Am I the only one that gets annoyed by this?
You think you're doing 'the right thing' by having a look at what the newest Dooyoo members have written, hoping that they've crafted a decent piece of text that's actually about a product rather than their favourite iPhone app, but what you actually find is the same old thing - as follows:
The new member joints the site and writes just over 150 glowing words about how wonderful a particular company is, then they disappear never to be seen on Dooyoo again. In truth they were only doing it because said company offered them an incentive to write a good review such as ten per cent off their next order. They didn't really want to do it but hey, a discount is a discount, right?
I find it infuriating and completely against what Dooyoo is supposed to be for. I guess we can't really blame the individuals doing the writing. They're just getting in, getting their benefit and getting out again. They're not adding anything to Dooyoo (apart from maybe clogging it up a little) but they're not really doing any harm. Are they?
Or is it that the company involved is effectively buying their votes? Is it not like some kind of chart rigging? Is the casual browser not seeing a distorted, unfair representation of how the public really view the company?
There are firms such as PCspecialist and print24 who each have hundreds of reviews, mostly five star, mostly by new Dooyooers who never post again. Is this what Dooyoo was set up for? Is it abuse of the system? And if so, is there anything that Dooyoo or we, the more experienced users of the site, can do to stop it?
Or is it just playing the game, using the system to beat the system? Should they be praised for their creative thinking?
What do you think?
Nobodys perfect. However there exists a minuscule minority of DooYoo users who like to point out each and every error we make from the straightforward typo which even the spellchecker missed to that most heinous of crimes misuse of the humble apostrophe. I'm sure the e-mail system was not designed so that fellow DooYooers could be reprimanded with a barrage of e-mails and detailed rants pointing out your many failings. Incidentally the funniest e-mail I've ever received was from someone congratulating me on writing an excellent review but apologising that they were unable to rate it because my return rates weren't high enough. Making rates anonymous would remove this problem as well as reducing the amount that DooYoo pay out to writers each month and it would also give a true indication of the reviews usefullness to genuine consumers.
There are those who declare a review as "not useful" simply because they don't share your point of view and of course there are the tit for tat revenge raters who object to their 151 word drivel being rated as "somewhat useful" because it contains very little detail. With the reduction in points for some categories this is almost forgivable. It does seem a little ridiculous to write a 2000 word epic monologue on a four hour film to be rewarded with ten pence for your efforts when the same remuneration is offered for those whose reviews just scrape over the word limit.
There are always exceptions to the norm and there are several DooYoo writers who manage to cram a lot of pertinent information into a very short review whilst there are others who drone on and on for pages without really saying anything that they couldn't have put across in a few hundred words. Just because something is short does not mean it is not useful, equally if your reader isn't engaged within the first 50 words they're unlikely to stick around for another thousand or so.
By far the most widespread DooYoo abuse is also the most widely accepted. It lurks within the "about me" descriptions where DooYooers offer to return rates. Surely this negates the whole point of writing a review in the first place if those who decide if a review has any merits are the ones least likely to ever consider using it. What good are hair straighteners to a bald man? Or booty lube to a Catholic priest... well perhaps that's not the best example I could have come up with but you get the gist.
Admittedly I was lured here by the pound signs rather than a desire to share my experiences with other. Rather surprisingly I'm finding that I'm enjoying it an awful lot more than I anticipated but I can quite understand why those who come here thinking its an easy buck do the absolute minimum to reach payout and walk away. Equally I can understand why others churn out five or even ten mediocre reviews a day, day in day out although I'm fairly confident I'd run out of things to write about.
The main source of abuse that exists on dooyoo tends to be that of a few established members trying to get newbies banned from the site because they don't like them. You see, dooyoo is like a prison with inmates. There are those who have been on this site for decades and those who have just joined. Some of those who have been here for decades can be very opinionated on how the site should be run, they also tend to contribute quite a lot to the site and they tend to have a circle of many established friends.
What usually happens is the following, established member reads newbie's review. Newbie puts a lot of effort into their review trying to please everyone aiming get those crowns, everyone rates "very useful". Newbie is happy but all of a sudden the established bully comes along and gives it a "somewhat useful" rating. Newbie asks the bully what's wrong with their review and to this the bully replies "just because everyone else thinks it's very useful doesn't mean I have to". When newbie protests to this, bully invites their friends along to down rate newbie's reviews adding all kinds of meaningless comment to back it up.
Initially newbie will complain to dooyoo and dooyoo will contact the bullies but in reality dooyoo is very afraid of these people so dooyoo lets them get away with all kinds of evil behaviour. When dooyoo doesn't help, newbie feels pent up anger and decides to find one of bully's rubbish reviews, give it the rubbish rating that it deserves and before you know it newbie is being warned not to revenge rate or risk being kicked off. I've seen time and time again helpless newbies being slaughtered on this site by a bunch of bullies. Dooyoo simply doesn't have the guts to stand up to these people.
This is why people shouldn't bother writing for rates, this isn't a playground, you don't need to please anyone, just aim for the dooyoo miles, and enjoy spending your vouchers on amazon.
I am not one of the best writers currently posting on DooYoo. I have no reviews that are receiving 100% very useful ratings, I have no crowns, plenty of reviews still ranking at "useful" and plenty of critical comments on my writing style. However, one thing I pride myself on is that I am improving. I try to listen to comments, I try to offer information I think people want from my reviews and I only write reviews on products for which I have views to express. When I write my reviews my goal is to write until I have said what I wanted to say, not to reach 150 words.
