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Dooyoo Remember the Changes?
The dooyoo Redesign
Member Name: jo1976
The dooyoo Redesign
Date: 02/10/12, updated on 02/10/12 (67 review reads)
Advantages: Anonymous rating and the variety offered by changing levels
Disadvantages: Fake reviews and a frustrating suggestion system
I've been a member of Dooyoo for over four years now and have finally inched my way through to 500 reviews. I have witnessed quite a few changes to the site over the years, some for the better, although some have been for the worse:
When I first joined the site back in 2008, all reviews in all categories were paid the same flat rate of 50p per post and then 1.5p per member each. The only exceptions were for the Dooyoo Lounge - which was called something else at the time although I can't remember what- and any Archived topics. This system meant that it was as 'lucrative' to post reviews about baked beans as it was to review the latest laptop or mobile phone.
The current tiered payment system was introduced around the Spring of 2010. I was pregnant with my youngest son at the time and was like a pig in muck because all Kids & Family categories and Toys were in the highest paying level one category initially, so I had plenty to write about!
There was some resistance to the changes initially particularly as many popular topics such as Food and Books suffered a drop in the amount of miles that people received for writing about their favourite subjects. It also soon became apparent that some members had very vivid imaginations and would actually invent ownership of whatever random objects/topics happened to be paying the most at the time. There was even at least one long-standing member who I'm still convinced invented a totally non-existent child purely so that she could benefit from writing level one reviews at the time! It's difficult to prove suspicions like these but most persistent liars and cheats do end up tripping themselves up eventually as the fabricated reviews continue.
I find this issue to be particularly annoying, and surprisingly common, especially with some more obscure categories or brands. Strange how many Dooyoo members happened to have received random Dr Hauschka gift sets for their birthdays, for example, as soon as that relatively niche brand popped on to the level one list! It is also pretty sad that people are actually that desperate for 60p that they're prepared to sacrifice any scruples and start to lie about themselves online. I know we're in recession again, but surely they are more efficient ways of earning money without pretending to own twenty different types of lawn mower?
For me, I actually prefer the tiered payment system as I find it gives me more inspiration of topics to write on. I used to struggle to decide what to write about in the early days but the levels encourage me to consider what products I own in level one and get those reviews written before the levels change. I find it quite exciting when I spot a level change announcement on the Community Pages, which is pretty pathetic, especially when I discover that the latest topics are totally irrelevant topics such as Golf Equipment or Power Tools! That is the other drawback of the system as the site tends to get flooded with the same types of review on the same types of topic, which as a member who reads/rates considerably more than I write, it can get a little tedious! Some of the categories that find their way into level one can seem a little illogical too. Currently, for instance, you earn more for posting a review about Pritt Stick than a Ferrari!
- Anonymous Rating
Until fairly recently - I think it was around nine months ago- members could see exactly what ratings each review had received and from whom. This worked okay for the most part but there were issues around 'revenge rating' where members, often new members but occasionally established members, would take offence at a particular low rating and immediately retaliate by giving the same (or lower) rating to a review written by that other person. In the grand scheme of things, revenge rating was a pretty meaningless act, especially as the miles earned per rating remain the same whether it's an NU or a VU. It was a little annoying, however, and something I soon noticed more when I became a Guide as my tally of Useful and Somewhat Useful ratings started to grow at an alarming rate, thanks mainly to my honest ratings of new member's reviews of their Household Appliances. "I love this fridge. It keeps my food cold and is white. I think everybody should buy one." etc etc.
Anonymous rating seemed really strange when it was first introduced but now it is hard to imagine what the site was like beforehand and I think this has definitely been a change for the better by helping to reduce conflict and petty squabbling across the site.
- Restricting Suggestions
Believe it or not, when I first joined Dooyoo, members were actually rewarded with bonus miles for simply making new suggestions! (I think it was something very low such as 10 miles per suggestion.) There were also no restrictions on the number of suggestions a member could submit. This seems unbelievable compared to the current system when you can only suggest a topic when there is an XY and Z in the month and the star is in the East and you have to tap your head three times etc etc. (Or something equally as irritating, illogical and unpredictable as Dooyoo's current system of restricted categories each month.)
I've never really been a prolific writer so I don't mind having a restriction in the number of suggestions I can submit, although I would prefer to list all my new purchases together , after birthdays or Christmas, for example. The topic restriction is really frustrating for me and most other members, however, particularly as my attempts at being pro-active and suggesting items several months prior to intending to review them has also been thwarted. Several of my successfully submitted suggestions completely vanished from the site when I eventually came round to writing about them. I did ask Dooyoo about this and got a really vague and pretty unhelpful response back - basically, they have been removed from the site because the topics weren't popular with consumers. Seems like a waste of everybody's time to bother adding them in the first place then.
The most frustrating aspect about the current suggestions process is that there is no obvious pattern to the subjects chosen, making it difficult to plan ahead and reducing that spontaneity which was all part of the enjoyment of review writing for me. Some topics have never been open for new suggestions at all since the new system was introduced almost a year ago! Food, for instance, has never been open. I can appreciate that the topic is not a major priority for Dooyoo but it seems illogical to continue to pay for reviews on well-established products but not to encourage reviews on new food and drink items that members (and average consumers, in these cash strapped times) would be interested in reading about.
Anyway, there has certainly been no shortage in changes to Dooyoo over the years since I've been a member. It will be interesting to see what the next four years will bring to the site and its members!
Summary: Most changes are for the better - please rethink the suggestions system!