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Perchik's avatar

Askville.com by Amazon. Fluther ripoff?

Asked by Perchik (4982points) July 12th, 2007

It looks to me as if amazon has decided to compete with fluther with the introduction of Askville

Has anyone else seen this and what are your opinions?
(My first thoughts= Ow! This layout hurts my eyes)

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

27 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

I just checked out "askville." Imitation is a high form of flattery, but this is a complete ripoff--the topics-asked page is taken directly from Fluther. But it can't copy the warmth of Fluther, or the humor. And it doesn't have the amazing people that are on the Fluther website.

figbash's avatar

It looks like it's still in beta and also started in December of 2006, and it is indeed, awful looking. There's a pretty complex scoring system where you can earn Quest coins, which are apparently just, uhm, virtual currency at this point. Here's their FAQ on how the site works:

http://askville.amazon.com/askville/faq.html?avctx=avblog

B&A;: What do you guys think about this site?

Perchik's avatar

@sfinkel, the topics asked page is a standard web 2.0 cloud. That's not fluther exclusive :D

figbash's avatar

Hmmm...get out your 12-sided dice, people:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/12/08/amazon-askville-launches-with-dungeons-dragons-angle/

Actually, B&A; probably have some standard, general, gracious-sounding language specifically for cases when someone asks about a competitor. Even if that competitor is kind of lame. It was probably dumb of me to ask what they really think of someone else's site in the question forum. Question retracted.

Perchik's avatar

@fibgash Not sure what you mean in that last section...

One major downside of askville seems to be that you cannot view answers to a question until it is "closed" Therefore you are forced into providing your own answer, so you cannot copy and paste someone elses answer to get points. That site looks more like its main goal is to get points, instead of actually answer questions. If someone has already answered a question with the correct answer here, I will usually not add an answer, On that site it is possible for there to be a bunch of nearly identical answers.
Overall I give it a thumbs down.

madrogue's avatar

Similar, but more answer quality-centered rather than social-centered.

The concept sounds very similar to ExpertsExchange.com, where you can award points for accepted solutions to a problem (usually hardware/software-related).

Perchik's avatar

I don't mind awarding points for solutions. I don't like how points are such a big deal over there.

Perchik's avatar

@madroque btw perhaps you meant Experts-Exchange

madrogue's avatar

Yes, that's what I meant. Not to be confused with ExpertSexchange.

mirza's avatar

not trying to offend anyone, but didnt Yahoo! Answers come up with the main concept of fluther?

Perchik's avatar

@mirza, I'm not sure if it came up with it, but I'd be willing to bet that B&A; were prompted to make a better system after the many different q&a; sites let them down.

I'm actually shocked at how bad the amazon site is, I expected a lot better from them.

ben's avatar

In case people are interested in the history of Fluther, someday I'll write more about it... For now, here's a few nuggets.

- We began working on Fluther before Yahoo Answers launched (at one time we were even patent-pending).

- There are other companies that predated both of us, but we didn't know of those at the time.

- Askville is one among a large of pool of Yahoo Answers copycats... probably because Yahoo Answers is currently the dominant player in the market.

- Our vision for Fluther is actually quite unique, and this will become more apparent as we continue to grow (note the mysterious language which makes you want to know more :-) ), and we already have some features which set us apart.

- A very big blog, ReadWrite/Web, just did a roundup of all the players in this field (yes, Fluther's in there). It's a long list, but I like where we are.
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/question_and_answer_sites.php

- Our awesome users (you) are our most important resource.

Thanks so much to everyone for supporting us, we know there are competitors and we're proud to have you in the collective.

mirza's avatar

i think fluther needs more publicity

Perchik's avatar

Amazon's is in "beta" which seems to be the default mode of all web 2.0 apps >.< but it just seems horrible to me. I just found it today because they spammed their users with a link to it. Sorry if this was a bad topic ben

And after looking at a lot of sites in this list, fluther still seems like the most.....erm...user friendly.

bob's avatar

Thanks, Fluther, for letting us Safari users in the door from the beginning, rather than telling us to go download another browser, as Askville does.

I mean that as a compliment to Fluther, not really as a slam on Askville. Many sites keep Safari users out at first, and that's understandable. So thanks.

It will be interesting to see whether paying users for their answers (via Questville or Mechanical Turk) will make Askville as successful as sites that focus more building a community of users.

mirza's avatar

btw i am making an anti-askville site just for the hell of it

segdeha's avatar

@bob, I tried to look at Askville in Safari and it told me I wasn't welcome. I'm a web developer and I can't imagine exactly what features Amazon could have implemented that work in Firefox but don't work in Safari. Oh well, I figured if they're going to be lame about it, I wasn't even interested in trying it in Firefox.

JoeCsekoBrainBuilder's avatar

Umm, yeah. I’ve been on Askville for almost one year now. There are similarities, but the sites couldn’t be more different. People were calling it a Yahoo! Answers rip-off in the begining, too. I was on Y!A for 18 months, so I can say with the utmost confidence there are absolutely no similarities between Askville and Y!A.

This is my Askville profile.
http://askville.amazon.com/view/ViewUserProfile.do?userId=157612

People also said it was an Ask Metafilter rip-off. Umm, nope to that, too.

I only just started Fluther, but ffom what I’ve sen so far, there aren’t that many similarities there either.

Safari doesn’t work with Askville. The best browsers to use there are IE7 and Firefox.
Let me clear a few things up here.

