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Save Google Answers (Video)*  (View post)

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

Friday, December 1, 2006
16 years ago5,737 views

I agree with Philipp that it's better to look forward (though the video is great!). Google does not make their business decisions according to petitions, no matter how many signatures are on them.

You have credited the video to Google Answers Researcher keystroke-ga, but its perhaps not so clear that keystroke-ga is the maker of the video, not just the one who submitted it to this blog.

Hong Xiaowan [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

I think GA is highend Answers. It can be the best business platform for the ideas selling or the service selling. Not only USD 2 for price. Maybe google can place the orders to a china software team via this platform.

But now, GA stopped. Also closed its door for dreaming. Sorrow and sadness.

Scott [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

I feel that a petition to save Google Answers is useful not in actually saving the current GA, but in impressing upon Google that the community wants it to provide a service like GA. (That said, I'd still be happy if the petition did save GA.) The media attention on GA, and the flurry of questions in GA's final day, should likewise suggest to Google that an answers service matters. Meanwhile, the public overtures by other services such as Yahoo! Answers to the Google Answers Researchers should tell Google that experienced researchers have significant value to the search community.

I doubt that Google is permanently out of the answers business. Since Google's mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," it will have to find a way to organize people's questions and answers and make them accessible and useful. And good researchers are a key part of the equation for clarifying questions and providing high-quality answers.

Keith Tyler [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

I think this is the first Google project I've heard of being terminated. I suppose there are more to come. Investors want profits, after all, and the best way to raise revenue is to annihilate anything that saps a penny. Sigh. We loved you, Google.

BTW, Yahoo Answers is sort of cool, in a full-of-idiots sort of way. Good luck getting a smart answer to a good question, the odds are about 50% or less.

Rui Jorge [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

Google needs some organization: I think a single homepage with the login (like, with multiple users login, photos os the user, and password ( like, but for google). Then, when logged in, a homepage where we could access all my services like mail, calendar, docs, google reader and all otheres.. (again, like, very simple and clean). Google ig is very confusing and slow, and the gadgets are so big and clunky for this porpose. This way i would have a home page that lead me to all my products.

Also: google needs a better contact management (gmail contacts are so web 1.0), and it would be great to have sync contacts with mac os contacts or vista contacts (like mail has with live messenger). Calendar feeds and sync with iCal for Mac and win vista calendar, so we could have all our info on both web and mac or pc, and then just sync our mobile phone with those. Also add to-do list to calendar. Google reader also needs better integration, it's a great product that doesn't have any integration with others.

Google talk integration with live messenger, so i can just delete my MSN on my computer, using only google talk. This is very possible to do (look at trillian), and very usefull.

I don't like, it's clunky and slow, and i really don't like microsoft, but i must say they are doing some good thinks in, wich is a big google enemy. It's everything in one place, and some new products that are just great. I really like they're contact list management, The auto contact update (beta) is also a great ideia. Contacts in gmail and google talk are confusing. I don't know who are many auto-added contacts in my list, and in don't have a easy way to control the contact that will be in my google talk list. Please do this! I need more organization to use google great services. Keep gooing.

Missy [PersonRank 4]

16 years ago #

I concur, JP. But...the petitions and venting serve a purpose for the nonce.

People threw themselves wholeheartedly into GA and are feeling pretty wounded right now. So these things are helping to ease the grief, even if they do end up being only shouts into the void. When you're hurting, sometimes shouts into the void help you feel better.

I'm happy to see that ChaCha has extended an invitation to GARs in spite of not offering other invitations at the moment. If nothing else, those US Researchers who depended on their GA checks will be able to jump into that and be able to buy groceries next week.

I'm also amused by Y!A's overtures. Tomi Poutanen tells us "Y!A was never about money", so I don't expect there to be any chance of earning money for efforts there, but I think it's a nice gesture to offer us a haven and a chance to talk about making another knowledge service better.

Anna SebestyƩn [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

At the beginning I thought: am I the only one who feels the video totally ironic?? I think the voice and the music are much too exaggerated to be taken seriously, also the book the guy is reading out, and the example they picked cries out for Wikipedia. True, Yahoo is parodied (but again, 'who was the greatest communist?' could be answered by 'my granny').
At the end I was not so sure about the mock-petition. However, their (re-directed) site is not too convincing about the seriousness either (just that single lonely comment from a researcher, which is sad).