Today has been the first day since joining DooYoo that I have sat on the front page, commenting on the latest reviews. It has also been the first day I realised that not everybody writes reviews the way I do. Today I have read nearly 30 reviews barely a paragraph long, each one had very little to actually say about the product and frankly I just felt embarrassed for the author. I saw one user had filled three pages of reviews in just three days, each review I checked was little more than a vague summary of the product. Clearly these users feel that they can get a payout for very little effort, fortunately I know that DooYoo take quality into account before writing cheques because these "attempts" were dreadful. However, I'm sure everyone reading this is aware of that and that's not what I wanted to talk about.
What really bothered me was reader response. When I found users doing this, I left comments expressing my opinion that their reviews lacked in any real content and slapped a "not useful" rating on there. Unfortunately I can only conclude that the other readers weren't really paying attention at all. How can DooYoo maintain a decent balance of quality and shoddy reviews if its users are rating sloppy churners with "Useful" ratings?
Ultimately I fear if DooYoo can not crack down on these sloppy reviewers then the advertising revenue that DooYoo thrives on will dry up and we'll all have to move on.
One of the first things I do every morning when I get up is log onto the computer. This is because I have several friends from "across the pond" and they tend to e-mail me in the evening and due to the time difference its morning here when I get them.
I also like to spend a bit of time checking new reviews on Dooyoo and every single morning this week I have had to report plagiarised or computer translated reviews to the abuse section, the vast majority of which originated in Indonesia.
What shocks me about these reviews is the fact that even when I mention in the comments section that a review has been copied and translated, it gets rated "Very Useful" or "Useful" by some members.
Now even leaving aside the fact a review is copied, the fact is the vast majority of these reviews were originally written in Indonesian, and then been copied and pasted into the Google translation tool, and then whatever comes up in English has been posted for our edification.
If any of you have ever read the terms and conditions of this site, it states that reviews must be posted in native speaker level English. Google translation tools do not produce native speaker level English - oh no - they produce a mixture of English, gobbledegook and the occasional word from the original language that it is incapable of translating.
As a result not only are members here rating plagiarised content as "Very Useful", they are also rating content that is incomprehensible to the consumer as "Very Useful" - and doing the site, and themselves, an injustice. Dare I even suggest they didn't even bother to read the review?
Dooyoo is a site for British consumers to read reviews on various products in the market place and make an informed decision on what they want to buy based on the experience of someone who has purchased the product in the past and taken the time to write about their experiences. If the non-member reads a review they cannot understand but is highly rated by the members here, then it's doubtful that person is going to come back here to read further reviews, which will cost us all in the long run.
I understand some people fear revenge rating, but it's highly unlikely these people will hang around for long and once Dooyoo remove them, any of their revenge rates will be removed too. In fact if you are rating these newbies in the hope of getting 1.5p back from them, then I would suggest your hope is a forlorn one!
Perhaps we can also inform these people that they cannot get cash payments from the site without a UK address and bank account, which is fair enough considering the site, is for UK consumers - this might stop the daily proliferation of new junk reviews every morning.
I sometimes feel I am the big bad wolf when I read and rate as I am one of the few willing to put my head over the parapet and actually say "this review is rubbish" - and have had a few snide messages and comments for having the temerity to comment on bad grammar in reviews here before. The fact is the site isn't for someone to practise their English on or for reviews translated by Google - it needs reviews of a decent quality for people to come here again and again and for advertisers to pay Dooyoo - which enables them to pay us.
And before I get people berating me because they think I am having a pop at anyone who struggles with written English, I am not, because you can write your own reviews in Word or another word processing program and have it run a spelling and grammar check. The vast majority of members here know that - my gripe has nothing to do with those who suffer from dyslexia or have other difficulties with the written word - it is with those who quite simply do not have the knowledge of the English language at a level good enough to write a decent review, or worse barely know any of the language at all.
I am also not including members from overseas who do post reviews in fluent English in my complaints - they add a different dimension to the site which I feel is a welcome one.
So please, think before you rate - if something is copied or cannot be easily understood it is Not Useful - and should be rated as such.
And please don't leave it to Guides to report abuse - be proactive and report the abuse yourself.
Remember that plagiarism is cheating, and so is posting a review that has been run through an online translator.
Some time ago, the nice people at Dooyoo conned me into becoming the Community Guide for the Computer category. Now that I am semi-retired I have some time on my hands and so, being able to support the website in a positive manner was not something that I found unwelcome. It is time consuming but if there is anything that I can do to help us maintain a standard that we all would feel acceptable then I am willing to give that time.
Mostly the role involves reading all of the new reviews posted in the Computer category. Where I find reviews, mostly from new members, that could possibly do with a bit of improvement I do my best to suggest some guidelines that might help the member to raise the standard of what they write. I also have to identify reviews and even products that are in the wrong category and ask Dooyoo to move them, though this rarely seems to happen in practice!
The biggest problem, however, is with the plagiarists, those people who for some reason think that it's oh so clever, just to find a review written elsewhere that they can simple cut and paste into a review to post on Dooyoo. Why they think they can get away with it amazes me. These reviews are mostly easy to spot, especially with the help of Google, which seems to have a phenomenal memory for reviews posted elsewhere, even after they have been deleted!
It just makes me furious. These people can hardly claim that they didn't realise that it was illegal as they now have not only to agree to Dooyoo's Terms & Conditions that declares it illegal but for each review they post they have to assert that it is all their own work as well!
And yet STILL they continue to post purloined reviews! Are these people stupid!
But, maybe there's another reason, and it could be something to do with plagiarised reviews becoming a bit harder to spot.
You may have wondered what the hell the title of this opinion was all about? Well, if you don't read Filipino, that may be the reason, and this has much to do with why stolen reviews are getting harder to identify. It is to do with the huge number of new members who obviously don't have English as their first language.
