Frequently Asked Questions for Individual
- Why should I register as a Rate It Green Individual Community Member?
- How do I Register a Company with Rate It Green?
- How do the two Membership Types differ?
- Will Rate It Green give out my personal information or email address?
- Is Membership really Free?
- What if I need to Edit my Registration Information?
- Why do some companies have limited information?
- What are your Listing Criteria for listed companies and their products or services?
- What if I wish to change/edit a rating?
- Can I post a reply to a rating/review?
- Who can review/rate a directory listing?
- What is different about Rate It Green?
- How can I get more involved?
Q: Why should I register as a Rate It Green Individual Community Member?
A: You are welcome to browse the Rate It Green site without any commitment to the Community. However, we do require that you register and become a Member in order to post content. The requirement helps protect the integrity of the information provided by our Members and hosted by this resource. Individual members also contribute to our understanding of the green building market by completing the registration process.
Each level of registration allows you to participate in additional features. We have worked to reduce the time it takes to register. Several steps are now completely optional, even if we hope you will help us serve you and the community better by providing information about yourself and your green building interests. You may also decide to provide this information at a later date.
The requirements are minimal for participating in Rate It Green's social networking features. Full registration is required for those who wish to post reviews/ratings of the green building products and services they have worked with. We view creating a rating as a real responsibility to communicate accurately and clearly to help others and further the green building market.
To protect your privacy as desired, all Individual Community Members create a unique public name and user identity. Some people choose to use their full names, while others use parts of their names and still others make up a creative site name to "go by."
Our memberships are free, but we do ask that people make a commitment to the community by registering and also by taking the time and sharing information. As we hope to pay for our programming through future market research data generation, we very much appreciate people making this commitment to share with us. We also believe that people who can give some information are really more likely to be more active community members who ask questions, answer questions when they can, and who will be most conscientious about completing ratings/reviews of our member companies' products and services.
Q: Can I also Register a Company with Rate It Green if I have an Individual Account?
A: You can absolutely register a company you represent in addition to becoming an Individual Community Member. This used to be considered two distinct types of membership, but this is no longer the case.
To list a company within the directory, simple click on the "List a Company" link at the top right of your Member Dashboard. It's that easy. The site will then walk you through providing the required information.
Once you have created your company, at the top right of the screen, you will see a notation to "use the Site as" an individual or as the company you administer. Note that when you post content as an individual, the information you select to share about yourself will show. But whenever a company posts, the company name is always shown as follows: "[Company Name] - Company Representative." So Corporate Account Administrators need to be somewhat careful that all posts and participation represent their company as they wish.
Q: How do the two Membership Types differ?
A: First, these accounts are no longer different. You need an Individual Account to register a company, but it is your choice as to whether to become an active Member in either or both roles. Each person should now only have one master account.
To protect privacy, all Individual Community Members create a unique Name and User Identity where they can choose how much of their identity to reveal, or not to reveal (some information can not be shared). Rate It Green is aware of the full identity of the Individual Member, but the member is able to protect his or her privacy as desired.
Companies are always identified by their organizational name (and never an individual name) when someone logged in as the Authorized Representative posts content or otherwise participates on the site. Registered Companies CAN post ratings/reviews and post in the Community. The posts will be identified as "[Company Name] - Company Representative." Please plan carefully before posting content with your company's name on it.
Q: Will Rate It Green give out my personal information or email address?
Q: Is Membership really Free?
A: Individual Community Membership is free and will always be free of charge. This is one reason we do ask our Members to "contribute" to the community's knowledge base by completing a registration process to fully enjoy the privileges of the site. In the future, we will also have very brief annual surveys/updates.
Basic Company Listings are also free of charge. However, Rate It Green does offer Enhanced, or upgraded, listings for a fee. The idea is to create an inclusive community where everyone feels welcome and have a voice. So the free part is really essential to building a robust community. Companies that see the benefits from their participation and can afford to help support further programming are invited to do so by upgrading their listings and/or otherwise supporting the site financially. This said, there are many ways for companies to get involved as well that do not cost money.
Q: What if I need to Edit my Registration Information?
A: Most information is easily edited within the Member Dashboard area you will have access to once you register. We ask that people think carefully and not edit certain registration details if at all possible, especially once they have posted on the site. So, for a few changes, these must go through the Site Administrator to ensure that we balance the needs of all community stakeholders most effectively (An example would be posting many ratings and then wanting to completely change your site identity. We'd like to consider this carefully first, since other community members may have already read and relied on these postings.)
Q: Why do some companies have limited information?
You may note that some records have limited information and show the following message: "This company has not yet registered with Rate It Green. Feel free to contact this company via the web listing provided and let someone know you would like to learn more about this product/service on Rate It Green! ...."
A: We add products and services into our system from time to time so that members may have basic information about products and services in the green building marketplace until we can provide additional information. These are "limited" listings in place so that our site can be productive for our members while we allow companies time to find out about us and register. There are three ways a Company or Item (generally a Product or Service) can be listed on the Rate It Green site: 1. Rate It Green Team Members learn about the product or service during our research 2. Community Members like you suggest items for addition to the site, which Rate It Green will then research and add if appropriate 3. Companies/Organizations register and/or add their own products and services through the registration process Listed companies have an opportunity to "take over" these listings during corporate registration so that they may provide more up to date and accurate information for you than we might be able to. We view these listings as an opportunity for companies to speak directly to our Visitors and Site Members, and we therefore much prefer them to fill out their own content. We encourage site Visitors and Members who have familiarity with unregistered companies in the directory to suggest to these folks that they go ahead and register and share more information with our community.