Gee, Google is strict with the ROI...

Rigel [PersonRank 1]

16 years ago #

I am in the boat that says, that Google Answers is valuable, however, the web wasn't built to such an extreme extent by people paying for services, it developed through people contributing content, and business vieing for visibility. Why can't google answers work the same, the researcher accepts their price, and everyone else can answer too. Why can't these two capacities live in harmony with eachother?

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Movie does not work here: "The url contained a malformed video id."

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Tadeusz, can you tell me your OS and browser (and browser version)?

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Opera 8 on Win XP.

Btw.: If people get laid off by a company they don't usually write petitions or make movies. Either you go to a court or you go on strike or something. A company that tells you it's disbanding your workplce two hours before it's done just deserves to be sued.

Ryan [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Tadeusz, these people signed an at will contract that says Google can terminate you at any time for no reason, and that you can quit at any time for no reason.

Google didn't do anythign wrong by terminating them just 2 hours before. In fact, it did them a favor.

It let them work up until the time that they pulled it, and still paid them for those hours they worked during it's last time before it died.

It's called at will employment, and you can't sue over it.

I think they will bring back something similiar, only where they don't pay people. as Yahoo has shown, it's possible to get people to do it for free.

It seems to me that most of the people upset are the people who were getting paid. I don't see much public outrage from others. that's a sign that it wasn't working too well.

It was a rather pointless product. Basically Google paid people to do searches for people who sucked at searching. I think the money would be better spent educating people on how to find answers to what they're looking for on the internet.

Keystroke-ga [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

I don't agree that Yahoo Answers is pretty cool. Of course we should be looking at other options, but there's no reason to let GA go quietly. The video is not a satire, sorry to tell you, and was seriously done by people who care about saving Google Answers. It was meant to be funny and over-the-top, but in a serious way.

And with a serious petition:

And, mainly the "famous communist" question was chosen to have a Yahoo Answerer misunderstand it as the "funniest comedian" and get the Ali G impression in. I realize that it is not a hardcore question, but when's the last time I saw a hardcore question on Yahoo? The two can't even be compared directly because the types of questions are so different. Anyway, if anyone can make a better video, please do!

Watch the video:

Missy [PersonRank 4]

16 years ago #

Ryan writes:

"Basically Google paid people to do searches for people who sucked at searching."

No, Ryan. Just No. This is the uninformed nattering of someone who knows nothing about the service he's dissing. All of it. We weren't "employees", we didn't get paid hourly, and we still have nearly a month left to answer and get paid for it.

We worked our asses off at Google Answers, writing source-cited articles explaining the information we found for our customers.

I didn't get paid $300 for a single question because my client "sucked at searching". I got paid $300 for a single question because I gave that customer exactly what he asked for – and it ended up being used to write an anthropology textbook.

Fact check first, talk later. Geez.

Simon [PersonRank 0]

16 years ago #

Anna from what i can tell, the time you posted your comment the website had been up and running for the best part of a day only.

I think, if you watched the video properly you would see it has been done for comedic effect, it has done this perfectly.

Yahoo answers is a fool's paradise with idiots asking even greater idiots for advice on information most of them know nothing about. It is a free for all and the people rating the answers are most likely those that are wanting the knowledge to understand it!

It is basically the blind leading the blind!

At least with google there was some port of call for the person who was "in charge" of the question. With yahoo no one is in charge and it is a free for all. In the real world that is called anarchy.

Tadeusz Szewczyk [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

Ryan, Yahoo! Clever as it is called in Germany offers ludicrous answers by people who now know nothing about the subject matter they write about.

Another service I use in Germany is Lycos iQ, it does not pay the people but it works, due in fact to the "experts" being respected by the company.

Btw. just last week I found an answer by Google Answers that helped me to fix a computer problem in one minute that I had for the last six months.

If I were a former Google Answers employee I would organize and set up an own service with the other people involved in it. You don't need Google to do that. You can earn 600$ a month an Google ads alone if you have valuable contents.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

16 years ago #

> If I were a former Google Answers employee I would
> organize and set up an own service with the other
> people involved in it.

No comment. :)

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