Should the Trulia webmaster set up the q & A format to disable the questioner from being 1st to answer self?

Asked by Jim Walker, Carmichael, CA Thu Aug 9, 2007

I have noticed many of the veteran posters become annoyed with newbie posters who ask a question and then answer it themselves first.


It should be technically possible to disable the questioners "answer this question" tab until someone else has answered.



In a related thought:
It might even be desirable to limit the number of postings on the same question by one person to ...say four or five... per question -- If you really have more than 5000 characters (roiughly 600 to 1000 words) on a single subject, you win my erudite philosopher award.

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Answers

20
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
BEST ANSWER
The olny problem I see with blocking them answering the questions altogether is that the person might have some clarification or things to add after reading some of the answers he/she received on the question. So, I won't block that person's ability to answer altogether - if that's the case, they can't ask any further questions after the thread's being going on for a while and Jim would not be able to defend his 'Thumbs Down' position

I think we should delete anything just to get a count, such as I see somebody answered 'yes, I agree with all of you'. What's the point? If everybody who reads postings write that, we will be bombarded.
4 votes
Paul Slaybau…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Where do you stand on "answer spam?" No answering of a question, just solicitation for referral to a local source, and the like. Look at the boards right now and you will see why I ask. Highly obnoxious when someone hijacks the boards to the point that they have the last hundred or so responses. Makes me want to avoid these threads.
5 votes
Ellen Chung, , San Mateo, CA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Absolutely. I couldn't have said it better myself Jim. It has become highly irritating when there is no added value from the response or when it is just blatant self-promotion. The concept behind Trulia Voices is to allow anybody to ask genuine real estate and mortgage related questions. We as real estate professionals are here to help, but not to push ourselves in peoples' faces with pointless gab.

So writing the question and answering it. Or finding unanswered questions from four months back and asking if referrals are needed, is pointless and is creating wasted space. Thank you so much for writing this piece Jim, kudos.
3 votes
Paul Slaybau…, Agent, Scottsdale, AZ
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Hi Roger,

I don't want to mention any names, but scroll through the first 10 pages or so of recent answers. I'm not big into censorship either, but someone approaching 300 posts in 3 days with posts such as "let me know if you need a referral to a local ..." just seems spammy to me. Maybe I'm just a little crotchety lately with my kids not letting me get any sleep!
3 votes
Steve Ostrom, Agent, Roseville, CA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
I agree there should be allowance for follow-up and clarification by the person posing the question. But I am against first answer or posed questions for grandstanding.
3 votes
J Lo, Home Buyer, California Glory, Brentwood, CA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Yes; however, should Trulia have go to such lenghths? I find the most recent infractions from a person/persons who are blatantly self promoting - and the panels have called her/them out on the carpet for it.

I agree it is tacky of someone to answer themselves - but in most instances their intent is clear and most don't answer their inquiry. I try to pass it up - but there were a couple good questions -- albeit, the poster's answer didn't seem quite thorough - being that she asked the question!?

Basically, I agree with Sylvia - there are times when you want to ask a question because it is good subject matter; and even if Trulia provides a way for this restriction - that person is sure to chime in immediately after the first answer.
3 votes
Maureen Fran…, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Fri Aug 10, 2007
I gave you a thumbs up. I think that is a good idea. The only issue I could see running into is if a consumer went to add to their question after forgetting to say something originally. Not that likely though.

Another way to do it would be just to remove any questions that the first answer is from the asker.
3 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Thu Aug 9, 2007
YES! I haven't read the policy but I think doing this is self promotion.
3 votes
Kendra Garcia…, , Easton, MA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Thanks God somebody said something!!! I think is so difficult to answer a question from somebody that is within your state, that is looking for an advice on a subject that they don't understand or are confused about, when that agent (referral to a local agent) is only asking for referrals. It is so disrespectful to the person who is asking the question and is disrespecful to the agent who serves that area.
2 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Trulia Roger and Paul,
Sent private message to "Feedback" at Trulia just a few minutes ago addressing this. Trulia Roger, if able to access that message that I sent to "Feedback", I am sure it is the same subject matter as addressed by Paul.
2 votes
Trulia Roger, Home Buyer, Alameda, CA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
All,
Good feedback, thank you. You will notice that a person answering their own question won't get "First answer" credit, and they're also not eligible for "Best answer" either. One reason we're allowing questioners to answer their own questions is because a lot of folks come back and clarify or expand on their question after some answers have come in, or thank some of the folks who have answered.

Please keep the feedback coming--we read all of it and it informs our product design decisions.

Many thanks!
2 votes
Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Thu Aug 9, 2007
Yep! I have to agree with that. When I was young (in Trulia), I actually did do that with the whole intention of self-promoting myself - O.K. don't go and look for that entry, it was actually quite good :-). Then I quickly realized that's not right - quick learner here.

I can see that there are times when somebody is aching to post a question because it is a good subject to discuss and they may even have a great answer for that subject; but I agree, they should post the question, give somebody else a chance to answer, then come in for a kill, O.K. just joking...

And, if nobody answers your question for a long time? This is almost totally impossible in this community, then your question probably does not need to be answered, .. sorry.

So, I agree, the person who posted the question should not be the first one to answer.

On the four or five postings on the same question, that's a little tricky because depends on how the thread goes, you might have more thatn 4 or 5 replies. But don't answer each person just to say "I agree". ..

Sylvia
2 votes
Ruthless, , 60558
Thu Aug 9, 2007
I think this is a case when you want to use the flag. The thumbs down would be that you don't agree but the flag is that you think the Question or the Answer is an abuse of the system.
2 votes
Prudential L…, Agent, Honolulu, HI
Thu Aug 16, 2007
nice to see that Trulia is open to fixing design issues from the users themselves. I met Peter Flint and some other guys at the Inman conference a few weeks ago. Looking forward sharing more knowledge on Trulia Voices.
1 vote
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Not only should they be blocked from being the first to answer, but I feel they should be blocked from answering that question altogether. If you know an answer, why bother?
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Thu Aug 9, 2007
I agree with you Jim, the poster should not be able to answer or at least answer first. A Q & A format would be a good thing for the newbies or even the veterans.
Web Reference:  http://pamwinterbauer.com
1 vote
Bridgette Ko…, , Florida
Thu Aug 16, 2007
Hi all!
I'm reviving this post to catch the attention of some more recent arrivals... Welcome guys!
0 votes
Trulia Roger, Home Buyer, Alameda, CA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Hi Paul,
I'm not clear on what you're referring to. Could you please post a sample link?
In general, we want to encourage quality advice on Trulia Voices, and let the community use this service as they see fit. This usually means allowing more content through. All communities (online and off) experience activity that the majority of its members don't find constructive or desirable, and those activities usually get buried or shouted down naturally.
Again, this is great feedback!!
0 votes
Megan, , San Francisco, CA
Fri Aug 10, 2007
hey jim, great suggestions! we have a feature request list, which i'll add these suggestions to (we review these regularly). we've enabled people to answer their own just in case they forgot to add something in - like a home buyer, for example. however there are certainly other ways we could handle this.
0 votes
Carrie Crowe…, Agent, Southaven, MS
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Jim, I would have to put in a big yes! In fact I am usually not interested if I see the same person in both places. I just move on.
0 votes
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