Ciao is an online review site which I joined many months ago. Members can join in order to earn cash for writing and rating the validity of product reviews and for taking part in the Ciao community. I personally have been reading reviews and writing them. I write one review per day or sometimes two. I am really enjoying the site although I do sometimes feel like the standard of writing on the site is expected to be high and I find this slightly intimidating.
To get started with Ciao you need to create and account and choose a username by which you'll be known in the Ciao community. You can then write reviews on whatever product or service you are familiar with. There are lots of products and categories to choose from including food items, electrical items, web services, household items, beauty and body care items and much more. You can earn different amounts of money for writing a review. This is dependent on the item rather than the category. An item that pays the most has a symbol of three pound signs beside it's title whilst the lower paying items carry only one pound sign. You can also earn by taking part in special discussions or by writing in a category which is listed as having a bonus for that month. As well as writing you can choose to do video reviews although I'm personally too shy to do this. Overall I feel the Ciao payment system is very generous.
I often rate reviews on Ciao and your own reviews will be rated by other members too. You can mark reviews on a scale of being 'Not Helpful' through to 'Exceptional'. As I mentioned I find it hard to write reviews that consistently receive a top rating although some members clearly have finely tuned writing and organisation skills which allow their reviews to really stand out. As long as you are thorough and say what you really feel in your reviews I think this is the most important thing, though!
I am really enjoying being part of Ciao and wish I'd found the site sooner as it is a nice hobby to be able to write my opinions and I love being rewarded for this too. I would recommend the site to anyone who loves finding out about new products and to those who enjoy writing or making a little bit of money online.
Er, I started on Ciao 2678 days ago on a Wednesday - Since then I've posted up 1.05 reviews a week. I was urged into writing for the online consumer while in 'The Quad Bar' by a skeletal Audrey Hepburn look-a-like; Miss Lendenbloom was her name (not a pseudo one), she did daily chores at Christies in London for a mere pittance. Naturally she found me 'amusing' and 'bemusing' and enjoyed getting free coffees' from me - on meeting she'll without fail gasp: "I'll kill for a coffee!" Falling for the urgency, I was 'first to the bar'; (you can see where this is going now) - amazingly, after just two sips she was notably normal, her fragility and vocal gasping dissolved, it was a miracle cure. I usually pandered to her recovery. "You seem a lot better now". She immediately replied: "You're a life saver" - She always slightly exaggerates. The normal chat procedure took place: her relationship problems, whether she could have a case in regards to bullying at work, her Mother's dementia, you get the picture. This time a new subject popped up it was 'Ciao'. She was never a member, because it looked like too much hard work for her - however, she made a note in informing me of this web site. 'Ciao is for people who have opinions' - apparently. In her eyes the web site's function and community would welcome me like a long lost brother who'd found his natural habitat. I felt emotional lump lodged in my throat, and it wasn't a sugar lump.
Not a place for theorists - especially those who have opinions
Initially, I didn't write. I didn't write at all. I read, and sometimes didn't even rate. I never signed up for the coinage possibilities partly due to inheriting an economic comprehension. Ciao, predominantly is to me about having a voice, delivering an opinion, learning from authors - and lastly, serving an online community. In reality the British only seem to absorb the knowledge from television broadcasters, historians, and naturists. The cultural commentators, professors of social cohesion and those deemed to have intellect are ostracised or they stimulate profound ill-feeling - 'Rebels without a cause' is a justifiable unity of like-minded people who have the memory of an elephant, logic of a headless chicken and the stubbornness of a mule. Overall, most people go via the tradition of empiricism that fact i.e. knowledge - but theory has resistance; meaning that theoreticians role's have no place in communities like Ciao, duly on the role it has played for generations before us. Modern day intellectuals have learned that portraying such data on Ciao indefinitely gets a negative response, albeit, one of misinterpretation. Those, whom review factual data in bullet-point statements, notably will have a positive response, even if the data was incorrect. Interestingly enough, if a member points out the discrepancy - the community will inadvertently make a mental note of the member's 'user-name', further down the time-line disparaging treatment is a high possibility. Apologies are different in Ciao-land, they're viewed as a weakness - commenting that you were wrong in a statement or a rating is deemed as an opportunity to fortify a position, a stance against that member, it even goes as far as recruiting negative opinion also. Again, in reality an apology is normally greeted as an apology nothing more than that. Remember the motto of the web site, 'Ciao is for people who have opinions' - In the non-virtual world people who are seen as intellectuals do have likeable traits - though they're not actually what we know as traditional theoreticians. Regardless of age and gender individuals such as: Niall Ferguson, Baroness Warsi, Simon Schama, and Naomi Wolf are by no means light-weight intellectuals, whatever your political persuasion; but if like most intellectuals embark in political agendas it usually spells disaster and Ciao is no different. The bigger the intellect the bigger the splash impact of the review, which in turn provokes a below-par rating frenzy which gets left at the bottom of the pile when it comes to the online readership it'll get - Hence, why 'think-tanks' - 'blogs' - 'twitter' are a more effective and affable choice for lobbyists and professional writers with a message. I think the evidence is apparent, since I've been a member I'm aware of three members' who've had their work published, obviously talent wordsmiths and yet none of them are active on this site any longer. A real pity, but a stark reminder of what Ciao has become, which is; a grave-yard for intelligence, concepts and creativity; instead Ciao has to contend with the blatant churner, doing it for the coinage until the penny drops, which takes two days and after ten reviews of 'predictive text tapping churn' the churner has amounted 187 pence. Yet still there are some real gems here, sparkling in the landfill of lineage - not to be sniffed at.
My stats life
When it comes to readership - 8.5% of my readership is from Ciao members and more times than not my reviews are not on top of the pile either, so it comes down to key-words and meta-tags on Google. Research has shown the high-end spec items tend to spur on a quick readership rate initially before cooling off after 60 days. Although the diamond reviews have a 12% higher generic readership number than an article which has an 'exceptional' average rating. As an author who writes for the online community predominantly, I'm pleased the 200,000 reads my articles have generated and it is mirrored by the number of thanks I've had on Dooyoo's platform. And it isn't as if I targeted my online audience to high spec brands or peripherals' in recent years. What is noticeable is the drop of reads and rates on Ciao and the decline wavers between 18 - 22% in the last two months. The realisation of a community purely in it for themselves, or is the membership down? I rear to the side that the type of community Ciao has at present is a fickle one as well as a selfish one - the influx of daily new members is a different breed of member, they seldom rate members and their Ciao interaction abilities goes only as far as leaving a 'guestbook' entry exclaiming they've edited the poor review you rated 'not helpful' - only to find they've added one line extra to their review, obviously done in 'predictive text' mode. I'm very much in favour of upping the word limit to what is expected on a Ciao debate review which is currently 500 words as a minimal. This ultimately may make new members aware of what is asked of them before submitting copy and paste tripe (times two) just so it reaches the mandatory 150 word limit as a successful review submission. Helium has got it just right on this matter.
