How reliable is Yahoo Answers in general
Yahoo Clever will be discontinued in May 2021: Dienst announces the end
Yahoo Clever abolished
With Yahoo Clever, a Web 2.0 service steeped in history goes into the eternal hunting ground.
The knowledge platform Yahoo Clever has reached its zenith - and is going offline. This means that millions of posts from numerous users disappear, never to be seen again.
Surely you too have problems sometimes for which you are looking for a quick solution. Forums are used for such purposes. There is also Yahoo Clever, which the provider designed not as a forum but as a question-and-answer platform. Yahoo made it a point that it wasn't a forum. Users were able to post questions on the service and received answers from other (also registered) community members. The concept had its appeal, but has become obsolete in recent years. The web pioneer, already ailing in the search engine business, no longer sees a future for Clever - and hires it in two steps. You can save your own contributions, but those affected should not take too much time for this. The web service was once a test winner at COMPUTER BILD when the editorial team compared corresponding services around ten years ago.
Yahoo Clever alias Answers discontinued
On April 5, 2021, Yahoo sent Clever users an email informing them of the end of the platform. The shutdown will take place in two phases: As of April 20, you will no longer be able to publish questions and answers. The articles can at least still be viewed in a read-only mode until May 4th. On May 4th the site will go offline. If you were part of the community and would like to secure your postings, you can do so via a data protection dashboard. After logging in, you can download the questions and answers you have asked online until June 30, 2021. In the help center, the company announces that the download is in JSON format (JavaS.cript Object Notation) and the content may not be easy to go through. It is not mandatory to download the data, which Aus von Clever does not affect your existing Yahoo mail account either - its e-mail address and password form the login data for this. Since requesting the download is not that easy, Yahoo has published a 10-step guide.
Yahoo says, "Our team is working to make the content available as soon as possible, but it can take up to 30 days for your content download to be available." In fact, users do not get their backup record straight away. The article author, for example, requested a download shortly after the service shutdown became known; on April 7th it came by email. Previously, an automated email informed that the download request was received by Yahoo: "You have requested a download of your data relating to Yahoo account for [email address]. You will receive a message at this email address when the download is completed is available. "
What was Yahoo Clever anyway?
The website Yahoo Clever, in English called Yahoo Answers, went online in 2006 after a beta phase. The service was available in various languages, in addition to German and English, for example in French. The URL determined which version appeared: answers.yahoo.com, for example, belonged to the US counterpart, de.answers.yahoo.com led to the German version and fr.answers.yahoo.com to the French. If you scrolled down in an older version of the page, you saw country flags linked below.
In terms of diversity, that didn't stop there, the rubrics contained sub-categories - so that users could categorize their requests for help in a finely granular manner. You couldn't post an infinite number of questions and answers per day: Depending on which level a user belonged to, there were limits to the possible activity. That prevented spam. After registering, each participant started with 100 points. Then you belonged to level 1, maximum level 7 was attainable. Depending on how many points you had, you were upgraded or downgraded to the next higher or lower level. The points served as a motivational system: asking a question cost 5 points, while giving an answer earned 2 points. The questioners were free to choose the best answer: The user who had given the best help received 10 extra points. The questioner, in turn, received 3 points. The best answers were right at the top, so that other users who came to a Yahoo Clever topic via a Google search, for example, saw the supposedly optimally helpful article immediately.
There were also thumbs up and thumbs down (both from users who use the service, also known as Y! C, referred to as DR): With this, users anonymously indicated whether they rated an answer as positive or negative. This helped laypeople who have little idea about a topic to assess the correctness of information. With the best answers, Yahoo added thumbs up to the points account: Up to 50 thumbs each gave an extra point. There were also votes: If a questioner did not choose the best answer within a certain period of time, the decision on the most useful post went to the community. Registered users received one point for each vote. The answer that received the most votes within the voting period became the best answer. In the event that no answer was convincing, there was a voting option for "No best answer", but the number of points of the voters did not increase. Yahoo canceled the votes after a few years. The group also revised the distribution of points: Since September 2019, asking questions has no longer cost anything. But there were also restrictions: Level 5, -6, and -7 users, who were previously allowed to post an unlimited number of questions and answers, are limited to 20 questions and 160 answers per day.
