Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, May 8, 2003

Google Answers Researchers Interview: Pinkfreud-ga

Part 3 in my interview series with Google Answers Researchers, this time with Pinkfreud. Besides her impressive 380 answers with a 4.85 stars average, she’s also very active in Google Answers comments, and in lifting up the Researcher forum spirit.

Note: This interview is approved by Google Answers, but does not in any way represent Google’s views.


Pinkfreud-ga has big, green eyes.

What’s your Researcher nickname?
I am pinkfreud-ga. My friends call me Pink or Pinkie. My enemies call me things that would not make it through the language filter.

Where are you from?
I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where I now live and will probably die (not soon, I hope.)

What’s your profession?
I am a former civil servant. Since I am disabled by a chronic illness, Google Answers is now my only source of income.

What’s your age?
I am 55 years young. That’s the speed limit on most of the expressways in my area, so, in the future, I’ll not admit to being any older than 55, lest I be accused of reckless driving on the Highway of Life.

Got a homepage? Where?
I have no homepage at present. I used to have one, and shut it down because of annoying stalker problems.

Pinkfreud-ga on Google Answers

When did you become a Researcher?
I signed my contract on July 31, 2002.

How did you find out about Google Answers?
I learned about Google Answers in June 2002 after seeing several posts in the AnandTech Off Topic Forum.

What do you like best about answering for Google Answers?
From a practical standpoint, I like the fact that I am not tied to any rigid schedule or deadlines. From an emotional standpoint, it is truly fulfilling to be able to help people find information that is valuable to them. Deep inside, I am basically Little Red Riding Hood, wanting to feel useful by delivering baskets of goodies to everyone.

Would you consider taking this up as full-time job, provided the question volume would be high enough?
It is my full-time job now; I spend about 70 hours a week on Google Answers. It would be great to have the equivalent of a full-time income to go along with my labors. Like many Researchers, I spend the majority of my time looking for answerable questions rather than researching and answering.

What kind of question subject do you usually avoid?
I avoid obvious homework questions in which it is apparent that a student wants a prefabricated answer which he can submit as his own work.

What kind of question subject you usually like to answer?
I love questions that ask for the identification of a certain book, movie, or song. I have a head full of such trivia, and it is delightful to be able to earn some money using the polyglot of previously useless information that my mind has gathered over the years.

In one sentence, what’s the trick to a good answer?
A good answer will address all the points of interest raised by the customer, and add a little extra; for instance, if the customer asks “What is the name of this book?” I will try to give him the book’s name, plus a little background material on the book and a link to a place where the book can be bought.

What would be the new Google Answers slogan, if you were responsible to create one?
“You ask. Google Answers. Any questions?”

Which Researcher would you take as guide on a dangerous island?
I would choose my friend scriptor-ga. He might not be able to help us find our way off the island, but his wit and enthusiasm would make being marooned much more enjoyable than it would otherwise be. In addition, his experience as an author of science fiction might enable him to create a teleportation device or an interdimensional portal, either of which would be a nifty thing to have when one is stuck on an island.

Pinkfreud-ga’s Favorites

What are your favorite research tools and websites (please include browser and text editor you are using)?
I love the Internet Movie Database, and I’ve used it many times to find entertainment-related answers. I use Internet Explorer 5.5, and I prepare my answers in Notepad. Occasionally I use Word (with a nonproportional font such as Courier) to check formatting. I generally test-drive each answer in the fabulous ’GA Previewer’ created by my colleague Iain.

What are your favorite websites and newsgroups?
My favorite website (other than Google Answers) is — this is a well-chosen collection of links strange and wonderful. I have no favorite newsgroups; somehow I’ve never gotten into that part of the Web, except as a resource in which to seek information.

I will just suppose Google is your favorite search engine (right?). Do you remember which one you were using before, and why you decided to switch to Google?
Google is indeed my favorite search engine. Before Google, I used WebFerret. I liked WebFerret well enough that I shelled out hard cash to purchase the deluxe version. I still have WebFerret on my hard drive, but I haven’t used it in ages. Between Google and, most of my needs are covered.

What are some of your favorite questions & answers by others?
I always enjoy the questions which give Researchers and Commenters the chance to let their hair down and have some fun. An example:

Here’s a stellar example of an excellent answer, by my friend voila-ga, who is one of only two GARs that I’ve been able to meet in person:

What are some of the questions that were really a lot of fun answering for you?
It’s always great to have a light-hearted question that is earmarked for me by name, like this one:

And it is also very fulfilling to have a question in which a customer has given a misspelling of a crucial keyword, and I have an “aha” moment that results in an answer:

What would be a fun $200 question for you to answer?
“Give a brief and entertaining overview of the depiction of women in science fiction movies from 1950 to the present time.”

Pinkfreud-ga’s Spare-time

Got any weird hobbies?
Dunno about ’weird’, but I have eleven cats and three dogs living in my house. Some people would consider that a bit looney. Other hobbies: I make beadwork jewelry, I write poetry, and I own every book ever written by C.S. Lewis.

What was the last book you read, the last movie you saw, and the last album you listened to?

Do you know some other Researchers in Real Life?
I have met (and greatly enjoyed the companionship of) voila-ga and poe-ga. I sponsored poe-ga (an Englishman whom I met once while he was touring the United States) as a candidate when the Answers Editors were asking for referrals from Researchers.

Final words by Pinkfreud-ga

If you’d write a book about your life, what would be the first sentence?
“I was born as a very young child, and have endeavored to remain such.”

Anything else you’d want to add?
Yes. TANSTAAFL. Don’t Forget Your Towel. Never Play Poker with a Man Called ’Slim’. Use the Force, Luke. And always remember: when you’re having a really bad day, and it seems that people are trying to piss you off, it’s good to remember that it takes 42 muscles to frown, but only 4 to extend your middle finger and mutter “Bite me."


Blog  |  Forum     more >> Archive | Feed | Google's blogs | About


This site unofficially covers Google™ and more with some rights reserved. Join our forum!