What makes Google Answers great? Here's my (admittedly biased) view.
1. Interesting, meaty questions.
We Google Answers Researchers tend to do our best work when our
personal interests are piqued. Although there are quite a few research
projects on GA that are essentially tedious information-gathering,
there are also some tasks that tickle the mind, providing an extra
incentive: fascination. An active, happy mind that receives frequent
tickling is likely to do better work, even on the less fascinating
2. Pleasant relationships with existing customers.
Another thing that can spur a Researcher to superior efforts is a
comfortable relationship with a customer who is known to be
intelligent, fair, and enjoyable to deal with. This is not to say that
first-time users won't get good service. But once we get to know you,
and have an idea of what sort of answer you need, our skills are
likely to be better applied.
3. An erudite "Peanut Gallery."
I'm a big supporter of Google Answers' commenters, since I was a
frequent commenter before I became a GAR. Free comments vary widely in
quality, but when they are good, they can be very good indeed. Here's
a cheer for the unpaid masses! Your efforts may be unrewarded
financially, but the best of you help to make Google Answers the
flavorful stew that it is.
4. Carefully screened Researchers.
When Google Answers began, nearly three years ago, care was taken to
select authorized Researchers who would meet the standards of quality
that are associated with the name "Google." In addition to the
submission of our background information, the application process
involved the answering of sample questions. Although the gates have
been closed to new applicants for quite some time, it is my hope that
some of our stellar commenters will eventually be given the
opportunity to come onboard.
There are other online question-and-answer services that have some
similarity to Google Answers. It is my sincere belief that none of
these sites is the equal of GA. One thing that makes Google Answers
the best is that we have become a team. Many of GA's best Researchers
do not see each other as rivals, but as partners sharing the common
goal of meeting our customers' needs. In an effort to provide the best
service, we share useful hints and information with each other, and
many of us have formed personal friendships with our colleagues online
(even though few of us will ever meet in person). Although only one
Google Answers Researcher may post an answer to each question, there
is an invisible network of other Reseachers in the background whose
assistance and support, while often invisible, helps to keep Google
Answers vital and healthy.
Thanks for the interesting, meaty question. Ah, there we are. Back to
item #1 again. :-)
Very best regards,