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As a member of both Dooyoo and Ciao, I felt it was about time that I compared them against each other. For the record I found Ciao first, and thought it was quite a good idea, and I wrote some opinions on it, before finding dooyoo a few weeks later, and realising that it had the potential to be even better. I therefore joined up, and have not looked back- Now, I only really write opinions on dooyoo.
When they first started out, dooyoo about 6 months ago, and Ciao for slightly longer, they both had relatively high pay out rates, but a relatively low amount of users. Ciao was paying out a £1 one off gift for joining up, and then you were paid 30p an opinion (or it may have been more than this earlier on) and then an additional 10p if another member read/rated the opinion. On top of that, you were also paid 10% of any referrals that you may have had.
Dooyoo on the other hand paid out a very generous 75p an opinion, as well as 10p if another user read it, and there was the added incentive of 5p if you were to read another members opinion. Therefore, they certainly both had potential, but dooyoo had slightly more, considering that members were paid more for writing their opinions, and this was the aim of both sites.
AMOUNT OF MONEY EARNED
At the present moment, Ciao is paying its members 10p an opinion, then 2p for every other member that reads it, as well as an extremely generous 30% of your referrals earnings. They have also started up their Premier Opinions, and those writing the best opinions of the month share in the ?jackpot? of £300, which will usually result in £15 per Premier Opinion- Not bad I hear you say!!!! On top of this, to butter you up, you will also receive a welcome gift of 50p, which I think is what helps them to generate so many users.
Now, on many opinions like this, people have been saying that you can make like £3000 through all these referrals that we presumably have, but I do not feel this to be realistic. Lets say that maybe on average, the users of these two sites would tell 10 of their friends, and for the sake of argument 5 sign up, while 5 decide its not worth their while. Now out of these 5, maybe 2 will become completely addicted, and maybe write 50+ opinions, which for arguments sake will receive 5 reads each. Then you will have those who do not write that often, but what they write is good, so they receive maybe 15 reads per opinions, maybe up to a maximum of 20. Therefore, on top of the money made from your own opinions, you have now earned an additional 30% of the maybe 150 opinions from your referrals, which have attracted altogether 800 reads, meaning that you have just raked in:
150 x 10p per opinions = 30% of £15.00 = £4.50 800 x 2p per read = 30% of £16.00 = £4.80
Therefore, through word of mouth I have earned myself an easy £13.30, simply through word of mouth. Okay, its not exactly big money, but its better than nothing, and I think this is the perspective you have to take when writing on these sites- Eventually, you will end up doing it for the sheer enjoyment of informing others. If you are in here for the money, you may be lucky and have a really enthusiastic referral, who is writing opinion 24/7, in which case the figure above could be considerably higher. Or of course, you could have many more referrals, but my example was drawn from what I believe to be the average referrals of members of these sites.
To date, Dooyoo?s pay out rates have reduced from 25p per opinion to 10p an opinion, and although I was disappointed at the time, I think this has been a good ploy because it has meant that people are certainly thinking more (myself included) before writing their opinions, and they are not just trying to rake in the 25p?s one after the other. Another superb aspect of dooyoo is the fact that you can earn 5p every time a member reads your opinions, and I feel that this is a great idea, as it encourages the community spirit, which I will talk about later. You are also paid £1 if you manage to achieve a Premier Opinion, which I am proud to say I recently achieved, and you are paid 10p for each of the first 10 opinions written by your referrals. Working of the same model as before, this is how much I would earn from any referrals:
50 x 10p an opinion = £5.00
Although Ciao pays more for referrals, I feel that dooyoo members have a greater chance of achieving a crown, and also a greater chance of other people reading their opinions. Therefore, although Ciao has the opportunity for earning more money from what your friends are writing, there is only one winner when it comes to writing quality opinions yourself: Dooyoo
Ciao will pay you after you have made £10, which I feel is a great incentive to offer, and is another great ploy to encourage visitors to their site to join up. However, I would be somewhat reluctant to give out my bank details to them, and I suggest that if you do take this option then you should not give them the details of one which has a lot of money in. I have asked for some money from Ciao, but have not actually received any, so I am a bit sceptical about this aspect, and wonder whether I will ever get my money. The good thing though is that you do not have to write a lot of opinions to reach the pay out point, but I suppose that this encourages people to come, make their money and run, which is not what you want. Therefore, maybe this is not such an advantage.
