: purplecloud1-ga on 28 Nov 2006 18:21 PST
I'm, too, am in constant awe of the research and communication skills
of active GARs... and I have nothing but respect for them!

I'm wondering about something related to this question - sometimes
there's a lower price question to which I either know the answer or
have some helpful information. If I were to provide 'an answer' as a
comment, is there anything to stop a GAR from taking that 'comment'
and posting it as an answer? I wouldn't mind if they did... How do the
GARs feel about this?
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: pinkfreud-ga on 28 Nov 2006 18:31 PST

If a commenter posts an entire, correct, well-documented answer, most
GARs will not build on this by posting an answer unless we can add
something of significant value. But if a GAR has additional
information, and a free comment got the ball rolling, I see nothing
wrong in posting an official answer. I have occasionally used
information that was provided by helpful commenters as the basis for
an answer. If extra material of genuine worth is added, I feel OK
about this. But if I can't add anything of value, I won't proceed in
such a case.

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: keystroke-ga on 28 Nov 2006 19:45 PST
I agree that it seems best to all if commenters (most of whom are very
enlightening and intelligent and really have worthy things to say)
wait a bit before blurting out an answer.  It is not all bad if they
don't, though, as maybe the customer is happy and will come back
again.  Twice, however, I have gone back to a bookmarked question that
I wanted to answer and found that a commenter has given incorrect
information to a questioner, who then expired the question (and
presumably attempted to follow the incorrect advice).  When a question
is expired, no new comments can be added, so I had no way of alerting
the questioner.  So, while it is a rarity, there is the danger of a
commenter coming along who has no idea what they're talking about, and
perhaps the questioner doesn't realize the difference between that
person and a researcher.
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: markvmd-ga on 28 Nov 2006 20:29 PST
If it has been a few days with no definitive answer I'll weigh in if
possible. On more expensive questions I'll try to hold back some info
while giving GARs or the questioner a direction to look. I certainly
don't want to interfere with anyone making a buck, even if it is only
a buck. That's also why I'll set my price low and tip up-- why give
Segy and larry the money? They don't need it!

It's pleasant to comment on the less hard-and-fast questions, those
that are more educated opinion than hard fact. But nothing beats
reading the great answers and comments the GARs provide, sometimes
even in rhyme.

BTW, I've groused to g00gle monthly about the link to this area being
gone. They've even stopped sending me automated responses.    :-(
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: probonopublico-ga on 28 Nov 2006 22:16 PST
Hi Cab

I had prepared a very detailed Comment (a virtual Answer) with LOADS
of Links and LOTS of Search Strategies which I was about to post when

A vision suddenly appeared before me!

She had flaming red hair and arrived in a chariot with a sword in one
hand and a spear in the other.

And, like a typical lady driver, she crushed my poor mouse without
apparently noticing it was there.

No, not my computer mouse, the real one that had been flaunting itself
and stealing my lemon meringue pie.

Anyway, I was captivated by my visitor so I invited her to have a
drink. After a few magnums she told me that she was a Jeannie and that
her mission was to travel the world as a sort of Nightdress Errant.

Sorry but I was so distracted by my visitor that I forgot all about
your question. Please forgive me.

Maybe next time?

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: frde-ga on 29 Nov 2006 02:24 PST
I see avoiding nicking questions as a matter of common sense
- if everyone did it, the Answerers would disappear, and reading their
stuff is a pleasure

Incidentally there are 42 US gallons in a Barrel of oil
- I wonder if Douglas Adams had that in mind

I would not be surprized ...
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: barneca-ga on 29 Nov 2006 07:53 PST
thanks to all for taking the time to comment.

zja, your timing is, to say the least, not good.  :-(
sublime1, very sorry to hear that your income potential has just
deceased much more than you described above.  hope you land on your
feet.  and by the way, if i hadn?t chosen 42 it would have been 34. 

purplecloud1, ?constant awe? is a good way to describe my impression as well.

keystroke, thanks for everything i?ve learned surfing thru your various answers.

markvmd, it?s been a pleasure reading you comments.  while bryan has
certainly been the most entertaining, without thinking it thru too
much i?d say you and myoarin were the most consistently helpful

bryan, good to know your secret identity.  i may pick up your book
sometime.  (for full effect, read the following while imagining a tone
of extreme melancholy)  yes, ?maybe next time? indeed...

frde, i believe douglas adams was british, so the question is, how
many imperial gallons in a barrel?  i think it is not 42.  anyway, a
pleasure reading your comments these last few years.

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: keystroke-ga on 29 Nov 2006 08:20 PST
Thanks, cab. I appreciate your questions and comments as well.

This petition might help a bit.

It is a sad day.
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: barneca-ga on 29 Nov 2006 08:28 PST
i kind of doubt it will help; in retrospect it seems like google's
been planning this for a while.  but i've already signed it anyway,
just in case i'm TOO cynical.

Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: frankcorrao-ga on 29 Nov 2006 10:55 PST
Most of the questions I answer are highly techincal in nature (related
to programming or databaes), and don't usually get answered anyway. 
Unfortunately, it seems the point is moot.
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: guillermo-ga on 29 Nov 2006 18:59 PST
If doesn't help, maybe *this* website will, in a
different manner though:

Thanks for this question, Cab.

(A sad day, indeed).
Subject: Re: GA etiquette
From: pinkfreud-ga on 30 Nov 2006 11:51 PST

Many thanks for the kind words, the five stars, and the lavish tip! I
am not surprised that you found the sight of my face jarring. I have
the same reaction whenever I pass by a mirror. ;-)


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