The title reads, "I've got my eyes on you!" in Filipino but, as with most automatic language translations (this one done using Google's Translate tool), it probably doesn't mean that in Filipino, although I have found that Google's translations are about the best in the business. Because the English phrase is a colloquialism, the translated phrase probably means something else again.
And that is what I am finding more and more here on Dooyoo. Have you noticed a large increase in reviews that are written in very poor English? Of course, our natural reaction to this is "Ah, well, he's doing his best!" and to then rate generously. Well, I would ask you to pause for a moment and to consider an alternative explanation.
The review may have been copied from a foreign language website and automatically translated using a tool such as Google Translate, but which has made a far worse job of it.
Recently I became very suspicious about one review that just didn't seem right. As usual, I pasted a key phrase into Google and sent it off to search. It came back with a hit on an Indonesian website where the very phrase was shown in all it's "glory", translated by Google into English. That member I reported to Dooyoo and he has since been thrown off the site and his reviews deleted.
It doesn't always work though, because Google isn't always as good at spotting matches with websites in foreign languages as it is with English. However, I have found that these reviews seem to have a "lifetime" and the same badly translated reviews pop up elsewhere as well, especially on Ciao. Google will often come up with a match on a Ciao review but when you get there to check it out, the guys at Ciao have already deleted it, presumably for the same reasons we delete them here.
Plagiarism is a plague on the Web and not by any means something which is unique to Dooyoo. Whilst I have absolutely no issue with members who post reviews that are entirely their own work on multiple websites, I have no truck with those who are so lazy and dishonest as to steal the work of others to use themselves, pretending it to be their own.
So, next time you see a badly written review, one that barely makes any sense, please consider the possibility that this may well be a review that has been translated from one written somewhere else across the World Wide Web, in another language, and translated badly into English. Rather than awarding a sympathetic VU, consider instead expressing your suspicions in the comments and even reporting the review to Dooyoo.
Most of all though, please *do not* rate it VU!
Sadly, there are times when using this site can be a little tiresome. For me, the tiresome bit often starts when I log in and finishes when I log out, generally in a big old huffy huff. It's a sweeping generalisation, I know, but good golly Miss Molly, I have to wonder whether ANYBODY reads ANYTHING on this site anymore.
I refer you, dear reader, to Dooyoo rule number 4, recently published to glowing effect with a lovely, thoughtful-looking lady on the homepage. Said lovely lady tells us:
"4. Rate reviews honestly, and read all reviews properly before making your rating."
I would estimate that on average about 10% of members do this consistently. No more. So what do the other 90% do, I hear you ask in a slightly nervous fashion?
There are two types of member here on Dooyoo. There are those who read reviews and generally navigate their way around the site. There are also those who click buttons to earn money. The two are, generally, entirely separate from one another. I like to call the latter group "up-raters", largely because it sounds clever, don't you think?
It's astounding that people are so desperate for 1.5p (yes, dear non-member reader, that's one and a half new pence) that they are intent on getting their rating on every review in site in the vain hope that they will get a rating (and therefore one and a half new pence) in return. So desperate are these individuals for an income that I can only surmise that they have sold their shoes and pimped their children to a life of prostitution in order to keep food on the table and found that it's STILL not enough. After all, for every 100 times that they click that very useful button, the very maximum that they will earn in return is 100 reciprocal very useful ratings, which will equate to £1.50. What could you buy for £1.50? Not a lot. 15 packets of Tesco Value noodles, perhaps? A few first class stamps? Certainly not, from the looks of it, an ounce of integrity or a sense of community well-being.
It's not a new problem. It's been around since the site started but of late it's becoming increasingly problematic.
But would you like to know something really, really funny? Come closer, dear reader, and I shall whisper in your ear.
They're gradually condemning this site to the big recycle bin in the sky. Yes, that's right, this kind of sustained behaviour will, eventually, result in the death of Dooyoo. "How's that?" I hear you ask amidst the clicking of very useful buttons in multiple windows. Well, it's like this you see.
A web site is only as good as its content. Dooyoo accepts thousands and thousands of reviews every week and (allegedly) millions of people are reading them. Those people are looking for informative, useful reviews that reflect genuine consumers saying genuine things about genuine products. They're not necessarily looking for War and Peace, nor do they need a masterpiece in written English but they do want mobile phone reviews that talk about, for example, mobile phones or reviews of things they can eat that don't spend four days talking about the box, the barcode and the lovely picture on the front. As such, the Dooyoo community has a responsibility to accurately rate every review to ensure that the best ones get rated very useful, down to the absolute clag that gets rated with a not useful button. (You probably won't be aware of it. It's near the very useful one. Yes, that's right. It's the one that won't get you 1.5p in return.)
"What difference does this make?" I hear you ask, between copying and pasting the word nominated in multiple comment boxes in multiple windows. Well, you see the overall rating of a product review is calculated by the average of all the ratings awarded by members. Yes, that's right! When you click very useful, something happens. Woohoo! As such, to the genuine consumer, the product reviews will be ordered by usefulness. In simple terms, the consumer will get what we say are the best ones first (or at the top of the list anyway).
"What happens if they get the bad ones?" I hear you ask amidst the deafening sound of the words "great review!" being typed into those comment boxes. Well, if they read a bad one, they think "sod this, it's a load of old wiffle" and go elsewhere and (sob!) they don't come back. Worse still, they tell at least five of their friends, who never come here in the first place. This means that, not only will Elise (the site support manager) not get paid that week (and she has a family of nineteen children, you know) but the site has decreasing traffic. Decreasing traffic means no income. No income means you don't get paid anymore. Gosh! I make it sound so gloomy, don't I?
"Who cares?" cry the hordes of Money Saving Expert members who dashed over to pay off their overdraft and the deluges of our friends from overseas.
"As long as I get my £10 Amazon Voucher within three weeks, I can bugger off and let everyone else worry about it", they say.