Personal opinion: A little sadness
The article author Sebastian Kolar used to use Yahoo Clever himself, but due to lack of time due to his professional activity at COMPUTER BILD since 2012, it has been used less and less and for a few years no longer at all. I've been there since December 2006, when my family switched from lame dial-up Internet to fast DSL. Now the web line was fast enough to use web 2.0 services. Yahoo Clever was one of them; meanwhile the pseudo-forum is as anachronistic as the fashionable term Web 2.0 at the time. It stands for a participatory web: users not only consume content, but also publish it themselves. I liked to do that after school and later after work. I look back on a Level 7 account that has around half a million points and over 33,000 answers and just over 50 percent best answers. I always asked less than answered.
I was rarely "awesome", which some users accused some others of. However, best lists motivated to pimp up his points account: There was a German best list, as well as an international one. As of the beginning of April 2021, "echinopsis" led in this country (as in previous years) with 1,111,453 points. No other user in the German ranking broke the one million point barrier. In the global best list, 13 users achieved that: The German leader "only" comes in 7th place, "AuntKatie" ranks first with 1,784,387 points.
I often get sad when a service I am familiar with, especially when I have used it intensively, closes. Yahoo Clever is one such case. I feel even more sad than with Yahoo Messenger because of the farewell. The ministry had a lot of potential and may have rested on its success: it was once good but kept getting worse. Yahoo did not manage to offer consistently good framework conditions for a positive user experience. It is regrettable in view of the fact that COMPUTER BILD tested several question-and-answer sites in 2010 and Yahoo Clever was the test winner here. Presumably, Yahoo Clever has been the market leader over the years. There was also Cosmiq (formerly LycosIQ) and gutefrage.net. Cosmiq is also no longer available, gutefrage.net remains after the Clever-Aus as probably the most important alternative of the "user ask, user answer" genre.
The fact that Yahoo! Clever went down the drain is not only Yahoo's fault. Good users who used to be a backbone for the platform have left. They disappeared because the general conditions were no longer appropriate. Yahoo has not gone out of its way to keep the users who have contributed their knowledge to the service for free. Only Yahoo benefited from advertising revenue. It used to go well: There were several employees in a clever team who looked after the users. If you wanted to report questions and answers as abuse, you could do so by clicking the button in the posts, but you could also send a message to the team. The latter also helped if other users' own posts were wrongly reported as a rule violation and subsequently deleted. The team then restored these contributions. The reporting function for posts that violate the community guidelines has always been a sore point for users: Some users didn't like others and "reported their posts away". There was a reporting system that was supposed to use something like artificial intelligence: the messages of certain users were to become more relevant. An automatic then deleted contributions. Shrewd trolls created several accounts and removed third-party posts by misusing the reporting feature. Those who were affected received a notification by email, were deducted 10 points and sometimes felt that their freedom of expression was suppressed.
Voting for the best answer was partly subject to manipulation: As some users only posted to get two points, but without content, some users created multiple accounts. Very few of them were. But those who did it voted several times for their own contributions and thus regularly cobbled together 10 points. It also happened that users with one account asked a question and answered it themselves with another account. Then one click was enough and you had given yourself the best answer including 10 points. To come back to illegitimate reports: malicious users wanted to silence others in such a way, I even experienced an intention of bullying. This also manifested itself in insults and catfights; In addition to questions that other users made on the topic with a negative tenor, there were also answers where it got personal. In addition, some users posted comments that did not earn any points, but were also not always factual. It happened to a few victims of the cyber attacks that a Yahoo automatic closed their Clever account due to too many deleted posts (due to alleged abuse). It got me one or two times. Even my Yahoo mail account (!), Which is interwoven with the Clever account, has already been blocked for me due to "Clever" - that is the exception, but I had to intervene quite a bit to get to the account and everything in the meantime to get back emails stored outside of my access. Yahoo does not bury its service because of harassing users, instead it is a lack of profitability.