Firstly, Questville isn’t even open yet, nor has it EVER been suggested that anyone will be paid for using Questville. I’m one of the leaders in the Questville topic (think I’m # 2) and lead hands down in 35 other topics there. Mostly exercise based (exercise,fitness, weight lifting, weight training, bodybuilding, exercise science etc., etc.) and guitar based topics, but a couple of the Askville specific topics, too.

M turk is different, as is nownow. People do make money on those two sites. One of my friends on Askville makes a pretty penny through M turk, but he’s extremely active there. He also has a sleep disorder, so he devotes insane amounts of time to it.

segdeha's avatar

So, by changing the user agent it sends along with web requests, I was able to post a question to Askville using Safari. The question was When will Askville support Safari?

Hehe.

bob's avatar

I wish I had some coins like the Askville people get. Joe has over 45k in coins. And he has super powers. Fluther never gave me any super powers.

Perchik's avatar

Au contraire Bob. As part of the fluther, when you answer a question, you use your brain power to solve the problem of another person. That is a super power. :D

(and i might remind you that we can assemble into this giant jellyfish capable of destroying the world if we wanted to)

JoeCsekoBrainBuilder's avatar

And how is not seeeing the answers before you answer a downside. That ensures many different viewpoints, rather than people just piggybacking off of the previous answer (ala Yahoo! Answers-there’s a dump). I just answered two questions on Fluther where the previous answers were completely wrong. I have other adjectives to describe exactly how uneducated those answers were, but I’m sure I’m not permitted to use them.

What’s the point in building on faulty answers?

Some dude on this board just explained to one poor soul how to ruin his guitar!
People were building on those ridiculous responses, but clearly had absolutely no expertise in that forum. I played professionally for many years, started teaching guitar at age 19 and apprenticed as a luthier under Barry Lippman.

I can tell you weth the utmost confidence that this poor guy was provided some very bad information. Now it can be seen for other people to formulate their guesses around.

As I said, I’m new to flutter, but please, don’t start slagging Askville. Just read some of the content there and compare. Fluther definitely needs to recruit some more specialized talent on the site.

No, I’m not spamming or trying to get anyone to leave fluther. Why would I?

I’m just saying take a look at things for what they are, not because it’s foreign to you or different. Take pride in Fluther, but don’t put other sites down at the same time. Improve the site that you’re claiming pride in. That’s how winners win!

bob's avatar

By the way, Joe, welcome to Fluther.

Nobody’s criticizing Askville, except that they don’t support Safari. And the answers thing. And I was being facetious about the super powers (although I do, really, want super powers, if anyone can get me some. Cool ones, like flying, not talking to fish or anything like that).

Seeing other people’s answers before you answer helps the experts, such as yourself, correct—and respond to—the faulty answers. That seems reasonable.

Maybe Askville does have more talent, but I could never go there. It looks crazy and there are animated gifs. It makes me shudder to think about. They put people’s answers in quotation marks.

I guess there’s some criticism there. But like you say, it’s only natural to think your own site is the best. Besides, the jellyfish here at Fluther make me feel peaceful, especially this one at the bottom. He’s got that nice glow about him.

JoeCsekoBrainBuilder's avatar

I knew that you were kidding about the superpowers thing, Bob. I took no offense to your comments. Fact is, I’ve been on Askville since the invite only days. I started in Nov. 06.

The references to D&D are utterly ridiculous. There is nothing Dungeons and Dragons about Askville. The levels are there only as a guage of experience, and to some degree, reliabilty. That’s not always true, though.

We can see the answers once the questions close. At that point, and even before, there’s an active discussion board where people chime in with more input.

One of the more positive things there is people that answer the questions can rate the other answers. Oftentimes this ends up with wrong answers receiving weak or awful final ratings. Most of the time people that don’t have the correct answer on Askville will refrain from answering the question. Mind you, I said most of the time. The site, just like every site is far from perfect. We also get trolls and spammers there occasionally, but Askville bans those people over time and deletes all offensive content.

As I said, I’m new to Fluther, so I’m trying to get the lay of the land here. At the same time, I have some degree of pride in Askville. I’ve submitted a lot of feedback for new featires and they’ve implemented some of my ideas to a T.

Here’s the really funny part. You’ll love this. I’m currently suspended from Askville and cannot go back until November. That’s ultimately what made me seek out other Q&A sites like Fluther.

bob's avatar

Whoa! What happened to get you suspended?

JoeCsekoBrainBuilder's avatar

I guess I’m a litle strong willed. I tend to speak my mind, and criticize where it seems fit. Some people don’t handle criticism well. That makes the Internet a bad place for people like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as assertive face to face, whereas some people will use the anonymity of the Internet as a wall to hide behind.

I believe people should speak there mind, but not everyone thinks as I do. I’m particularly offended by really bad information, trolls and especially spammers. I think the last straw was me calling a troll a troll in the discussion of one of his troll questions.

I won’t post the precise wording here, but he was wondering what God might think of his constant need/ desire to pleasure himself. That is an obvious troll, and behavior like that shouldn’t be tolerated on any message board.

I can go back in November, but I have less and less time to dedicate to this kind of thing lately.

TEPIT's avatar

ASKVILLE is a joke…people over there have really messed up what should have been a good thing. People who have been there for a while, do nothing but troll others, put down and demean people. People give wrong answers or brow beat someone else for getting and extra star coin, than they did. It’s turned into more of a chat room, than an ask a question and answer center. The Joe person above can be very insulting and rude. I swear, I think some of these people have the devil in them, the way they talk over there.
There has got to be a better alternative. I would never, ever recommend Askville to anyone!

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