(Or "so long as am very happy that Amazon specification ticket meets beautiful design on account of my bank be anally-loving away with anywhoo want challenge me///" as a certain demographic might say.)
Sigh. Yes. That's one way of looking at it, I suppose. Thanks. That's very community-minded. It's nice to meet you too. See you on the way out.
It's perfectly acceptable to rate less than very useful, you know. You don't have to be unfriendly. You can say something nice and still rate something as somewhat useful. There's nothing wrong with being honest. Who knows? It might catch on. ("Yeah, right!" they all said as they clattered away the words "Excellent review, nom!" in their various windows.)
It's also perfectly acceptable to be in it for the money. Why not? It's just that this doesn't have to be at the expense of the welfare of the site. Everyone gets their 50p for writing a review. You stil get the 1.5p even if you get a Not Useful rating. It can't be THAT much of a hardship to be honest too, right?
All that aside, for the 10% who do give a tom tit there are some steps that can be taken. They will make you neither popular nor rich, but at the very least you can say you had some kind of principles.
1. Avoid people you see serially up-rating reviews. They're only here for those shiny half pennies. Deny them of the money. They might need to throw another armchair on the bonfire but that's not your responsibility.
2. Report the serial up-raters to the site support team. It IS abuse and if they're prolific, they CAN be expelled from the site.
3. Challenge ratings you find unacceptable. They won't like it when you do it, but leave them a message and ask why they felt that the 150 word review on Mars Bars that was actually about crotchless cycling shorts was very useful.
4. Continue to rate honestly yourself and explain why. Nominate the right reviews for crowns and email the Dooyoo support team against reviews that have been heavily up-rated that you believe should NOT be awarded a crown. They do listen. Really.
I should also like to make the point that I don't think it should be necessary for the site support team to make changes to the site to try and curb this behaviour. There is no technical solution to this. This is a behavioural issue and needs to be addressed by a large group of individuals reviewing their behaviour NOT suggesting that there is some clever technical workaround.
And now a warm welcome back to all those who skimmed after paragraph one.
Let me summarise for you as follows:
1 Up-rating is abuse and can be treated as such.
2. Up-rating is the single most damaging form of abuse that takes place on this site. Plagiarists are easily spotted and quickly removed. Up-rating is deeper-rooted and a systemic problem. Consider it the fatty stuff that's clogging up the arteries at the heart of Dooyoo.
3. Up-rating is really, truly sad. Please have a word with yourself about whether you would like your children to remember you for contributing to the demise of the UK's only really useful consumer database.
4. Remember (cue spooky voice) "weeeeeee're watching yoooooooooooou!"
5. Now close the other twenty windows you've got open and read this review properly.
Footnote to the anal: Some of you will say that this hardly merits the effort of writing a whole review. You are absolutely correct. In the grand scheme of things, nothing about Dooyoo has any merit when you consider the plight of orangutans, the state of the British economy and the price of organic bacon. But that's a cop out. If something's worth doing, it's worth doing properly. Well, that's what I think anyway.
I am going to try to differentiate in this review between two types of abuse. The first is abuse of Dooyoo the site, the second is abuse of Dooyoo the community, that's you and me, the writers and readers.
Firstly, my definition of abuse is to use something or someone in a way that is not intended, that causes damage and is not given permission for.
1. Strictly speaking, the practise of turning out loads of reviews every ten minutes is not abuse of the first kind. It doesn't abuse the site because the site is set up in such a way that it is legal and rewarded by Dooyoo to do so. It becomes abusive to the site if those 150 word reviews are not written in a useful or comprehensive way.
Interestingly, the community has an abusive name for people who do this. We call them 'Churners'. So although the site is not abused by them, we the community, generally feel abused by their practise. That feeling comes about mostly because we like to see people getting rewarded equally and fairly. I dislike and feel abused by my painstakingly written review being knocked down the front page by a rushed and not so useful review.
2. Not returning ratings.
Again, this is not abuse of the site. There is no rule that states that the members have to return a rate or read any other review. It only becomes an abuse of the site if the non reader does not learn through reading other reviews how a review should be structured and written. The site is abused if the general researching public is not given the information they need or read such a badly written review that they do not return.
It is an abuse of the community. Members who do not read or rate back are acting in a way that says "What the rest of you are writing is not important to me." The effect of this behaviour is often to alienate core members of the community who then refuse to read that persons reviews. This further marginalises the non reader. Their behaviour is reinforced because they don't get any overt feedback about it. As time goes on, non readers generally drop out of the site because their involvement is minimal and the reinforcement they are getting is only financial.
3. Writing incomprehensively, ungrammatically, nonsensically. Poor spelling is one thing, mildly aggravating for me sometimes, or quite amusing at other times. I don't see it as abuse if people don't know they are doing it. I don't see it as abuse if people are struggling with a foreign language. I do see it as abuse of the site and the community if writers can't be bothered to check and proof read. I am not sure it is possible to get every mistake in my reviews rectified before I submit it. I do know it's possible to have a damn good try to.
~~~Abuse of members by Dooyoo~~~
Now, Dooyoo the site owners, don't actually abuse the community deliberately (As far as I know) in fact they treat us well, pay us regularly and give us little rewards! However, it could be argued that the lack of ability for members to effect change in the rules and regulations of the site, feels abusive to some. In order for the community to prosper (as opposed to the site) members must perceive that they have some power, some connection and mostly some effect on the ruling body. The more effect we feel, ie. the ability to be listened to and have offending reviews or members removed; the more we feel empowered and important in the community and valued by the managers. This is not individual grandiosity, this is just the way groups work!
Not having repeated gripes and disatisfaction addressed by the bosses can feel like abuse, the member feels powerless to effect change and his or her commitment to the site is reduced. In a small way this damages the community.
