When adding a vehicle I noticed that you're able to add any year to a particular model, even if it didn't exist for that year. To me that would give the opportunity for garbage data. For example, the Toyota Prius V on Fuelly there's a 2004 listing, but the first year the Prius V became available is 2012.
I can understand that limiting the years to the years that the vehicle was actually available is more work on your end, however, it does create more reliable data (and, other sites have figured out how to do this). Thanks!
Thanks for the suggestion. We know that letting users have more control over their listings opens up room for error, but we're ok with that. We'd rather live with a few errors here and there than frustrate people by being too rigid.
The person who added the 2004 Prius V probably made an honest mistake. That's ok, we're all human. You could drop them a note via Fuelly Mail and ask them to review their settings—but if someone believes they have a 2004 Prius V that's ok too. You know it's not true, and most people viewing the site will too.
On a site with 100% user-generated data, you need to take everything with a grain of salt.
On the other hand, if someone seems to be doing something deliberate to mess with the site, you can flag the page. The link at the bottom of the page that says 'Report This Page' appears on every page. Click that if it seems someone is doing something deliberately offensive. We review those flags frequently and remove anything that's offensive or deliberately misleading.
I understand, but I don't think limiting vehicle years to the actual years the vehicle is available is too rigid. You all did a great job of making this site easy for a user to add a vehicle, but having the year drop-down be limited is not adding any more steps to the user, [u]they have to use the drop-down anyway, why not just limit the years.\[\/u]
Actually that brings up another point, in the FAQ for "what if my car/motorcycle year isn't listed" it's stated that an administrator "might" need to approve the new year, do you all actually do that? It doesn't look like it. That seems that might be more work on your end then what's necessary.
I'm sure the 2004 Prius V is an honest mistake (and I did send them an email about 1 month ago...no response yet), but that person actually used more mouse clicks just to enter the incorrect 2004 model than if they were just limited to the correct years.
Anyway, I'm not a coder (except for some SQL for report writing) but I do manage a database (which I inherited) and I'm always asking the coders to build in QA/QC controls in the front-end so that it's less work on my part and then there's the knowledge that the data isn't garbage. Granted my DB is for environmental monitoring where correct data is critical, but if you have the tools why not use them?
Yeah, I think one misconception that people have about Fuelly is that it's science. We have numbers, charts, and data collection. It has some of the trappings of science, but it's not anything close in reality. I completely understand the twitchiness that bad data causes. When you see something that doesn't belong in a set you want it gone. And you want the authorities in charge to make sure that bad data can't happen.
Fuelly is more like people sitting around a bar or coffee shop comparing notes. We have provided a space where people can get together to measure and compare some things. It's not intended to be science and bad data goes with a more social territory.
You're absolutely right, we try to make the best choices the easiest choices. You have to override the defaults to add a 2004 Prius V. (Once added, the choice becomes available for everyone.) So this person had to go to extra work to make this choice. There is friction built into the system already for "wrong" choices. Why not clean up every instance of someone overriding the defaults? We wouldn't be able to keep up. Fuelly is two guys running the site as a side project. It's a free service we offer because we feel like this space to think about fuel economy is important. At the same time, we don't think having a few miscategorized vehicles is that big of a deal. We'd rather give people flexibility and live with messiness.