I'm a believer in 'you are what you eat' if you eat fruit cake you are probably one. People who eat squid and lettuce have limp hand-shakes. Often those who eat chicken are 'chicken' when it comes to venturing onto menu alternatives - food types do predict your general outlook on life and lifestyle. Review writing isn't dissimilar; it is incredibly hard to write on a subject or a style you are not use to. And this leads me to the Ciao Café - especially the fortnightly debate. Members tend to adopt the same style and structure of writing in debates than they do in reviewing a product or a service. Debate writing is far more conversational than writing a normal review. If, anything the debates should be easier because hopefully you talk or interact with a spouse or friends more so, than you do keying it into your CPU or laptop. Opinion is good, but if it has no foundation - how do you expect a reader to get the gist from the get-go? Sometimes, I've found myself asking a simple question, and it becomes a full scale illogical comment fiasco - which only belongs in the zoo. I ask myself; 'How did it come to this?' before long the initial comment is forgotten and the critique morphs into something from the film: 'Species'.
7 years, 3 months and 29 days - in reality, armed robbers are free within that time!
As a member who has lived and breathed on the Ciao platform, for 7 years, 3 months and 29 days and counting, I've met my fair share of 'waymarkers', who feel they've the right to 'police' Ciao how they see fit. In real life, I'm sure the repetitive duty of employment keeps the boredom at bay and their sanity on an even keel. Perhaps they're policing their own small team; more often than not it tends to overspill into the Ciao community, whereby they feel it is ok to insult their elders without much of a second thought. Please checkout Christian Bale's character in the film: American Psycho - the jumped-up 'Ciaoster' isn't that far away from being a butcher, waving the chainsaw at plausible opinion and observation, one step away from emulating 'Patrick Bateman'. Who has the time and inclination to write a shoe review? Is there some lost cohort of Trollopian clerisy, who spends the mildewed years of their reclusion tapping out these clap-happy analyses? Basically, I've endured seven years of this: "The most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever had, soft comfortable leather straps, comfortable insoles, keeps my feet snug and comfy, when cold outside. Very comfortable. Highly recommended!" (smiley face) sealed with one small 'x' - Don't forget to rate. How did you rate the review? And remember to click onto the 'like' button, and tell your friends about the review you've just read - I can't help but feel that reviews and the paraphernalia around them has gone insanely 'Jack Nicholson'. Thankfully, Ciao has refrained from adding the 'inappropriate' or a 'report' button on the review platform. I hasten a guess that particular interactive button was overlooked. Otherwise, members would be sending in their abusive reports to Ciao HQ claiming: "I'm sorry but I found the word 'snug' you used unspeakably arousing, it prompted me to go into a sexual frenzy whereby I mistakenly purchased three pairs due to my incessant pressing of keys; I startled the cat and she hasn't been seen for three days, I do miss the pussy".
Mad as a hatter! - Oh no, I'll be reviewing 'Alice in Wonderland' next!
Naturally, I've nearly reviewed an oven glove, 'Mr. Apey' (a giant toy ape that sits aimlessly on the laundry basket), my entire allergy supplies that'll kill a horse if manufactured into sugar lumps - then I realised it is complete madness, being a Ciaoster has actually made me into this reviewing nutter, who thinks his word is his weapon, who peruses at cat charity stalls overloaded with chick lit books in a bid to get irked and outraged at the ridiculous content, only to review the damn book. By doing so, I re-lived the pain it caused - it is 'glutton for punishment'. Where else can you have such highs and lows and read such balderdash, and daily witnessing equally nutty members posting reviews on provocative shaped corkscrews, or writing 500 words about a banal sheet of lined A4 paper? Ciao.co.uk, that's where - I wouldn't want it any other way.
Ciao is a website very similar to Dooyoo.The site pays you to submit your opinions on a large variety of items, as long as your reviews and writing skills are of decent standard and get rated helpful or above. Ciao is incredibly easy to use and signing up takes 2 minutes at the most. The home page of Ciao isn't anything special with a simply grey and white colour scheme, but it's easy to navigate and find whatever you are looking for due to the product catergories listed on the right hand side of the homepage. These are listed in alphebetical order and are shown in bold font, with the subcatergories listed underneath.
On the main (centre) part of the page, a range of items are displayed under catergories such as 'The best perfumes' or 'This weeks telephone deals' etc. This is to encourage people to purchase the item or alternatively read a review about it to generate interest and sales. On each item there is an option to go to the website selling it which is a good idea as after reading the review, someone might be under the impression that they've got to have it and a direct link is quicker than googling it and prevents someone from forgetting about it. At the very bottom of the page, the most popular products listed.
At the top of the homepage, the Ciao logo is displayed. This is black with an orange exclamation mark. To the right of the logo the search bar is present. This is quite large and easy to use. Next to this there is small white font which reads Ciao - for people with opinions. There are then a number of small tabs which include: latest reviews, latest questions, video reviews, write a review. Clicking any of these tabs will take you to the page they're labelled as. On the top right corner there are four tabs - join ciao, login, help and mobile. If you are on a mobile, then the 'mobile' tab will instead be 'desktop'. These tabs are easy to navigate and logging in is incredibly easy, as is joining up.
The site isn't invitation only and anyone can join. To join up you will need to provide some basic information about yourself including your name, gender and email address. You will also need to choose a username which can be anything of your choice as long as it's not innapropiate. There is an option to sign up to newsletters and you will need to accept the terms and conditions. Once you have signed up you will be recquired to provide additional information including your postcode, first line of your address and your date of birth. You are then able to do all sorts of things including read, rate and post reviews.