The only way I see this happening from the site managers is us not being given clear reasons for not upping word count, allowing churning, etc. All the members can do is surmise the reasoning behind the policies and that isn't the best way to run a business.
It is good to read offerings from the Dooyoo team but they are not the management are they?
~~~Abuse within the community~~~
There are quite a few ways members can abuse one another.
Tit-for-tat or revenge rating is one. It weakens the site by making some members reluctant to rate honestly and it weakens the community by making people feel unwanted and put down and so less likely to want to remain.
Using the comment box inappropriately.
The worst instance of this was when I saw a member use the comment box to come on to someone sexually. The review had been of a very personal nature and was courageously written. The offending member took that opportunity to make remarks to the reviewer in a very crass and insensitive way. He was slapped down but the damage was probably done.
On one occasion I have seen the comments box used to harass a member. Continously appearing on one review to argue, weeks after the review is written, is abusive. If not just plain weird.
Sideways and snide comments to the reviewer are occasionally seen. Again this hurts and demotivates writers. It is an abuse of the community and to a lesser extent an abuse of the site if good writing is lost because of it.
Rating that which is reviewed, rather than the review itself. If you hate Manchester United as a team and rate a brilliant review down because of that, then that is abuse.
Rating down if you dislike the reviewer or rating up because you really like the reviewer, both are in a way abusive.
Using the internal message system to browbeat or insult fellow members can be very abusive. Fortunately the vast majority of the messages sent to me are friendly and funny and I love getting them. I've only had a few nasty ones which I've forwarded to Dooyoo.
~~~Abuse of and by Dooyoo guides~~~
This feels a bit risky to write, please bear with me.
Firstly I think the guides get a lot of the frustration that members have towards the site owners directed inapropriately towards them. The management leave the guides wide open to this because the ordinary members do not have access to a set of guidelines about what a Guide is or does. (If there is one I would be happy to stand corrected and be directed to it.) We often have to guess what is motivating them and if we don't like what they do it is easy to ascribe a negative motive. Nature abhors a vaccuum and if there is a vaccuum of information we will try to fill it by guessing. (Often wrongly) If we knew the role and power of guides more completely we would be able to be clearer about whether they are acting correctly or not. It is too easy to accuse them of something when we don't know the whole story.
Conversely, because we don't have access to the Guide's guidelines they can abuse their position without us being able to call "Foul". I have only been aware of one instant when a guide definitely misused her authority. I strongly questioned her actions, she backed down. No problem!
To be honest it gets on my nerves when community members talk about guides getting more crowns, preferential treatment etc. They got to be guides because they excelled in their field presumably, so of course they will get more than the average amount of crowns. It is not rocket science!
Making derogatory comments about people who have no redress is abusive. In a way, the lack of clarity from the site owners is abusive of guides and non guides too.
Give out more information and guidelines please Dooyoo!
I have tried to look at some of the major abuses and some of the smaller ones too. I have probably missed a lot, if so forgive me.
You might not see the point in distinguishing between the two types of abuse because at the end of the day the health of the community and the site are intertwined. I will be interested to see your comments. (Do I need a Kevlar vest?)
Most of all I wanted folk to have a think about what this community is and some of the subtler forms of abuse on here.
To finish I have to say that the main thing for me about belonging to this community is the fact that abuse is not a norm. If it were we would not notice it.
As things stand this feels to me like a well run site with a supportive and mostly cohesive community.
On a bright background the smudges stand out more starkly.
Everyone makes mistakes. When writing here I have frequently made typo errors (tripe tier chocolate cake is my favourite so far), probably spelt the odd thing incorrectly (and no doubt it I do here is will be pointed out to me, fairplay) and yes, grammar can be a problem too. I should be clear that I think the great majority of dooyooers write incredibly well, I just think that a small but prolific minority probably let the side down badly with ill-spelt, badly structured and pointless rambling.
For the kind of errors I have outlined there is every excuse. However I have to allow myself a little rant at the sort of abuse I have seen of dooyoo and of the English language. If you are expecting 50p, in my opinion the least you can do is not do some of the following.
1) Write "u" - call me old but "u" is a letter of the alphabet, yes acceptable in text speak but when trying to convey and opinion at best it is sloppy and worst it is downright lazy. I hate it.
2) Write "i". It has a capital letter, a big letter. My five year old has been writing for about 2 months, if she can manage this why can't you? As a typo fair enough but some people on here have written pages of reviews riddled with "i" this and "i" that. Lazy and, actually, if you don't put capitals for yourself then you clearly don't think you are important.
3) Use of .... and ...... all over the place is annoying. Ok, so I use ( and ) too much I know, but why all the.......? Do you have a twitch or something?
4) Don't confuse their and there. "Their book" as in belong to them and "there are books on the table", simple. Similarly it is not "I would of done this" it is "would have". There are people writing on here who are not writing in their mother tongue, if they manage it then I think we all could give it a go.
5) Don't ignore this; ifyou dont botherwith spacesand apostrophes it is annoying.as r lack of spacesand capitals in your entire review or no punctuation at all Disclaimer: all errors in this last point now deliberate. Deffinitly (this last word added and in response to comments as most abused word so far).
I think those are my top five. There are some great writers on here. There are also too many reviews that are just a train of thought written in front of "This Morning" kind of rambling. I wouldn't claim to be a good writer yet, but I give it a go.
Actually whilst I am at it - those of you who rate reviews of 150 words of which 50 are badly spelt "very useful" - shame on you! It devalues any very useful rates I feel I have received gratefully from you, and, I feel puts other people off from hitting "somewhat useful". I, for one, would not mind being asked to justify my rating on such occasions where my rating appears over generous.