Yahoo had apparently rationalized its team in the course of time: Anyone who wrote a question to the team by e-mail received no or an automated answer. There were times when a Stella would willingly help you. There used to be more campaigns from Yahoo for its willing helpers: in the "User of the Week" format, for example, the provider did not select a number of users every week, but at irregular intervals. They were interviewed in a blog format and asked about the subject on which their expertise lay. I was also nominated as User of the Week, accepted and sent out some answers by email. Another nice feature was a Cleverle emblem that users wore in orange: Those who had it boasted that they had a certain number of the best answers in one or more categories within a certain period of time. The exact criteria were not very transparent; But those who managed to get the best answers with multiple accounts had a better chance of keeping the temporarily designed "Cleverly" for a longer period of time. Some recognized the addition under the avatar, others wrested envy from it. The feature disappeared as part of a page update. The Yahoo Clever Century Club (2007) has long been a thing of the past: young people should ask old people and older people younger questions. The actor Johannes Heesters (born 1903, died 2011), for example, was part of this project.
In addition to Yahoo's inadequate support for the user community, there are two reasons why Yahoo Clever ultimately failed: poor quality and occasional misanthropic contributions. When the service was fresh, members tried to help one another. Questions had more quality and were not just subject to provocation - as is so often the case in the end. If someone answers in all seriousness: "I don't know", "yes" or "good question", one feels as if the questioner is being fooled. I saw such answers a hundred times over. There were also users who simply copied and pasted answers from others; the questioner saw two posts with identical content. Some participants also criticized the fact that Yahoo had a Nazi problem: If posts incite against people and races and Yahoo did not remove them from the network despite reports of such posts, that was bad. Hetze promoted Yahoo by introducing an update to the anonymous posting of contributions. After the Yahoo-Clever-Aus, nobody will miss the hate speech. It's more the funny answers that disappear, as well as your own posts there. External posts cannot be downloaded as JSON files. It is unlikely that the web backup service archive.org will back up all Clever contributions. The Yahoo platform is now of little use, even if it continued to exist: a Google search also quickly leads to a problem solution. Clever users sometimes made no effort to research a solution and referred bluntly to Google. It is stupid if you came to Yahoo Clever with this search and read the tip there to google your question. Some only posted one-word answers in the form of links to websites that could help the questioner. It was pretty easy, but better than nothing. Ultimately, however, the following applies: You could have found such information yourself with one or two Google queries. It was not for nothing that forum users mocked the site by writing: "Yahoo Kläffer". The pronunciation is similar to Clever, the association is with dogs.
The Yahoo search engine searched Clever at times. This is not only a thing of the past since it was announced that it was being closed. The user-generated content was not always a figurehead. But the interlocking made sense and was a theoretical advantage over Google. The colleagues from Spiegel Online also report on the Clever-Aus and have put together a top 10 interesting (funny) questions and answers. Anyone who knows the TV presenter Frauke Ludowig, who appears on RTL, may find the following amusing:
"What is the name of Mrs. Keludowig from RTL2 by first name"
YouTubers such as Germany's largest opinion blogger KuchenTV have a gutefrage.net fails format on YouTube. It pokes fun at embarrassingly funny posts. Even if the most important clever competitor gutefrage.net gives up one day, its impressions are not lost. On the other hand, there is no scorn on YouTube for the Clever platform.
At the top of Yahoo Clever there were some questions that the provider suggested to answer. But at some point he no longer exchanged them. Therefore, the question "How often should you replace your mattress?" Was probably burning for many users there. into the brain. Meanwhile, there is a notice at this point that the service "May 4, 2021 (Eastern Time, US East Coast time zone) will be discontinued".
Last but not least: Thanks to Yahoo for lifting your "forum" from the eaves. There were several design relaunches, in the meantime I've made friends with the final look. Thanks to the employees who were involved at Clever and who kept the store running - as best they could. Thanks to Clever, I started to deal with computer topics and it sparked even more enthusiasm. I owe the ministry a few things. Since his condition is currently disastrous, may he rest in peace. Yahoo used to report that Clever was taking a breather, it could not be used during this time. He is now given such a (but now eternal) breather. A few years earlier, a clever user linked a question to the fake news article on a platform where anyone could publish fake news; there a contribution attested the Clever deathblow prematurely. Now he has actually entered. Bye, piece of internet history.
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