Once you have joined up, it's a good idea to upload a photo of yourself so that people don't see you as just a 'grey face' (someone who's anonymous) or a newbie, although some people do choose to upload pictures of their children or pets instead. To upload a picture you will need to go onto your account settings, which has a number of options including 'upload a member photo' to upload a photo, click here. Your photo will need to be a JPEG/jpg file and needs to be under 10kb. The photo will take a day or two to be appoved. My photo is simply a photograph of my face.
You can also write a status on your profile page such as 'Hi, I am new here' etc. This can be done by pressing the 'edit' button underneath your member details. There is an option to make a personal homepage, which although I find quite an intresting concept, I haven't used so I can not comment on this. There are options to change your password, update your personal details and so on. There is also the option to unsubscribe to e-mail alerts, which automatically send you an email whenever somebody rates your review or comments on it.
The member centre has all the information you could possibly need - community announcements (I will explain this later) review guidelines, contact info, FAQ's, an option to report abuse, etc. There's lots of information on this section of the site and I would reccomend reading it before you post a review to avoid breaking any rules by mistake and it also gives a feel for the site and how it works. There's also the 'review archive' which shows every single review by month and day since the site was launched, and it updates daily at midnight. This is a handy feature as it lists the reviews posted that day in the order of helpfulness. There's also an option to see who are currently the most read authors and there's numerous other tabs including 'most read products'.
This is displayed in a box on your 'My Ciao' tab. The box is quite hard to miss so I am sure anyone who is already a member will know what I mean. This box is updated every couple of days with any improtant announcements, and it also shows any competitions, surverys, products of the weeks (a weekly writing competition) etc. The box is easy to navigate and comes in handy when you're unsure of something - for example my earnings recently went to zero (as did a lot of other peoples) but by reading the community announcements I soon understood why.
Everytime you post a review, rate a review or comment on a review you will be awarded with a small number of points which have no cash value. As the points build up, you will recieve a coloured 'spot' which appears next to your username. This spot, depending on the colour, shows how experienced on Ciao you are and what level you are at, for example a white spot = level 1 newbie and a black spot = level 10 long timer. The spot colours vary from green to red and I am currently on level 7 - bronze. I have 187738 community points and am 62262 points away from being a level 8 silver member. This has taken me almost a year to achieve and to be honest although it's not important and doesn't effect how much I earn, I am quite proud!! Although a lot of people say that the coloured spots are pointless I find them handy to establish whether someone on the site who I haven't seen before is new or a member who has come back after a while of been away.
Ciao pays their members in cash. To recieve a payment you will need a UK bank account. Under the 'setting' tab, there's the option to enter your bank details which obviously need to be correct. You then need to save them and whenever you request a payment it will be put into your bank the month after, usually on the 15th. For example if you request a payment on the 20th September, the money should be in your account by the 15th of October. Ciao do not offer vouchers as an alternative to cash, unlike a number of other sites. To make a request for a payment your balance needs to be £5 or over.
How much can I earn?
The money that Ciao pays doesn't sound a lot, but it soon adds up. Depending on what you review, you can earn anything from 0.5p to 2p per rating. This depends on the amount of ££ signs next to the product name. For example, an iPhone has 2 stars next to it and so if you review it you will earn one penny per rate, which adds up suprisingly quickly. To earn this one pence though the person rating your review needs to rate it as either helpful, very helpful or exceptional. If you post one review a day that has two ££ signs and each gets 80 rates, you will get 80p per day.
If your review is of high quality, with lots of personal opinion and good grammar, some people may rate it as exceptional. An exceptional rating means that this person has nominated your review to recieve a diamond and if Ciao agree that your review is of good quality, it may be awarded with a diamond which equates to £15 - not bad for one review in my opinion! The premium fund is also a good way to earn extra money, although it's a big mystery how it works! Premium fund payments can vary from £2 upto £100, or even more depending on how much you write and how good the quality of your writing is.
There are currently six rating options. Everyone rates differently, however this is how I rate-
This is the highest rating option and should only be used when you feel that a review is very thorough with lots of opinion, well laid out, truthful (eg there are no copied sentences or untrue statements that seem a bit fishy) etc. I only rate a review exceptional when it's clear effort has gone into the review and it is easy to follow (eg no silly language or unncessacary detail). You should not rate someone Exceptional just because they rated your review exceptional, as this is against Ciao's rules, although if you do find a review of theirs genuinely exceptional (well written etc) then it's not against the rules. When leaving an exceptional rating you will need to leave a brief comment explaining why - eg "very thorough and well written."
This should be awarded when you find a review that gives all of the information needed in a clear, thorough way. If a review is short, don't immedietly avoid giving it a 'very helpful' rating - concise, clear reviews are often more helpful than a long, rambling review.
This should be used when a review has lots of information but you feel that there is something important (eg price) missing, or if there a couple of typo's, spelling mistakes etc that make it hard to follow. I also don't like extremely long reviews that go into unneccesary detail eg 500 words about the packaging, although if there is all of the other information needed I will still rate helpful.
I use this rating option if I feel there is too little information given or if there is only a little personal information written. If a review seems rushed and it lacks enough personal opinion I will likely rate it somewhat helpful. If a review has been bulked out with product specifications etc but there is still atleast 300-500 words of personal opinion then I will likely rate somewhat helpful.
This should only be used for copied reviews or reviews written in poor english (aka nonsense reviews).
This should be used for reviews that are reviewing something different to the catergory they are under - eg someone writes a review about chocolate in the catergory for iPhones. Abusive reviews should also be rated off topic.
Comments can be left on all reviews. The comments allow members to socialise and leave their opinion on the item that has been reviewed. Some comments can sometimes be a little strange and off-topic, or at times (very rarely) abusive or un-true, however it is easy to report them and they are often removed within an hour.
I have been a member of this amazing site for just under a year now and I love it! It took me around 3 months to get the hang of it, but now I log into it pretty much everyday to read and rate any new reviews, message my 'Ciao friends' via the public or private guestbook or alternatively write a review of my own and post it. I find writing extremely relaxing and theraputic, and as I am stuck at home with my baby most days I find that it keeps my brain busy and stops it turning to mush! I love the 'comments' options as I am able to leave my opinions of products etc or my opinion of someones review and I am also able to tell people how good their review is, which may sometimes come across as patronising but I think it's important to let people know how good their reviews are sometimes as it's a nice feeling when someone says that they found your review interesting or well written.
