Hi Perspiringwriter ~
What interesting questions you have asked! It piqued my curiosity and
I was wondering if your questions were research you are doing for
something you're are currently writing.
The answers to your questions are as diverse as those of us who
participate as Google Answers Researchers.
There are a few whose sole income (for whatever reason) is as a Google
Answers Researcher. Since there are no minimum requirements on the
number of questions, nor how often we answer, others' participation is
based on reasons as diverse as there are Google Answers Researchers
Therefore, my answers to YOUR questions are general in nature, and
about as accurate an answer as you can get.
First of all, Google Answers Researchers are independent contractors,
and not employees of Google. We all had to pass a screening, but there
is no minimum or maximum quota on the number of questions we choose to
A small handful are more prolific, having answered over 1000 questions
each, and have freely admitted that Google Answers is their sole
source of income and more or less work long hours daily at answering
Others answer as they can, some preferring certain subjects with which
they were well acquainted, or using some other personal criteria. Yet
others merely supplement their regular income in a "catch as catch
can" manner. I think Pinkfreud (a fellow Google Answers Researcher)
summed it up nicely in her comments to a question:
"For some of us, GA is our only source of income; for
most, it's a sideline. Only a few dozen Researchers have
answered more than 100 questions. Only three of us have
answered more than 1000. The great majority of Google
Answers Researchers post answers only occasionally, and
some never answer at all, yet continue to hold Researcher
status, as there is no quota. "
[Comment to Question #384327 -
- http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=384327 ]
You asked, "...I wonder if researchers can be commissioned / hired
separately for larger projects ..."
Once again, there is no "pat answer".
Some Google Answers Researhers run their own independent research
business and/or work for other research projects or services. However,
as Google Answers Researchers, we aren't permitted to privately
contact Google Answers customers to privately hire out our services.
Others prefer not to work for private parties at all, instead
preferring the diversity afforded by Google Answers.
It isn't hard to recognize those who are prolific and provide solid
answers to Google Answers customers; you'll see their name over and
over, with 4 and 5 star ratings and generous tips offered for the
tremendous service they provide.
As for me, I rely on Google Answers to supplement my income as the need arises.
The talents demanded by my own business blend well with the talents
necessary to answer questions for Google; and there is seldom any
conflict between the two. I had been very busy answering questions
myself until the last couple of months; then my own business had an
immense project that required hours of my time, leaving less
opportunity to participate in Google Answers.
I hope this has answered your questions. Because each of us is an
independent contractor, there are no full-time Google Answers
Researchers except by choice.
Many of us are available for private research assignments, even to the
point of running our own research businesses; but Google's rules
prohibit private contact with Google customers.
Thanks for the opportunity to address your issues ... and if you
require additional clarification, please feel to ask for it.
Google Answers Researcher