I do appreciate that we are all different and I would never look down on someone just as they didn't have spelling drilled into them as I did.
It may be unpopular to point out this form of abuse, I don't know, and I will take the ratings hit if necessary.
I am not a long standing member, if I were (pedants note my use of the subjunctive here) then I think I would be even more annoyed, but I hope even as a new member I have the right to think it abuse when people just can't be bothered to even try to write in something approaching correctish English. If someone has produced nothing but reviews which are written really really badly then maybe Dooyoo need a giant red pen - do they pay up to these people? I don't know. I keep meaning to check out leguide.com as I doubt the French would stand for this kind of thing, as a Nation I think they take pride in their language and using it correctly, something I don't think we (pedants aside) do.
English is a beautiful and amazing language with the largest vocabulary of any language - let's embrace that fact and strive to write with some sort of rigour!
*azana prepares for avalanche of her errors to be pointed out*
I've been a member of the Dooyoo community for a few months now & enjoy every minute - there's always something to read & rate, new topics & products to write about plus, of course, the rewards - not only £ & vouchers - but the satisfaction of getting good ratings & some nice comments.
However, I have to say that although the majority of Dooyoo members respect the site there are some who clearly don't & I think they need telling!
Maybe the 'rules' aren't made clear enough by Dooyoo when people first join? Could it be made compulsory for newbies to take a 'guided tour' & read x amount of reviews before they start to submit their own? - I'm just thinking that this would allow them to get a 'feel' of the site & they might respect it more?
Obviously when most of us first start to write reviews they improve as time goes on -( many of mine were very poor when I look at them now!) - I'm not saying they are great now, but I do work harder on them, I take note of comments made & check my ratings all the time.
But I get annoyed reading some of the reviews that are being posted now - are they really worth 50p of Dooyoo's money?
- those which read like text messages - just making 150 words.
- those which don't actually tell me anything.
- some which don't make much sense (or is it me?!).
- those which just seem to ramble on about a product making me wonder if the writer has even tried/ tested it?
I'm sorry but I can't rate these sort of reviews anymore - they aren't worth the 1.5p.
The other thing that really gets my goat is the lack of respect some Dooyooers show when they don't rate other people's work.
The majority of us put a great deal of time & effort into writing reviews & equally spending a lot of time reading & rating other people's.
I've seen some members who write loads of reviews per day but when you look at their profiles they've rarely bothered to rate any else's work. This, in my opinion, shows a lack of respect.
I've got it off my chest now - thankyou for reading so far.....
I WOULD like to say though that I think Dooyoo is a great site - I think the majority of writers are great - some are so talented I almost want to weep at my inadequate offerings.
I've been very moved by some of the contributions made as well as highly entertained by others. Most reviews are highly informative & well-written & the standard of most is really good.
The community spirit is great on Dooyoo - it's a shame SOME people don't give the site the respect it deserves?
I have now reached the end of my first week as a Dooyoo member. I joined up after seeing the site mentioned on moneysavingexpert.com, and, being a little bit nosy, thought I would check the site out. My prior knowledge of the site was basically that you write a 150 word review, and you get paid 50p for said review.
Having signed up to Dooyoo extremely easily, I proceeded to write my first reviews safe in the knowledge that I would get 50p for each as long as they exceeded 150 words. The ratings didn't really cross my mind - that is, until I proceeded to be a bit nosy and explore the site some more. I read other members' reviews, and looked at their profiles, and realised that the "usefuls" I was receiving for my reviews weren't actually a compliment to my writing! Further, I came across reviews on here, and also a thread on moneysavingexpert referring to "churning" - which was, in effect, what I was doing with my first few reviews. Not wishing to be a churner, and starting to get quite addicted to Dooyoo, I have since really tried to up my game, and ensure that my reviews are as good as they possibly can be
However, all that said, there is absolutely no disincentive not to abuse the site if you are just on here to make a quick bit of cash. If you are not bothered by your ratings, it really makes no difference what ratings you are given. Each review receives 50p regardless, and each rating earns you cash, no matter how good or bad the rating is. I know that this has been suggested before, but perhaps Dooyoo could look at only paying for reviews that receive predominantly very useful ratings?
For those members who are bothered about the ratings their reviews receive, there is the problem of revenge rating. Partly because I don't wish to be revenge rated, and partly because, as a newbie I almost don't feel qualified, I have shied away from giving bad ratings to reviews that I think deserve them. Instead I have not bothered rating them at all. I don't really know what can be done about this, as having read other member profiles, I think quite a few people feel the same way. I guess this needs a change in the thinking of the members, including myself, as opposed to being something Dooyoo can do anything about. I have found that some members will, however, give extremely honest ratings, which in actual fact I have found extremely helpful, especially when they are backed up with constructive criticism - a "somewhat useful" rating from a fellow member is one of the things which made me realise that my reviews really weren't up to scratch.
Basic Dooyoo etiquette.
I have noticed that there are some members who write quite a few reviews, yet do not bother to read other people's. Again, if you are writing on Dooyoo just to earn your 50p per review, there is no incentive, apart from pure interest and courtesy, to do so. I have started to look at member statistics now, and if they do not bother to rate other reviews, then I will not rate theirs. It does sound petty, but I cannot think of any other way to show my displeasure!! I do not mind if I rate a review, and that member does not rate mine back - just as long as they are rating somebodies! Perhaps good places to point out Dooyoo etiquette would be either on the guided tour of the site, or when you are signing up. Alternatively they could be as you finish each review - seeing guidelines in a prominent place may help prompt members to be a little more community minded!