Dooyoo can either pay you in vouchers for online or off-line stores when you reach £20, or alternatively you can convert your dooyoo miles into surfmiles, or even purchase a dooyoo tee-shirt. I think that this sometimes puts off people, but it also encourages only the loyal people to join up, which is to dooyoo?s benefit. Both options also give you the chance to donate your earnings to charity, which I feel is a nice touch, but in this world of greed, I cannot that many people doing it.
One other thing, is that dooyoo do actually pay, and I can vouch for that, as I have received my cheque, and touch wood everything has been fine so far. Ciao on the other hand are very much going round the houses with their payment system, and are constantly finding excuses for why they have not paid their members- most are very weak, and I have been extremely disappointed by their lack of interaction with their customers. Therefore, the clear winner in this category has got to be dooyoo, due to the fact that they do not make shallow promises and rip their customers off, like Ciao.
I have noticed that several members have said this, and I am now different, there is simply no Community Spirit at Ciao. People are so selfish there, and simply do not have the time to read what others have to write. People tend to write loads of short, useless opinions, as this is the only real way to make your stay at Ciao worthwhile- Needless to say I can no longer be bothered to waste my time with that site, as dooyoo is so much better. You feel like a complete stranger at Ciao, and no one ever gives you any advice on how to improve your opinions, and there is basically a complete lack of communication between members and the owners. However, I have got to give Ciao a bit of credit, as they have been improving in recent times, and members have realised that more benefit can be reaped for all by co-operating with each other, rather than just working by yourself. So far I have written 41 opinions on Ciao, all for a measly 164 reads, which amounts to a measly 4 reads per opinion, and I am pretty sure that they are worth more than that. A recent addition to the Ciao website has been the option to write comments on others opinions, which is an idea blatantly copied from dooyoo, who have had this is place for ages. It is however a great idea, and I think helps members to interact with each other. They have also copied dooyoo?s idea of the Circle of Friends, which was a brilliant dooyoo idea, but they have lost its impact by limiting the number of people you can have in it, although this does stop you trusting just about anyone.
On dooyoo, the Community Spirit is simply superb, and this is one of the major things I noticed when switching to dooyoo. When I first came to dooyoo, I was made to feel very welcome, and people were sending me emails to welcome me and to give me some advice on how to write better opinions, of which I am very grateful. People on dooyoo tend to respect what you write and they do rate it fairly in my humble opinion. I find that I will get many more reads on dooyoo than on Ciao, although I do admit that is not particularly hard. I will receive maybe on average 10 reads a day on dooyoo, whereas on Ciao I would be lucky to receive this in a month. The people on dooyoo have realised that if they rate others opinions then they can help to make this site a success for all, rather than just for some certain individuals, and this has got to be the aim of a site like this surely. To date, I have written 199 opinions (This is my milestone 200th) and I have received 2300 reads, which is on average 11.56 reads per opinion, although my latest ones have been receiving more reads (hopefully because my standard of opinion is improving). This just puts Ciao in the shadows, as I have received almost 3 times more reads on the dooyoo site. As I am sure you all know, dooyoo has had the capability of members commenting on others? opinions for quite a while, and whoever thought of this is a genius. This half makes dooyoo what it is, and helps to make it such a peoples? site. I think the ability to send Text Messages to other dooyoo members/friends more probably is a great idea, and I have to admit I have used it many an occasion- overall, a superb spirit is evident here. The Circle of Friends idea was also very good, although I do think that we tend to put anyone who Has written a useful opinion in it, which kind of defeats the object of it. It is however a superb idea, and yet again a superb way for members to interact with each other, and make new online friends. Therefore, for Community Spirit, yet Again there is only one website in it, Dooyoo of course.
Ciao have recently improved their website significantly, no doubt after realising that people were swarming off to dooyoo, which was partly due to the superiority of their website design, but also due to the superb Community Spirit which dooyoo evidently has. They therefore realised that if they were going to provide a challenge then they had to start with the basics, by that I mean the website design, which was the first step they took in trying to match dooyoo for quality. They have cut down the amount of text on their home page, which I have got to admit was previously one of their major weaknesses, and have replaced it only with the real essentials, which means that you do not get confused, if you are not exactly sure what you are looking for- everything is well laid out and it is brilliantly easy to navigate your way around this website. I think that their idea about timing how long you have been reading an opinion is a great idea, because this means that people are actually gaining from reading others opinions, rather than just reading them so others will read theirs back- I think that since Ciao have taken so many of dooyoo?s ideas, dooyoo should feel justified in taking this superb feature on board, to further improve their excellent site. I quite like the Ciao?s most wanted scheme, where you are paid more money if you achieve this, but although I have searched far and low, I still have not got a clue what this is- I think it has got to be explained more clearly if the most is to be made of it. One of their major advantages over dooyoo, I am sorry to say, is that they have the last 20 opinions available for viewing by members, although I do understand that you do have to click a link to access this, which may be a nuisance to users. However, dooyoo could do worse than use this idea, and it can be made even better maybe by setting it out so that the 20 opinions are shown, possibly with a summary on the side, telling us what it is, as this would mean that you would only read opinions that you are actually interested in, rather than reading through intrigue, which is something that I am sure we all do.
