Skip to main content

Mauritius is not yet ready for Q&A web sites

If you are wondering what exactly a Q&A (Questions & Answers) website is, it's a website where users ask questions and other users answer. The most popular Q&A website is without doubt Yahoo! Answers, which, as far as I am concerned, is the only Yahoo! product we should all still be bothering about. You can find out more about Q&A websites on Wikipedia.

Since I'm bothering to write about Q&A websites on this awesome Mauritius blog, it is to express my concerns that Mauritius is not yet ready for such websites. While Q&A websites are plentiful on the Internet and range from general websites to more specific topics (some of which are downright dodgy but I will refrain from linking to these), there are actually only 2 Mauritius-related Questions & Answers websites.

The first Q&A website about Mauritius is (note: as pointed out in the comments section, actually came well after Clever Dodo -- by "first Q&A website about Mauritius", I am merely referring to the first website I will be discussing and NOT the first one that was launched; I apologize for the misinformation), which was created by Akash Callikan this year (he's the guy behind the Le Matinal website). I was inspired to write this article after signing up for, visiting it quite regularly since I am personally a big fan of Q&A websites, and eventually getting frustrated with the whole website. I first found out about the website via a traditional newspaper and my discovery of the website had nothing to do with the Internet, which says a lot about the marketing of the website (more on that later). is an excellent concept, especially considering the complete lack of competition as far as Mauritian Question & Answers websites are related. When was created, its only competitor was Clever Dodo. As such, it should not be very hard to be listed within the first three results on the first page of Google. I have not gone into determining the volume of search and the competition for the website's audience but I'm positive the competition should be extremely low.

My main gripes about have nothing to do with its marketing though. A first issue is that the website is unusable. The text color is extremely annoying and I often find myself logging out after only fifteen minutes browsing the website (which is actually a lot given the website's apparent small user base). As for the top menu with the black background, I cannot even read the damn thing without squinting. However, even these usability concerns are a distant second behind the main problem with

The biggest problem about the Mauritius Q&A website is that the community is mainly comprised of trolls. Now, I'm not saying everybody who signed up on is a troll with nothing better to do than to engage in Internet warfare. In fact, I signed up myself, so this alone shoots down all your mass conspiracy theories. In most cases, it would have been easy to chalk it off to the users themselves and to argue that the webmaster is not actually responsible for what's happening on his website and what the users are using it for (also known as The Facebook Excuse).

Except it is totally the webmaster's fault in this case! The huge flaw with's model is that it is using explicit incentives to encourage people to participate on the website. You are only awarded points (which to be fair cannot actually be used on anything other than to brag about them) but this has led to most users posting garbage questions and garbage answers to go with these to rack up their points. There are also many cases where questions are evolving into forum-style threads and the moderators (if any) seem quite unresponsive to these.'s concept of gift questions, where whoever first gets the right answer to a question, is also a poor decision as it means people are visiting simply for these particular questions. Below is an example of a gift question on

Which of the following gives you the best survival chance? You must explain why this is so.
1. Flip 5 heads in a row or get your head cut off
2. Roll two sixes when throwing dice or eat cyanide for dinner
3. Roll a 4 twice in a row or be drawn and quartered
4. Get dealt 2 kings (standard 52 card deck; 2 cards dealt) or jump from the top of the Cyber Tower in Ebene

These gifts are probably given by sponsors but my guess is that will eventually face a huge problem in retaining its users once they figure out these gifts are not worth the hassle. Attracting news user on a long-term basis is another issue that will without doubt pop up.

In contrast, Clever Dodo, the other Mauritius Questions & Answers website, is actually well-done. The layout is extremely user friendly and the users frequenting the website are actually helpful. I have not signed up for Clever Dodo, but you do get the feeling that a community actually exists there. From what I have seen, the moderators are actually taking their duties seriously and actively moderating the website.

It probably will not matter to both webmasters, but Clever Dodo is actually more search engine friendly than, which is funny because the owner states that he specializes "in building user-friendly and well-structured W3C standard-compliant websites [sic]". However, a user-friendly and well-structured website should be easy to navigate(I still cannot use the top menu), not hurt my eyes and use a flat structure. This is not the case as each question's link on includes a question folder, which is completely necessary and which should not be that hard to remove (example below).

As a more general outline of these two websites, while Clever Dodo is clearly better, the user base on both websites is however still quite small. My guess is that Mauritians clearly do not have much time for such websites when they could be instead be spending all their time on Facebook and reading this blog. In any case, both websites are completely invisible on Google unless you actually know their name. A search of "q&a websites mauritius" yields nothing when they should logically be targeting these for traffic.

They do seem to have proper visibility for related queries on but their main traffic should come from foreigners and thus other versions of Google (I verified on Google US, since it has the potential for the most traffic). In this aspect, Clever Dodo is winning as its home page title (Clever Dodo - Mauritius Questions & Answers) includes its main keywords. It would however gain from a rewrite though as it can easily be further optimized and I do not understand the point of putting the brand name first.

As usual, sharing is your best friend. I am also eager to feedback from both communities' users as long as these are not limited to trolling and spamming. If you want to troll me, it's easier to do so by sharing this post on Twitter and Facebook.

Popular posts from this blog

Engen Extravaganza results - 2017

I know a lot of people are still looking for the Engen Extravaganza results 2017, so I did some sleuthing.

Behold (click on the image for a larger version):

A few notes:
Yes, the ticket numbers are really small on the artwork. I can't do anything about that.Engen seem to be experts at doing a huge marketing campaign around their extravaganza and being quiet about the lucky draws.The guys at Engen Bagatelle have nothing to do with the marketing and the lucky draw, so don't be dicks. If you have something to complain about, direct your comments to the Engen head office.

Mauritius newspapers online

This is a list of the main newspapers in Mauritius as well as their websites. I suspect that this will mainly be of use to Mauritian expatriates since it is more customary for people in Mauritius to actually buy their newspapers (turns out the feel of paper in their hands is that important). This Mauritian newspaper list will also be helpful for those who wish to tour all the newspapers on any given day.
Le Défi Le Défi is the most popular newspaper in Mauritius. While it was originally only published on Saturdays, its rapid popularity has seen the group expand into several publications.

These different newspapers include:
Le Défi Quotidien - which, as its name implies, comes out every day (except weekends)
Le Défi Plus - is published on Saturdays only
Défi Sexo - a newspapers that deals with sexuality and is a half-assed attempt to get easy sales by exploiting the sexual frustrations present in a big portion of the Mauritian population (which, you know, eventually leads to sexual assaul…

Where to buy a PlayStation 4 in Mauritius

I recently got a PlayStation 4 because my PlayStation 3 died out on me. There are not many games I'm looking to play but I figured it would be easier to just go for the PS4 since I watched my blurays (including 3D) on my PS3. I figured I would buy a PS4 instead of a normal bluray player as the PS4 has tons of nice features including Netflix which is now available in Mauritius.

I checked through most stores around Mauritius before I finally got a PlayStation 4 and these are my conclusions:

Don't buy your new console in major outlets such as Galaxy. The consoles are very expensive there. Sure, you get a game or two in the bundle, but it is almost always cheaper to get the console and the game separately. In many cases, you get crap games anyway. Considering how expensive the games can be, you don't want to end up with crap ones.Cellbest and One O One have the best prices. Depending on your haggling skills, you can even knock the One O One price a bit.I hear MicroMania is grea…