I find that posting reviews is a quick and easy process and the layout options etc when writing the review are brilliant - there's the option to spell check the review, add bold or italic font, add bullett points and so on. Rates soon come flooding in on my reviews, mainly because I rate other people a lot and people know that they can trust me to rate them back. It is important to rate others, because the site is all about rating everyone and rating fairly. I love getting feedback on my reviews and whenever I get an exceptional rating or a nice comment, I feel so proud that go over to my mum or boyfriend (if they're at home) with my laptop and show them - they don't really understand why i'm so over the moon, but non the less they know how happy it makes me feel.
Although I am intelligent (without sounding snobby!), I didn't do well at school. I loved English but I was badly bullied and developed Anorexia, and had family issues. As a result I left school early, and my work went down hill and my writing skills slipped. Since then I have become a university student and study pschology, which doesn't particullary involve much writing (apart from notes and case studies), and I have found that writing reviews really helps raise my confidence in getting my spelling, grammar and writing style back on track. It also allows the subject of what I am writing about change regulary and as a result I feel comfortable writing reviews of anything from cardigans, crisps and coke, to iPhones, laptops and bath bombs. Writing is theraputic and I love sitting at the laptop and just typing away - the great thing with Ciao is that they encourage lots of personal opinion, so I often just type whatever comes into my head (as long as it makes sense) - it's like thoughts spilling onto paper (well, the laptop screen) which I find theraputic - maybe that's weird, but I really enjoy it.
Most of the people on Ciao are lovely - I especially love talking to Nic, Lee, Daniel and Simon, who are all lovely. Laura (Angel!) is also lovely and so are Alyson, Elizabeth and various other people (but I don't know their real names - sorry!), from what I know of them all anyway and I love reading about what they've been upto in their reviews - I always find my self smiling and everyone is so supportive - I am always open to making new friends and appreciate every single person who rates my reviews, I always recognise someone who i'm familiar with when they post a review and read it straight away. Yes I have 'real' friends in the real world but it's nice to get to know people from all over the country with different views etc and it's interesting seeing all of the different stuff that people own - i've made so many purchases because of positive Ciao reviews and am happy with all of them. Of course like all websites there are the occasional trolls that get jealous and decide to attempt to give people abuse or make up lies about them, and there are also people who make quite offensive comments about people's spelling or writing abilities, but remember everyone - "success is the best revenge!"
The money that I earn from Ciao comes in extremely handy. I am currently living at home with my Mum (which is a little embarrising to say as i'm twenty!) because I have just had a beautiful baby, and although I have savings I often give my mum a chunk of money from my Ciao earnings to go on the food shop etc and I still have plenty left over for my self. I also managed to buy my daughters car seat, baby bath and a ginormous box of nappies all at once solely from the money I had earned from Ciao, which as you can imagine was very handy and it allowed us to buy her an amazing pram and cot etc with 'our' (not Ciao) money - does that make sense? Basically, Ciao money helps take the strain off slightly and allows me to treat myself and my child a lot more often to luxuries I wouldn't be able to justify otherwise - so thankyou for all of your rates! I think it's a little tasteless to state how much I earn a month, but with the premium fund included it is usually above the £100 mark - providing I write atleast one review everyday. When I first joined I think I made around £15 in a month, but that is because I wasn't rating other people and my reviews weren't of a high standard. The money is always in my bank by the 18th at the latest of each month and I have never had issues with a payment being cancelled etc.
I like how fast Ciao are to accept product suggestions too, and I like that they allow you to submit pretty much any item you want. Contacting them has always been easy and I usually recieve a reply the same day that I send the e-mail. The only downside is that they don't monitor the website over weekends, which can be a huge disadvantage. I do not expect them to not have a weekend off but perhaps they could provide an emergency number to ring if slanderous or abusive messages etc are posted on a weekend? Apart from that though, I absolutely love Ciao and am well and truly hooked!!
I highly reccomend Ciao, it is a friendly, welcoming site and gives the oppurtunity to earn lots of extra cash without an enormous amount of time or effort. It is not a get rich quick scheme, but it certianly is a way to up your income!
First up, I'm going to review ciao as a site for reviewers as thats my only contact with it. I'm also going to slate it, so if you like it a lot, you probably want to look away now....
Firstly, the positives -
Ciao has a wider range of products than Dooyoo. A lot of products that I've recommended on here have already been listed on Ciao.
You can post photos. While this gets into another negative which I will mention later, its a useful function particularly for travel pieces. I have dozens of photos of practically everywhere I've been, and I'd like to be able to post them on here sometimes.
Ciao seems to be busier than Dooyoo. Even though I only do a handful of rates over there I get as many for each review as I do here, despite rating as much as possible.
The premium fund is nice. Although I don't make much money from it, I like the concept.
Now, here we go with the negetives -
It's soooo slow. Yes, this is partly because my computer is a little old, but on the same computer Dooyoo works no problem.
It's more difficult to see who rated your reviews, probably why the few ratings I do rarely get returned.
There is no money up front for reviews, and a lot of reviews make nothing, regardless of rates. This can be a problem if you have one of these sitting at the top of your review list, as that's the one that people usually use to rate back.
It's not so clear how much you get for each review. Yes, they have those little symbols, but just compare it to Dooyoo and see for yourself which one is more user friendly. It's a one-horse race.
There's WAY more backslapping required. Now, sorry for being souless, but I joined these sites to make a little extra money during down time at work, otherwise I would just post reviews on sites like Amazon. I do as much rating as I can here to that effect. On Dooyoo, however, it costs nothing to nominate for a Crown. I make a lot of nominations and I (hope) I get a few back (I got enough for one Crown, at least!) On Ciao you really have to earn your E ratings, usually by buddying up to people in their guestbooks. I really don't have time for this, but giving an E really doesn' t mean you get one back, despite doing what the majority of posters do and shamelessly intoning "E!" on the comments sections of other people's reviews (I actually tried it for a while, but it didn't work ...). I've given perhaps 150, and had just 10 in return. That's not to say that my reviews necessarily deserve E ratings, but then neither do a lot of the ones I've read. In addition, it seems you're more likely to get Es if you post photos. While this is useful for travel reviews, I've seen people posting photos of cans of beer, books, food products. Um, I know what it looks like, because there's a picture of it at the top ...