Q: What are your Listing Criteria for listed companies and their products or services?
A: Our goal is quite simply to list EVERY green building related product or service out there. If an item is being sold as a green building related item, we want it listed on Rate It Green! It may sound shocking to say this, but we therefore don't have listing criteria. The idea is to create this inclusive list and get everyone talking. What works best? What needs improvement? We believe that we can create the most helpful resource if we collect as much information as possible and help people share what they know. Keep in mind that this is a peer-review resource - our goal is that we generate enough ratings so that people will get an accurate average sense of what it is like to use and item and to work with a company or organization.
Q: What if I wish to change/edit a rating?
A: You can edit a rating, but you need to do this through a Rate It Green Administrator. Once content is posted of this type, we want to be very careful about modifying it and just make sure changes are consistent. For example, it may not make sense to edit a year-old review that many people viewed, and perhaps in that case we might work together to come up with a better idea for conveying a perceived change in item quality. Our team will work as hard as possible to balance the needs of all community stakeholders in this kind of a situation.
Q: Can I post a reply to a rating/review?
A: Right now we are working with companies to find a way for them to post a reply if they feel they need to comment on a rating/review. We do not currently plan for Individual Members to do this.
We recommend completing a review if you have used a product or service and if believe you have useful information that can help others understand what it would be like to work with a company or an item or service. If you have not used an item or if you would like to comment on a listing or join a conversation, then you may add a comment on its listing, or start related conversations or groups in the Community.
Q. Who can review a directory /item?
A: Anyone who has worked with a product or service and is a fully registered Individual Community Member or who is the Authorized Representative of a registered Corporate Member (and while in that role) can complete a review/rating. Individual ratings will show the Individual Member Identity created at Registration, and Corporate Ratings will identify the posting entity as follows; "[Company Name] - Company Representative." We do ask that companies and Company Representatives refrain from rating the items they represent. For more information about our Ratings/Reviews generally, see our Ratings FAQ page.
Q: What is different about Rate It Green?
A: Two of our top goals at Rate It Green are to create the largest green building directory and to become THE peer-review resource for the green building industry. If we can accomplish these goals, we believe we can achieve the greatest impact for all Members and Visitors.
Rate It Green differentiates itself from other current directory resources in providing a portal and in trying to connect as many people as possible to help continue the expansion of the green building industry. We want Rate It Green to be a comprehensive and open resource, so we determined that Individual Membership and our Basic Corporate Listings would always be free. This decision allows us to be all inclusive and to retain a sense of neutrality. This is also a key distinction between us and some other directory sites that charge and therefore may not list as many resources. Finally, we are connectors more than we claim to be experts. It is our members who will be judging products and not the Rate It Green management team. A top goal is to connect these people who can both share their expertise and ask for the information they need. And further, we wish to help these people and organizations find the products and services they are looking for.
Distinctions include: Rate It Green invites everyone in the green building community to join our community, from students and consumers to experts. Rate it Green offers one of the largest and most comprehensive green building directories. Rate It Green includes both products and services on the site and both commercial and residential products and services. Rate It Green offers a space for people to share thoughts and comments about products and services they have experience with. Put simply, we believe that the more information we can help create and help people find, the more the whole market benefits.
Joining Rate It Green is FREE and will always be free. Our team is proud of this distinction because remaining a free community allows us to include more people at the table who might otherwise not have a place and a voice.
Q: What is your business model?
A: Impact is #1 at Rate It Green. Based on our own experiences trying to find experience-based advice on green building materials, we decided that this resource was needed and could have a substantial impact in time, regardless of any potential financial opportunities. It was therefore easy for us to make a commitment to free Individual Membership and free Basic Corporate Listings early in the process of developing this site. Though our mission is socially positive, Rate It Green is technically and currently a self-funded for-profit business. Rate It Green does accept advertising and sponsorship which can support some of the costs of developing this resource for the green building community. We take care to make the difference between editorial and advertising content quite clear, and there are pages where we determined that it is not appropriate to advertise. A large part of our future business model relies on being able to create valuable demographic information (anonymous - we never sell, rent or otherwise share private information) that describes the green building industry and can help predict future needs and trends. However, a strong demographic database information may take some time to develop.
Q: How can I get more involved?
A: There are many ways to get involved with Rate It Green that do not cost money and are quite helpful. Top Individual opportunities include:
- Register and complete our membership process
- Post ratings/testimonials about products and services you have worked with
- Become an active Group and Discussion Member
- Tell your friends about Rate It Green!
- Share your expertise
- Consider becoming a Rate It Green Advisory Member (e.g. offering opinions, moderating forums, answering member questions)
- Send us suggestions and feedback any time
Top Corporate/Organizational opportunities include:
- Registering your company
- Adding products and services in the Directory/database
- Inviting clients to provide ratings/testimonials for your company
- Encouraging other colleagues and companies to get involved
- Rate/review other companies you have worked with
- Become an active in Discussions and Groups
- Share your expertise in some way (comments, feedback, up to site moderation and beyond!)
Your participation and ideas are always welcome.
Site Use and Policies: When you register with Rate It Green, you agree to be bound by our User Agreement and Site Usage Policies. Please review these policies carefully to make sure you understand your opportunities and obligations as a Community Member. Rate It Green is a community of people committed to making the world a better place by expanding the green building materials and design markets. As such, we expect members to act and communicate in an appropriate and constructive manner towards each other. Rate It Green reserves the right to take actions as appropriate in our discretion including but not limited to the editing of postings, removal of postings, or even the revocation of membership if company policies and community norms are violated.