The above review does look really negative. My overall view of Dooyoo is not negative, however - I have actually really enjoyed my first week as a member of Dooyoo, and greatly appreciate all the ratings, comments and advice I have received. I have also very much enjoyed reading other member's reviews, so much so I'm afraid I am now quite addicted to this site! Thanks for reading a newbie's thoughts on Dooyoo!
One or two things about Dooyoo or rather some of the people writing here have irritated me recently so I thought I would put finger to keyboard and get it all off my chest so to speak!
The way I see it is that if the reviews on Dooyoo are not helpful, difficult to read or just plain rubbish people who use the site for research purposes are not going to bother returning.
If the site is not used then Dooyoo will not get the revenue from advertisers and our earnings will cease - surely it is as simple as that?
So I think that there needs to be a weeding out of the reviews that are not up to standard. By that I don't mean that all reviews should be long essays giving every last detail about a product as these can be just as difficult to read as some of the very short ones, but just good helpful reviews.
Some people seem to think that it is fine to just write a short review without any capital letters or punctuation. It isn't! Think about what I have just said in my opening point - if someone comes to Dooyoo and reads an unpunctuated review without a capital letter in sight, they will just assume that the site is rubbish and not bother with it again.
Please don't write your reviews as though you are writing a text on your mobile phone! It's 'you' not 'u' and 'are' not 'r'. It is the same as with the punctuation - it makes the site look amateurish and not worth a second visit.
This is all part of the same sort of problem as the first two but this one is easily sorted - write your reviews in word first and then spell check and grammar check for that matter! It is that easy! I also find it much easier to write in word as it is easier to move about the page and add things when I realise that I have missed something out or move things around to put them in a better order so that the review flows.
It is also a Godsend for me as my spelling isn't one of my strong points!
Reviews with no content
There are reviews out there which, when you break them down, tell you nothing! As a rule of thumb - if you don't have anything worthwhile to say about a product don't write the review!
In the same area of abuse - don't write a review based on information from a website - only write about what you have used, visited, eaten etc.
Churners come in two guises - the ones that just enjoy writing a lot of good quality reviews and the ones that are just churning out 150 word reviews to get their 50ps.
I do not have a problem with the ones writing the good quality reviews although they won't get as many reads per review by writing a lot very close together but that is their choice.
I do have a problem with people who think Dooyoo is a way to make quick money by writing short rubbish reviews and I really do think that Dooyoo should address this problem sooner rather than later. Maybe they could only pay for rates that are useful or very useful? Maybe they could only pay the 50p on reviews that had a majority of useful and very useful rates?
I do feel that if the problem of really bad reviews isn't addressed then Dooyoo is in danger of losing revenue.
Writers who don't read
This problem isn't just restricted to new writers; there are a few established writers on here who do very little in the way of reading other people's reviews whilst gathering the reads themselves because of who they are.
Generally though it is the new writers who are so busy churning out review after review that they don't bother to read anyone else's work.
I do realise that each of us has our own commitments and some of us have a lot more free time than others so I wouldn't complain about someone just ready a few reviews each time they submit one of their own but we really should try and read some of other people's work.
This, as you probably know, is where someone takes offence at being rated less than very useful for a bad review and then promptly heads off to the profile of the person who has rated thus to rate one of their good reviews in the same way. I am pleased to say that this isn't something that happens to me much but I do know that others have suffered.
Well, thanks for 'listening' I feel better now that I have got that all off my chest and would be interested to hear what anyone else thinks too.
I think this is a double edged sword really, many people do use Dooyoo for a little bit of extra money and many do for the fun of being able to write down their views, it can be catharthic to get things out of our tiny little brains and out into the wider world, a release of thoughts is positive as is the 50p you get for each review.
I have to admit when I started I misunderstood slightly and wrote a couple of pretty basic reviews of around 150 words which were ok but not particularly informative, I have since got into my flow, read so many great reviews and written about things that interest me and now understand the point of the site, the motivation for many more experienced writers and the give and take between the two.
Writing for Dooyoo requires honesty and real integrity, sometimes I do get a bit peeved when someone says my review is useful, somewhat useful etc, but I now realise its not them not liking me, its them thinking the review didn't tell them everything, I then have to look was it relevant, did it tell people both sides of a story and was I honest with myself in writing it.
The people who give somewhat useful reviews are generally those who are really experienced or guides and have every right to do that, but we should all be honest, if we just give 'extremely useful' comments and its not extremely useful, we're letting others write under the misapprehension that this is how it works when its not.
I would say to people if you come on here write 30 reviews a day of 150 words you will not get great reviews and it will be pointed out to someone at some point.
If you write what you feel, don't copy and paste, you are giving people your view, if you add in facts about background etc, you give people everything they need to then make an informed decision.
I started simply writing on the site, but i've found some amazing websites through reviews, had my suspicions confimed about some products and been surprised about some others. Some of the beauty and film reviews and reviewers are exceptional and I really am enjoying this experience and being part of the whole system.
In terms of abuse, you get out what you put in, what motivates you to write is to get your views out there, get paid and get praise from others, write dull lifeless reviews and you'll give up damned quickly!!!!
Well some of the more veteran members might not think I am qualified to write this piece as I am fairly new to the site myself but I think I found out quite quickly the main Do's and Don'ts of the site, mainly down to other members giving friendly advice (Thank You Paul Hanton my Dooyoo Mentor....lol, though you may not be happy with what I am about to write), and reading other members reviews and seeing what comments were written etc,etc.
I love writing reviews and feel I put a lot of effort into them and most importantly write what the consumer needs to know, some people may disagree and think my reviews are no good, but to be honest I couldn't really care less, if I am happy with them and I think they contain all the relevant information than that's enough for me.
I am just getting bored of members criticising other members and so called 'Churners'.
