I happened to read an article about revenue sharing sites that mentioned "Question and Answer" sites. These are sites where people post questions and others post answers. The resulting pages carry Adsense advertising and there is some method of sharing revenue with either those who provide the questions, the answers, or both.
There are a number of these around, but I only signed up with two: WebAnswers.com and AnswersPay.com. These both require a Google Adsense account (Webanswers requires answering 10 questions before you can give them your Adsense information).
My first reaction to the questions was "Are these people really this dumb?".
Unfortunately for the future of this planet, the answer is "Yes".
The "AnswersPay" site is the worst for outright stupidity.
Sure, some of this is probably young kids or drunks or peope just goofing around. But all of it?
The "Webanswers" site has some of that foolish stuff, but there are more reasonable questions. The questions are broken down into categories, which makes it easier to find things you might care about answering.
However, while the questions may be more intelligent, many of them could be answered in seconds by a simple Google search. Why on earth would someone post here and wait hours or days for an answer they could have had in seconds from Google? That just baffles me.
I do have to admit that a large part of my living has always come from answering questions that people could have more easily looked up themselves, so perhaps I should not complain too loudly?
Would you really be able to make any money doing this? I can't imagine that it could amount to much. Webanswers seems to be pretty honest about that - at How much money can be made by answering questions on WebAnswers.com they say:
Last month users made over $2,100 on WebAnswers.com by answering questions. The top earners were making between $10 and $20 dollars every single day where many more were able to buy lunch for free if they chose to spend their earnings like that.
Those top earners may have answered more than 1,000 questions per month (I'm guessing from the Monthly Leaderboard stats). That's about 30 per day or more. I spent about an hour browsing and answering questions yesterday; I managed 15. That might give you an idea of the effort required. Two hours work where you MIGHT earn $20.00 or less? No thanks.
Laziness and plagiarism abound in the answers. People cut and paste directly from Wikipedia and other sites. Supposedly this is not allowed, but the policing of this comes from member reporting, so it's actually common. You'd therefore be competing with Wikipedia for "best answer" in some cases.
I'd also be concerned about collusion. Sites like this are vulnerable to orchestrated voting, and it is voting that determines if your answers are the "best" and therefore eligible for earnings. All in all, I don't see this kind of site as a good place to earn extra income.
However, I could be wrong, and I suppose if you are out of work and have nothing better to do, anything earned is better than nothing.. Feel free to check them out for yourself and see what you think:
(link dead) WebAnswers.com
(link dead) AnswersPay.com.
A related question for those who care to comment: are people really getting dumber or is it just that easy access to the web and large numbers of young children makes us think that? I certainly hope it is the latter.
Update 11/2/2015: Both those sites are gone. I recieved the following comment from "Dave", a former member at Webanswers. He asked that I add this information:
I just happened to stumble over your older post that appears to be mostly talking about webanswers dot com. I even recognize and remember the three members pictured on your sample image of the site. One of them was active to the end.
Too bad you did not understand what was there. I made several thousand dollars from my efforts during the years I worked the site, but the gravy train has now ended. I found your blog while looking for details about the death of the site.
The biggest thing you did not seem to catch on the fly by is that the answers posted on WebAnswers were accumulated in a huge database that was indexed on search engines. When someone googles a question, the content on WebAnswers was part of those instant answers that came up.
The key you missed was that the questions were asked and answered long before the actual customers thought of the question, and sat waiting for someone to think of a match. Those future researchers were the customers for WebAnswers. Those future customers were the ones clicking ads to earn revenue for members who forgot they even wrote anything about any particular topic by the time it earned some revenue, again and again.
It was always a legitimate way to earn revenue but due to a wide range of policy changes with Google combined with site software issues, there is no longer any way to earn from working the site, even if it comes up at all.
After a long ride with an old friend, I'm now researching the obituary of the site. The content in your blog is still completely wrong, but there is no longer any opportunity to earn from the site.
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