I hate them with a passion. Blue-white sun hate. Supernova hate.
I’ve never, never, ever gotten useful information from them. Either the question I’m asking is there with no answer, or the answer was written by a bored 3rd grader who can’t spell and is just wild ass guessing, and guessing wrong. No cites whatsoever. They are complete crap and they waste the first page of my google results.
I really wish there was an easy way to eliminate all those “answer” sites from my google searches.
Wikipedia is handy and often very useful. But what moron thought it was a good idea to invite any random idiot to contribute “answers” to people’s questions without any standards or oversight at all?
That’s the standard model for software support these day: create a BBS and have people ask an answer questions. Works reasonably well for simple question (“How do you set up iTunes to subscribe to a podcast not in the iTunes store?”), but pretty much useless if the question is technical (“How do you set up iTunes to authenticate for an iTunesU installation?*”).
My questions are always fairly complex and technical; I’ve never gotten a useful answer from any of them.
*Apple’s answer: “We know how, so you can figure it out. Oh, and we assume in the documentation that you’re part of the Apple programming team and know what we mean without us having to explain a damn thing. You’re not? Well, Apple doesn’t support stupid peons like you. Come back when you have a Ph.D. in Computer Science – and not from some cheap-ass state school, either. We won’t give you any hints then, either, but we’ll stop laughing at you.”
Anyone who can figure it out is no longer interested in the problem and has no motive to leave the record somewhere. Anyone who can’t figure it out, by definition, can’t give the answer.
But where else could we get such entertainment?
Oh God, I wish those weren’t terrifically representative answers, but they are.
Aw man, I wanted to be the first to link “how is babby formed??”
Have you looked at New Scientist’s “Last Word” section?
I wish someone would create a message board where people could get quality answers to factual questions from other users.
The best site I’ve found for quality answers is www.uclue.com. It’s run by former Google Answers researchers. You do have to pay for your answers, but the results are usually far above excellent. You get to offer your own price for questions and researchers get to choose which questions they want to answer. $5 or $10 for simple questions usually suffices. You’ll need to offer more for more complicated questions.
Check out the site for their rules, suggestions, and recently asked (and answered) questions.
Yup, I’ve enjoyed reading that for years. They’ve got intelligent, knowledgeable people there generally, and AFAICT, the answers get moderated if needed.
Quite unlike wikianswers and Yahooanswers clogging up google searches with shit.
When you type in a question on Google.com also include in the search
and any other sites you don’t want
Yes, I know how to do that, but it’s a little time consuming. Google has a safe browsing feature, I wish I could add at least those two to it so I never have to see them again. Wiki answers, too.
A little part of me died yesterday when I was perusing Yahoo Answers for giggles and saw several questions about the Somalian pirates, such as “Are the Somalian pirates southern Baptists or Muslims?” or “Does Obama know any of the Somalian pirates?”
Come on; you don’t know about http://ask.metafilter.com/ ?
Where do you think I found out about the Straight dope?
I used to answer “cat” questions on Yahoo.
Then someone asked if it was okay to start their 6 month old kitten on solid food!?!? She had been feeding the poor thing, kitten formula since she adopted it at 2 months.
When I’m able to reach through my monitor and strangle the stupid out of someone, I may return.
What I don’t understand is how people with no qualifications at all think they should answer questions. I have touched on this before blaming the DUI laws. Loud mouthed idiots used to hangout in bars. Now they have to stay home with their 6 packs and pollute the internet.
Most of the sites are about advertising and the more eyeballs the better.
I also think a lot of it is spam. Certainly Yahoo Answers dog section sounds like many of the answers are put up by the small reps selling the more expensive dog foods. Shortly after Purolator was bought out a few years ago and the new owners announced their internet marketing strategy, several new members showed up on bobistheoilguy raving about how good Purolator oil filters are and knocking the competition.
They have, for complicated technical questions - http://www.stackoverflow.com (programming) and http://www.superuser.com (for technical/system administrator type questions).
Some people without qualifications are not aware that they lack qualifications, not aware that the concept of qualifications exists, or not aware that it matters.
Rejoice! Here’s the solution: http://gigaom.com/2011/03/10/google-lets-you-block-sites-from-search-results/
The gist is you follow a link from Google results, hit the back button to go back to results page, click the new link next to that result, e.g., “Block all askamoron.com results”, and voila, no more results from that site ever again. I’ve used that trick to block content farms like Experts Exchange and RoseIndia from my searches.