And what really annoys me is the people who moan about members just doing it for the money..........Please get real, we all do it because we like to get our little reward, there are thousands of sites where you can write reviews and not get rewarded so all those people are saying they don't do it for the money, go and write somewhere else or at least stop moaning at the people who do it for the money, they are perfectly entitled to do it, don't get me wrong, I like a lot of people love doing my reviews and the reward is an added bonus, but I carry on doing them on this particular site because of the added incentive. And if the members who say they don't do it for the money really don't then why are they moaning anyway, I'll tell you why because they begrudge the members who write 150 words and get the same miles as they do, which in turn means they do care about the money. And for all we know some of these people could be seriously struggling financially and trying to make a quick buck, what's wrong with that, if the system let's them do that then fine, it's not hurting me.
And when other members have written pieces on their pet peeves of Dooyoo I have in the past agreed when it comes down to churners etc. But I have to say, I have recently had a change of heart. That is not to say I like it when members churn out 9 or 10 reviews in a row, but who are we to criticize, if someone can show me the Dooyoo rule book that say's you can only do so many reviews at a time then I stand corrected but can we really blame the members doing this, I mean let's face it there are always going to be people who want maximum reward for as little effort as possible, and we can't really criticize 'them', it's the system that let's them do it, if it is such a problem than why don't Dooyoo make 300 words the minimum and that each member is limited to 5 reviews a day.
And again I understand the frustration when a member has been rated 500 times and only rated 20 people back, but instead of moaning about it, check their stats and if they don't rate people back then quite simply don't rate them.
I guess what I am saying is that I just get bored of members constantly moaning about the so called Dooyoo abuse, I know it's frustrating when you write a review and within 5 minutes it's at the bottom of, or gone from the 1st page of the new reviews list, but if you are like me then I know the members who write good reviews and will look until I find them. But until Dooyoo do something about this then they obviously find it acceptable so there is no point whining about it, everyone is entitled to write what and how they want and if you don't like it then simply don't rate it, or even better make a stance by rating it not useful, the amount of times the very people who moan about Dooyoo abuse are rating rubbish reviews as Useful, WHY? , rate it as Not Useful and if you get revenge rated then report it to Dooyoo and they will remove the rating, I am sure that if we all rated a bit more honestly then certain members who get constantly rated Not Useful would get a ticking off by Dooyoo, as let's face it Not Useful reviews are no good to Dooyoo.
But please, just because someone has been a member for X amount of years does not give them the write to criticize new members who aren't officially breaking the rules, criticize the system that let's them do it and let Dooyoo be the judge . And I am not saying this because I am one of the members who do so called 'Churning', I do a 1 review every few days but I just think life is too short to be worrying what other people write and the reasons they write it.
Well that's my piece said, sorry if I have offended any veteran members, but I am entitled to my opinion and isn't that what this site is all about!......or perhaps I am wrong.
We all love this site, and most of us like to think that we can share a little of our knowledge with others. I, personally, like to think that I can offer help to others, and indeed I too have recieved help on making purchasing decisions. I also find it a really useful place to get my writing out there, and I often write reviews that make people smile.
That said, it seems apparent to me that there are those out there who abuse this site. Such abuse, I feel has increased since the payment structure changed to 500 dooyoo miles for a premium review. It seems that there are people out there that will publish crap in order to get 50p, not caring if they get read, or if anyone finds their work useful or not.
The main types of abuse on dooyoo, would be churning, revenge rating, and writing without ever rating.
I absolutely hate this. I feel that people should not write more than about three reviews a day. After this, the work starts to be less detailed, and therefore less useful. Those of us who are genuinely trying to help people, and be a part of the community will probably agree that dooyoo will not make you rich. It is a site that is there for people who love to write, and people who love to give opinion on products or services used. Churners probably have never used the product in question, let alone hold any knowledge on it. You can also be damn sure that they have never written a piece in speakers corner, as these are unpaid.
I once reported a guy, who had put on thirty reviews in fifteen minutes. His reviews had one line of text, followed by the same key hit enough times to take him over the minimum limit. People who try this are kinda dumb. I pointed out to him that his dooyoo miles currently say pending, and that he should stop what he was doing as he will never see the cash. Thankfully, as soon as I sent him that message he stopped, and has not returned since.
I hate this above all others. To rate another persons review, without ever actually considering its content, simply because they have rated you with anything less than a very useful. I like to think I rate faily, and will always give explanation for that rating if asked. But to see someone immediately pop over to your site, and give you a poor rating, just because you gave them a useful is so frustrating. Useful is still good, and should not be seen as a bad grade for your work.
Revenge rating should, in my opinion be reported to the dooyoo team immediately. It should not happen, and I think that it breaks the rules. These people, have obviously not read the work on display, and so should not be here.
Writers who do not rate.................................................
As I have already said, we will not get rich here. Those fifty pence's are nice when they build up. I am personally saving all mine to get my wife a nice present for christmas, but I know that I can't give up the day job just yet. However, we should all take a little time each day to rate the work of others. If we all rate, as well as read then we help eachother. Established members, will generally re-rate. I try to, but with work I cannot gauruntee that I get round everyone. I do, however spend time each day rating work.
I think that the best way around this is to look at peoples stats before you read their work. I do not read peoples work if they have not rated. Indeed, I will not look at other peoples work, if it is obvious to me that they are not rating, as I do not see them as being valuable members of the community.
With all this said, I really love this site. 99% of members are great, and unfortunately it is the minority who spoil it for the rest of us. If we work together, we can cut this abuse down. The dooyoo guys, understandably cannot stop this happening, so we should help out. Report abuse when it happens, and we can make this site even better!
Thank god thats off my chest! I am usually not such an angry person, but I just took a break from writing my next review to say a few things on the subject. Rant over!
Obviously, not everyone uses dooyoo properly. We'd love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on the matter.