Also, and this applies to both Dooyoo and Ciao - in reality you're not getting rewarded for information given to other consumers, because regular consumers can't actually rate you. While I understand the problems with this - after all, if you could just log on and rate yourself a lot of people would just cheat the system - but if the only people who are actually reading and rating your reviews are doing so in order to get you to reciprocate, then as a business model it fails. One of my reviews on Ciao has had 523 reads. Of those, how many actually made me any money? 36. Sometimes I find myself rating reviews of hair products, shoes, baby toys. I have no interest in any of those things, but I do so purely to work the system for what it is. I'm a slave to the machine. Okay, so on Dooyoo you get "thanked" by visitors. Well, cheers. That helps pay off a student loan. That's more than you get on Ciao, at least.
Finally, and this refers solely to Ciao - I HATE that word. I used to live in Italy and listening to a bunch of Italians saying goodbye to each other, firing off ciao-ciao-ciaos like twittering birds, really began to grate after a few months. I have no problem with Dooyoo though!
Overall, I've made enough money for my participation to have been worth it, particularly, as I said, I do the majority of my rating while I have down time at work (and some weeks I have A LOT). And as I joined Ciao first I have a decent backlog of reviews to update and gradually post on here. From now on, though, unless I'm in a really good mood (or I get a new computer!) I'll be doing the majority of my reviewing, reading and rating here.
##Probably won't be posting this on Ciao ...##
##Sits back and waits for the backlash to begin ;-) ##
Baby & Co (Bristol). Found a stroller on their website at a very good price. Ordered on Monday, requested next day delivery. The stroller arrived on Tuesday, just in time for holidays. Great job, thanks.
I have been a member here on Dooyoo for almost a year now. I like it here, I've made a nice little bit of money, but always felt like my better reviews were a little bit of a wasted effort as they never seem to get rewarded. Anyway, over the year I've noticed a lot of people mention Ciao, another review website. I was happy on Dooyoo so never bothered about it. However, about two months ago I decided to give it a look.
Ciao is similar to Dooyoo in some ways and very different in others. The first thing I realised was that Ciao does not pay an up front fee for writing a review. You get paid by how many members rate your review and also it depends on what the product or service you are reviewing is. Some products you get 2p per rate, some 1p and some 0.5p per rate. Now it didn't take me long to realise this was a bit rubbish! However I thought I'd give it a try.
Another similarity on Ciao is the community spirit. I soon spotted lots of familiar faces from Dooyoo and found I was warmly welcomed. As on Dooyoo there is very much a you rate me and I'll rate you spirit. So I started giving people ratings. You can give six ratings on Ciao, off topic, not helpful, somewhat helpful, helpful, very helpful and exceptional. Exceptional ratings are hard to come by as you can only give out five of these per day. Exceptional ratings nominate a review for the premium fund, more on that later.
When I first started on Ciao I was overwhelmed with the site. It's more complicated than Dooyoo and there is a lot more to get used to. However, two months on and now that I'm familiar with how it works I would have to say it's superior to Dooyoo. There is more information, more detail and more personal stats you can look at.
The product list on Ciao is huge, probably similar to that of Dooyoo. However as on Dooyoo you can suggest a new title. Now on Dooyoo I have suggested quite a few products, the quickest I have had one accepted was two weeks and the longest was over two months! On Ciao, they do it the next day! Everything I have suggested has been accepted and is on there the day after.
A few days in to my Ciao career I was having doubts though. I had been writing reviews of a decent standard and been getting lots of very helpful ratings, but had only made about £1. Then I got my first E rate. I wondered what this was all about and then found out about the mysterious premium fund. At the end of each month, the Ciao people give out £2000 to their members. They split the money up between all the best reviews from the month, this usually depends on the number of E ratings. They also give ten diamonds out to the best reviews, these are worth a whopping £15 each! They make a crown look rather ordinary! So I decided to approach the site a little differently.
Throughout April I wrote one review every two days. I wrote about things I had a passion for and really wrote the best reviews I was capable of. The E ratings poured in and members flocked to read my reviews. I worked hard on my reviews and was hoping I would be rewarded with a nice bit of premium fund at the end of it. So how did I do? Well I won't tell you the exact amount, but put it this way, those 15 reviews I wrote on Ciao earned my more than my last 150 reviews on Dooyoo! I also was rewarded for my efforts with a diamond, which was a very nice surprise.
It seems that Dooyoo rewards people who churn out average reviews and put little effort in. Whereas Ciao rewards writers who put forth their best efforts and write with passion and feeling. I have made more friends on Ciao in the last two months than I have made here on Dooyoo in over a year. There is so much to enjoy about Ciao and it really does inspire creative writing.
Overall I would have to say I now prefer Ciao to Dooyoo. If you are looking to make easy money and write a load of easy reviews, Ciao is not for you! You will only make pennies and quickly loose interest. However, if you love to write and are willing to put effort into your reviews Ciao really will reward you. I will still write on Dooyoo as I do enjoy some aspects of the site, however I think Ciao is the way forward for my writing. Ciao gets a big thumbs up from me!
Ciao is a website not unlike Dooyoo, where the users are paid for reviews of commercial products. Unlike Dooyoo, however, the site gives out mere peanuts, and nothing is given for the actual uploading of a review, rather, points are awarded for how many people look at the review, and you have to rate reviews to get people to do that.
It's not a good site. The design is ugly as sin and incredibly difficult to navigate. The reviews on there are generally of quite low quality and the catalogue really isn't that extensive at all. It's mostly just a read and click fest that doesn't pay well at all. Points are awarded seemingly at random on occasion, and I find if you check back once every few months you might just have a couple of quid waiting for you, which you can get sent to your bank. This takes forever and is barely worth doing, as the whole registration and interface processes are incredibly frustrating to use and difficult to look at.
Half of the reviewers barely speak English or just fill a review with 500 of the same word, and the other half are incredibly arrogant. There's not much moderation or quality control and the whole site just looks lazily thrown together. There's very little point in visiting it, unless you have a load of old Dooyoo reviews that you don't mind copying and pasting to Ciao. (they don't mind cross-posting.) In summary, you're better off just sticking with Dooyoo.
Many of us Dooyooers here are also on Ciao Surveys I have noticed, and I must say that I am definatley a Dooyoo fan over Ciao.
I write many reviews on Dooyoo, as many of you will notice lol, and I also put some of these reviews on Ciao, which is only something I have recently started doing to make some extra cash on the side. I have noticed some major difference between Dooyoo and Ciao, and these make me favour Dooyoo much more.
