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Ciao - my thoughts...


You get money for reviews .   Sometimes .

It's too slow .

28 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (11%):
  1. supersonic75
  2. Angela150
  3. hildah11
very helpful by (71%):
  1. MikeOCarroll
  2. sweetybi
  3. daisyleex
and 17 other members
helpful by (18%):
  1. sandemp
  2. rojm
  3. MEL0611
and 2 other members

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I won't deny that of the "big two" opinions-for-cash websites, I'm a Dooyoo fan, although recently I have been making more effort to read and rate over here on Ciao than before (for that read shameless E-hunting ....)

First up, I'm going to review ciao as a site for reviewers as thats my only contact with it. As a consumer I solely use Amazon because I don't have the patience to trawl through reams of background information, "my history prior to buying this product" monologues, measurements of the size of shampoo bottles, font sizes and and ISBN numbers of books or entire cast lists of movies ... you've guessed it, I'm going to slate it so if you're one of those Ciao keeners who thinks this site is the best think since sliced, wholemeal bread in a recyclable packet then you probably want to look away now....

Firstly, the positives (and there are some, I'll admit) -

Ciao has a wider range of products than Dooyoo. A lot of products that I've recommended on Dooyoo have already been listed on Ciao. Even a lot of movies I've watched are missing on Dooyoo, whereas Ciao has such things as English textbooks I didn't even think you could get in the UK (I'm an English teacher in Japan).

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 Dooyoo sometimes, whereas on Ciao I can make a little slideshow.

Ciao seems to be busier than Dooyoo. Even though I only do a handful of rates here I get as many for each review as I do on Dooyoo, despite rating as much as possible.

The premium fund is nice. Although I don't make much money from it, I like the concept. Last month I got 2 quid despite only getting one E, and this month I got 16 Es so I'm interested to see if that makes any difference.

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. That's one reason I don't do so many rates. Also, if I make a comment, why do I have to wait for the review to load again to rate it? It's so unnecessary.

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. I recently wrote a book review of On Writing by Stephen King. On Dooyoo I got 300 miles plus 15 miles per rate. On here - FA. It's also to know this - I didn't realise it at the time because the little pound simples are pretty difficult to spot and don't appear on every page. These "free" reviews can be a particular problem if you have one sitting at the top of your review list, as that's the one that people usually use to rate back. I don't know if the Es count towards the PF - I sincerely hope so.

Related to the above - it's not so clear how much you get paid 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 (and don't feel you have to do it for me - I couldn't care less. Fives minutes after I've given you the E I've likely forgotten who you are), 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 100, and had just 28 (at the time of writing) 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 591 reads. Of those, how many actually made me any money? 36. Wow, that was worth it. 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, where you get another useless point towards that next coloured circle.

Reviews are soooooo long. Yes, I can hardly talk as this one is over 1100 words already (sorry!) but I've seen 2000 words written on chocolate bars, and a list of Es at the bottom from people who've rated solely based on length. The vast majority of the content is useless rubbish, the main reason why I would never bother to come to this site as a consumer. I write novels (hopefully one day for a living) and short stories (I've published 32), and one of the main rules is to make every word count. Cup the cr&p, in other words. The general rule is that you should shear a novel manuscript by 30% before submitting it (this was a lot longer, at first, haha!). A lot of people on here should take that advice, as well as chopping all the pointless info. For example, we don't need -

- ISBN numbers (I'm not a computer, I can type in letters)
- entire lists of ingredients (if it's say a chocolate bar, I can guess it's got cocoa and milk in it)
- entire cast lists (ever heard of imdb.com?)
- entire lists of functions (most computers/phones/etc have more or less the same - tell us something unique)
- lists of dimensions (if it's shampoo I can guess it comes in a plastic bottle, I don't need to know it's round and 13.3cm high)
- biographies of writers/artists/musicians, etc (Okay, I'll grant you a couple of lines as an introduction, but if I want to know more I can look at wikipedia.org, where you've no doubt paraphrased the information from)

The colour scheme on Ciao is dull and the front page is too busy. Also, update it from time to time, please. Every time I log in I have to look a the same list of featured members and the same featured video review that I've been looking at since September, when I joined.

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, although I'm not entirely sure what it means ...

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 Dooyoo, doubling the benefits. Unless I get a new computer though, or it gets a little simpler, you'll find me over on Dooyoo a lot more than here.

##A similar version of this is posted on Dooyoo.##

##Sits back and waits for the backlash to begin ;-) ##

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Comments about this review »

sandemp 16.06.2011 23:08

Oh I so agree with your list of unnecesary additions. The site would be a million times better if people remembered that we're supposed to be writing for consumers not the community.

supersonic75 14.06.2011 10:55

Enjoyed reading this and do agree with most you say! x

claireylulu 14.06.2011 09:53

A great read. I have always been a big fan of dooyoo but now I am starting to understand the way ciao works I am beginning to enjoy it more.

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This review of ciao.co.uk has been rated:

"exceptional" by (11%):

  1. supersonic75
  2. Angela150
  3. hildah11

"very helpful" by (71%):

  1. MikeOCarroll
  2. sweetybi
  3. daisyleex

and 17 other members

"helpful" by (18%):

  1. sandemp
  2. rojm
  3. MEL0611

and 2 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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