The Ciao highlights section, as well as the Pick of the Week is also a good idea, you have to admit, but again Ciao have failed in Communication with their users, by not explaining what exactly these do. The account details are very well laid out, and it clearly shows you how you have earned each bit of money which is in your account, so you can see how much is through reads, opinions and money made through referrals. You can even see who your referrals are, as sometimes you may tell people and they do not catch on straight away, but change their mind later, and with this function, you know that they are now a part of the community. I think this may leave dooyoo at a slight disadvantage, as on your account at dooyoo, you are only shown how many referrals you have, and what has happened to some of my friends is that they have told everyone they know about dooyoo, but people have only joined up recently, meaning they do not know which of their friends are users. I am sorry if this sounds like a criticism of dooyoo, it is not because there are many areas in which dooyoo is better than Ciao, but I am just making suggestions for improvement. I think that the sub sections in Ciao are fairly well laid out, and it is fairly obvious how you can write an opinion, or read others, or make a comment, although this has not always been the case. Apart from this, the site is now better designed and more user friendly, which was my main criticism of it.
The dooyoo site has always been of a high standard, and they have rarely had to do any maintenance to it. When I first joined dooyoo, I found that it was fairly self explanatory what you had to do, and the registration form was very well laid out, and kept simple, which I believe is crucial- you do not want to scare off customers because you force them to fill in page after page of information. They have kept it to a minimum, and you only tell them what you want to, meaning that the customer is in control. You do not feel threatened in any way, thinking what is going to happen to all this information I have just given out. my favourite part of the dooyoo home page has got to be the Dooyoo Navigator which is simply a brilliant idea, and it basically enables you to find anything you want, from other members to reviews on products through one screen. However, recently the dooyoo site has been facing some problems, not least the fact that opinions seem to be getting stuck on the front page for hours on end, and also that the system always seems to be being optimised (excuse the phrase). The best additional section dooyoo has over Ciao is the Speaker?s Corner, which is a God send, and I have read some extremely well written opinion there. I think the categories there are possibly the ones which affect us the most in every day life, and there are certainly some very controversial topics in there. The text messaging feature is also very useful, and I have sent many a text message to my friends (I even managed to persuade one of my friends to join dooyoo via an SMS sent from Dooyoo). I like the strategic placing of the banners, and although they can sometimes be annoying, occasionally they do come up with something which is relevant to you. The Circle of Friends Idea is another great idea, copied by Ciao, and where dooyoo has the advantage is that on dooyoo you can trust as many people as you want, where as on Ciao you are restricted. This could be a bad thing though because you may just put any old person in you Circle of trust, simply because they wrote one good opinion, rather than because you trust all their opinions. However, on the plus side, it is clearly explained what the Circle of Trust is, whereas on Ciao you are pretty much left to work it out for yourself. . I think that the only other problem with the site is that the new opinions get changed too quickly, so it is very hard for you to get any reads from other members, unless they previously trust your opinions, or see them in one of the categories
Overall, out of the two sites, dooyoo is the winner by a country mile. The overall strategy of the site is just miles ahead, and the Community Spirit is really what makes it so great, because without this, it would be just like Ciao where people only think of themselves. By using dooyoo, I have hopefully improved my writing skills, as well as finding out about some interesting sites through other members write ups, and surely this is the aim of the site, Ciao may have more members, but dooyoo has the ones that matter, and for this reason are the number one in their field.
This isn't your review. First, you write (I quote): "So far I have written 41 opinions on Ciao, all for a measly 164 reads." Then, you write: "To date, I have written 199 opinions (This is my milestone 200th) and I have received 2300 reads." Well, which is it? Or maybe, you just copied and pasted other people's opinions?! I have looked at your member page, and it turns out that you have written 153 opinions. Fishy? Yes, I think so.
CoolMcDG 07.12.2003 12:51
I liked this bit: "people tend to write loads of short, useless opinions, as this is the only real way to make your stay at Ciao worthwhile." You would know a lot about that, wouldn't you. To anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about: read some of wjneedham's other opinions - the ones with no comments.