Most people on Dooyoo (at least I hope!) should know of the review rewards on here, and I was hoping that Ciao would be the same sort of thing, but alas it is not so. Ciao pays very small amounts of money as rewards for the reviews, anything between 0.5 - 2p per review it would seem, but I only seem to make a very few pence a week on Ciao, even though I post many, any reviews and they get many ratings. Maybe there is something I do not understand?
I have also noticed there is a discinct amount more in the way of items and subjects here on Dooyoo than there is on Ciao. I try to post the same reviews on both sites (with the disclaimers of course) but have found that most of the reviews I have done here on Dooyoo, are not even listed on Ciao, which is quite annoying.
The site itself is quite easy to use, and you can navigate your way around quite easily to read the reviews that have been posted by other users, rate them, and post your own reviews. The site does appear a little boring and plain to me, but this is just my opinion and others could find it looks better to them.
I personally recommend that this site is used to post reviews, but do not expect to make much from it. I have made 82p in a week for many reviews posted! If you wish to actually make any money from your reviews, stick here at Dooyoo where you get paid well for the items you review, and there seems to be more of a community feel to this site too.
Ciao is a good reliable website which rewards you financially for creating its content. You write reviews, post them and are rewarded for this.
WHAT IS IT
Ciao is a consumer based review website where you can write and upload your own individual product reviews, sharing your experiences with potential buyers. If you sign up you will join a vibrant "if opinionated" community and have access to forums to discuss almost anything. To make this a even better you get the chance to make some money whilst you go about it. There is the potential to make around £3 per review you write.
Firstly you post your review to the websites and then you wait for people to rate it.
During the time when you're awaiting your review being read and rated you have the opportunity to read and rate the other user's reviews.
Each Review which has been created in Ciao can be rated at one of six levels:
1) Exceptional: The best of the best of the reviewing glitterati
2) Very useful: A very good review that would guide you to make a purchase.
3) Useful: A good encompassing review
4) Somewhat helpful: A review that has some good opinions but doesn't give you the whole picture.
5) Not Helpful: A review which wouldn't help guide you to make a purchase.
6) Off Topic: A review which is no help to man or beast.
One thing I do not like about Ciao is that it has a system which lets other users know how active you have been. This comes in the form of a coloured dot next to your name. For every action you perform you achieve community points. The more active your are the more points you get and the colour of your dot will change as you move up the levels. Many users in my opinion use this as a way of choosing whose reviews to rate as the people who are more active are more likely to return rates. I would recommend taking your time and build up a reputation then start reaping the rewards. As you start up you will initially find it harder to get those higher ratings on your review. This becomes easier over time and soon it will become old hat.
NB: Many users publish their reviews on more than one site and as long as this is clearly shown the website wizards do not seem to have a problem.
INPUTING YOUR REVIEW & FINDING YOUR WAY AROUND
The website looks a little daunting when you first start and in my opinion it could be a lot better set out. In order to input a review you first click on the write a review link. You then search for your product. The website search engine is rather slow and on a number of occasions I have struggled to find items which I have wanted to write review about. The search engine seems to want to search for every letter you input individually (it doesn't wait until you have completed the item you are searching for). If you can't find the product you are looking for I would recommend to keep looking as it will, most probably, be there in the catalogue somewhere.
Once you get to the review you input a title and then in a separate box you input the main body of your report. You can then separate out both the advantages and disadvantages of the product and input these in separate boxes. Overall the input of review is quite a simple process and once it has been submitted your results will show on you My Ciao page.
Like all these websites the more you use it the more you get used to the format and the quicker you become at all the processes.
Apart from the enjoyment you can get from just reading reviews and watching people rate your reviews what most people are really after is the money. Ciao does not reward you with money for each review you write. Instead it looks at how many readings your reviews have had and the number of 'exceptional, 'very useful' and 'useful' ratings you have received and then they use this to establish your share of money at the end of this month. For each rate you receive you will get either 0.5p per rating, 1p per rating or 2p (Ciao decides which rating is to be used). For some reviews, you will not be paid anything for ratings. This seems a little unfair to me. If you are first to write a review about a product you will be paid twice as much for the positive ratings your review receives as the rate indicated by the pound signs next to the product name.
For reviewers who produce extremely high-quality reviews Ciao offers extra financial rewards and every month £2000 bonus is divided out between the best authors.
You can receive payment once your account has reached a minimum balance of £5. This can be paid directly into your bank account. All you have to do is log in and visit you My Ciao page. There you click on the "Account" tab and finally click on "Request payment". Pay-outs are made once a month therefore, it may take up to five weeks for the payment to be transferred into your bank.
Ciao is a good honest website which offers you solid rewards if you are patient and keep the faith with it. If I owned this website I would be looking to improving the website navigation but this is just a minor complaint and the website still has a lot of positives.
I have been posting on Ciao for a few months now and I thought that I'd share my thoughts and opinions with my fellow Dooyooers.
****************** What is Ciao? *********************
Like Dooyoo, Ciao is a consumer website where you can post product reviews. Many Dooyoo users cross post their reviews on both sites and providing you make this clear neither site seems to have an issue with members doing this.
**************** How does it work? **************
In a similar way to Dooyoo, you post your reviews and then rate other people's writing. On Ciao you have six rating options - with 'exceptional' being the highest rating and 'off topic' being the lowest. However on Ciao you only get a certain number of exceptional ratings each day - which in some ways is good, because it means that only the best reviews are rewarded highly, however I find that Ciao is a lot more cliquey that Dooyoo, so unless you have been on the scene a while, you may find it hard to acquire exceptional ratings despite writing exceptional reviews.
On Ciao you have a coloured dot next to your name - this allows other users to see how long you have been on the site, because as you acquire community points through rating, writing and commenting. Your colour will periodically change when you reach different community point levels.
**************** Site navigation *****************
At first I found the site quite complicated to navigate and certain aspects of the site aren't made clear in the frequently asked questions. For example, I had to e-mail a fellow Ciao and Dooyoo member (thedevilinme) to find out when £8 had mysteriously been added to my account (it turns out it was my share of the premium fund - more on that later).
The website is rather basic and the search tool doesn't always respond very quickly when you are searching for an item, so I'd advise you to search for a product more than once if it doesn't come up the first time, because it could still be in the catalogue.
After clicking around the site I soon got to grips with it, so although it isn't as advanced as other consumer review sites (cough, cough, Dooyoo), it is certainly usable.
**************** Rewards ********************
Instead of being rewarded with 50p per review like on Dooyoo, you get a share of the 'Premium Fund' at the end of this month. The way the premium fund is distributed seems to be something of a mystery, but I believe that the number of 'exceptional, 'very useful' and 'useful' ratings has a bearing on the amount of money you earn.
This also means that basic 150 word product reviews will earn less than an in-depth piece of writing.
The other way that Ciao rewards its readers is by running monthly competitions. Ciao challenges it's users to write an article on a particular current news issue, or on a new or seasonal product. Personally I think this is a fantastic aspect to the site, because it allows users to be creative and offers them an incentive to write something interesting and compelling.
The best reviews are also awarded diamond status and Ciao also rewards the best short reviews each month.
**************** Overall ****************
If you are looking to earn a quick buck then Ciao isn't for you, because it takes a while for you to start reaping the rewards. I also find that the site is rather cliquey, which isn't helped by the coloured marker that indicates how active you have been on the site, however if you persevere these issues become less important.
I think that Ciao has its fair share of pluses and negatives. However overall I'd say that Ciao is great if you're creative and like to write about interesting products, you just need to be prepared to put the time in and understand that you won't get your head around the website instantly.
3.5 stars? Oh go on... I give it four!
Well I joined Ciao and Dooyoo on the same day, and I have to say Dooyoo appears the superior site (thats only my opinioon of course).
The main differences being Dooyoo is a plain review of the product and does not stipulate you have to restate the properties of the product availability though of course you can if you want to, basically technical things you can find my looking up the product on the maker's website. The other main different is in the rewards Dooyoo rewards you for writing a review, Ciao does not. Secondly Ciao users seriously ask for and expect a lot of details about the product and do not seem as interested in your opinion as these physical descriptions (think prices, sizes, different colours etc etc).
Both Ciao and Dooyoo reward you for the ratings of your reviews (in Ciao's case thats all you get) except it seems Ciao users tend to rate your review on how long it is rather then the usefulness of its content. However Dooyoo rewards are better they have better rewards, if you rate a product badly there seems to be no problem with that. Ciao on the other hand seems to be more sales oriented meaning user seems to be looking for and writing good reviews about products, which isnt what I want if a products bad or has flaws I want to know.
Of course theres people who will write an extensive in depth, in detail and post in on both sites (and I guess there must be more sites like this out there) so reaping the rewards of both.
Overall Ciao, the users and the way there system works I find inferior to Dooyoo. In about a month I have made about 20pence on Ciao with the same number of reviews on Dooyoo I have made around 10000 miles (about £10). I would by far pick Dooyoo over Ciao any day of the week.
Ciao is a website where people can get information about products they are looking for containing consumer reviews and price comparisons to make decisions easier.
2 days more or less I realized that I wouldn´t get used to ciao. When I wrote for about 8 opinions to only earn £0,16. I felt completely ripped off. A very poor amount when I compare it with other website that offers similar activities like Dooyoo. In this site, with only one opinion you can earn more than £0,50.
Besides, I don´t like how the site is designed. It´s not very attractive unlike Dooyoo. That is something I consider as important because of the time we can spend in these sites.
Another thing that I don´t like of this website even that in principle I thought it was going to be something advantageous was the survey section where we can enter and answer the following cuestions for an amount of money.
But the bad point is that there are always problems to finish a simple survey (sometimes because they say that I don´t fulfill the demanded requirements or because they have enough people to complete the distributed information) so I can be wasting time for nothing, without receiving an amount of money.
The only advantage I notice is that there are more variety of products so if you want to find information in these kind of websites there are more probabilities to find it here.
I joined Ciao in September 2008 and have cross posted some of my reviews which have appeared on Dooyoo and latterly Igougo in order to maximise my earnings. I have had some mixed experiences here, there's some good and some bad things about the site. These are my experiences from a members point of view.
Ciao.co.uk is a consumer resource which allows people to read unbiased reviews from real consumers before they make purchases. In order to generate content Ciao pays members to post reviews on the site. There is no fee for posting a review and payment per member rate of Helpful or above varies from 0p to 4p. I like the fact the reward system encourages members to write about things that have not previously reviewed by doubling the amount per rate for the first month when you post the first review in a category. The rewards system also encourages reviews on bigger ticket electrical items and travel by rewarding them with higher earnings than the likes of food reviews. Somebody who posts low quality reviews will generally not last long on ths site as these will receive very little in the way of payment.
The way that the reward system works means that members are encouraged to be active within the online community, a mix of social networking and rating. When I first joined the site I was told to make myself as visible as possible by an established member in order to attract rates. This has led to some friendships being formed between members but also leads to a lot of tension between community members.
Points Make Prizes
Members on Ciao have a coloured dot beside their name which varies according to their contribution to the community. Points are earned by posting reviews and pictures, rating others reviews and leaving comments. The system as it stands is deeply flawed, a member who writes a meaningless comment such as "good review" on everything that they read will gain far more points than someone who writes the occasional thoughtful comment but the latter is of more use. The fact that some members of Ciao seem to think that their worth as a human being is dependent on the colour of their dot is another problem with people actively courting rates from higher ranked members. To be honest, you kind of get sucked into the whole dot colour thing, as much as I realise that the dots are meaningless I was still happy when I changed my status recently to an orange rather than red dot.
Members are encouraged to rate reviews posted by other members and this peer review has two purposes that I can see, the first one is to push the ranking of reviews up or down a list so they are more visible for consumers doing research. The second is to decide which reviews receive a slice of the premium fund. This peer system of rating sounds good in theory but is corrupt in practice. The biggest source of corruption is the use of the Exceptional rating button which should be reserved for the very best reviews but seems to be given out to friends in the hope they will reciprocate. E ratings also seem to be given out depending on how well a review is formatted or how long it is rather than the content.
Because the ratings and earnings on the site are so closely linked there seems to be a real fear of giving anything less than a VH rating, Helpful is still a good rate. I have personally had people tantrum in my guestbook over been given an H rating, revenge rates and friends of the person I rate but in and get involved both publicly and privately. The fact that there is so much fuss over H ratings is wrong, people should be free to rate as they see fit without being bullied and intimidated by other members, this behaviour stopped me being active on the site for a while. Personally I am happy to explain my rates if asked but people should not feel like they cannot give a rating less than VH to established members because they will be harassed or revenge rated.
Another worrying trend is for members to ask for H rates to be removed which Ciao seems to be happy to do even if the rates are fully justified. Having these rates removes just makes the current rating system worthless.
I think the system would be far better if the ratings were anonymised ie you copuld see WHO had rated your review but you could not see what they had rated you. This would lead to a far more honest rating system.
A Girls Best Friend?
I can't write a review on Ciao without mentioning the diamonds which are meant to be the handful of highest rated reviews every month. There is a trend for exceptionally long reviews to be given these awards, Ciao have balanced this out a bit by introducing a short and good award for reviews of less than 1000 words but does this mean diamonded reviews are long and dull? Personally I think most of these reviews are not the cream of the crop, they are often dull recitations of facts which can be gleaned from other sites. I know that when I am browsing as a consumer looking to buy I don't want to wade through reviews of up to 5000 words long, it's the opinion which is the most important part of a review after all. Often people who write these types of reviews seem to be writing for the ciao community rather than the consumer. Personally I would put a word limit of 2000 words for reviews and I think most reviews should be shorter than that.
Ciao run a weekly and monthly competition and these can bring the worst out in people with people actually asking others to give them an E rate via private guestbook amongst other things. I find it hard to believe people would stoop so low for the sake of a small cash reward but I think it is also the kudos of winning that drives people. Personally I just avoid the competitions now, have never entered one and try to avoid reading reviews in competition categories.
Who Is Running The Asylum?
The Ciao team do not have a heavy visibility on the site, from the newsletter they seem to be based abroad somewhere judging by the standard of the English used. This means that some members have either appointed themselves or just drifted into the role of community leadership. I think the Ciao team could do with being more visible especially when there are disputes between members to take the burden of acting as peacemaker off senior members especially as they can be seen to be biased and their interpretation of the rules may not be 100% correct.
It seems that all I have done in this review is moan about the things that are wrong with Ciao but there are also good things. I enjoy writing reviews, I feel I have been rewarded fairly well financially for my contributions and the site pays out reliably. There are some members who are a joy to interact with and I enjoy reading others opinions and receiving comments and messages from members.
As I have noticed in my time writing reviews online there are quite a few members on Dooyoo who are also on Ciao so what's the fascination with being on both sites and is it necessarily a knock against another to join the rival?. I first joined Dooyoo several years ago under a different name to what I now use here and Am currently using as a member of ciao. I had read many reviews about ciao and decided to have a look myself as I enjoyed the experience of writing reviews here so wanted to see if I would at Ciao as well. There are individual Ciao sites for each of the following countries United Kingdom, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden.
I'm sure that most of you will be familiar with the way that Dooyoo works now unless you are one of the newcomers we have. Basically Ciao is another review writing website which allows consumers to share their views and opinions on a very wide range of products and services just like here at Dooyoo. Basically you can write a review about an item and then when your review is read and rated you receive a payment which is deposited into your ciao account.
Joining Ciao is Free, easy and quick and all you need is your email address and choose a username and password. Once you have signed up you are able to write your reviews and update your profile with your interests etc. In a few weeks you will be able to see who are the top reviewers and it's good to read a few writers regularly as other users tend to do the same and will soon spot your reviews too. Once you have got the hang of it then you can start filling in your bank details for when you choose to cash in your ciao account.
On your account page you will see the normal details like reviews written and you will also see your total earnings for that payout in actual money compared with Dooyoo's Mile reward system. There's also the community points which are awarded based on your level of appearance in the Ciao community. Basically the more you use the site the more points you will amass. Below all that are your latest reviews and the various stats for them and how you rated the product as well as your people rated your review.
I am not really all that impressed by the layout of the site as I find things are a lot easier to find and use on dooyoo than Ciao. The biggest problem I have with Ciao's layout is that you can't find the new reviews as well as you can with here. There tends to be a lot of bad reviews mixed with the very good and you also find new reviews which have already been out for a few days but are shown in the same area as ones that have only been written and posted that day. I also find that the layout of the actual review can bring your rating down on Ciao.
I would say that the overall quality of reviews is higher over here on Dooyoo, there are a lot more excellent writers who are new to Dooyoo than newcomers of Ciao and I find that there are quite a few people who are on Ciao who seem to treat it as an exclusive club and seem to only view certain writers reviews so you struggle to get as many ratings as you would here sometimes. Having said that there are some very very good writers on Ciao who would regularly receive crowns in Dooyoo. One thing they have over dooyoo is that a lot more products seem to be on ciao whereas you may need to request them on Dooyoo. I have never actually requested anything on Ciao but have done my first review on ciao and then copied my review to Dooyoo when the item has been put up for review here.
Whilst you don't receive anything for posting a review on Ciao you still get paid everytime your review is rated and it's worked out as £,££ and £££ signs for 0.5p per rating, 1p per rating or 2p per rating respectively. you can earn a bit more with the rewards than you can on Dooyoo. The regular competitions reward writers with anything up to £15 which is not bad indeed as these reviews tend to be well read as well. I have picked up a strong number of smaller rewards between £2-7 and usually have a couple of these each month. I will soon be requesting a payout from Ciao.
Ciao is a very good site and has a very wide database of reviews and reviewers who give good accounts of the products and services. I would recommend the site to anyone who likes writing reviews and is looking to earn a bit more money online. There are a few things that Dooyoo are just better at and that is the main reason why I have given Ciao four stars instead of five. It's a very good site and you could add a decent amount to your online earnings posting on ciao aswell.
On this site you can give your opinion and get something back is Ciao. This site works in a different way than Dooyoo. Key points to note are it does not pay out for each review written on the site. Instead you are paid for the amount of times you review has been read by somebody else or rated. Their is only one good payment method on the site and that is the premium fund on the site. That is the special section of the site where the best reviews of the month make some extra cash.
The payment method on the site is through bank transfer and you have to wait over a month to get your money! I wrote around 20 reviews on the site and only made 2 pounds on the site. I think Ciao is a waste of time to be honest and only reason to go on the site is to copy your Dooyoo reviews on the site over.
The rest of the site is not worth us wasting my time on. You do not get paid enough here I say. Most of the reviews on the site are bad in their standards and not helpful. The best idea on using the site would be just to move your Dooyoo reviews over to Ciao and make something out of nothing. Do not expect to make loads of money on this site though for reviews.