Yahoo Launches Answers

…yesterday. Blog post here. Service here. More when I can actually grok…….

Yanswers

…yesterday. Blog post here. Service here. More when I can actually grok….

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

11 thoughts on “Yahoo Launches Answers”

  1. Wow – at first glance and a few test uses it seems fairly simple – and brilliant. They’ve outGoogled Google Answers by a long shot. The combination with publisher network will make this very, very robust.

    But for “high brow” publishing the plot thickens – will this type of effort and pull revenues from more thoughtful forms of publishing or make them even more valuable to advertisers?

  2. Yahoo! Answers is nearly identical to a service Yahoo! launched amidst the dot-com heyday of late 1999 or early 2000, called Yahoo! Experts at the time. Yahoo! users applied to be an “Expert” in a category they had a lot of knowledge in then answered users’ questions for free and received merit points, which gave them bragging rights in potential job interviews or similar situations. The service disbanded a couple years later when ad dollars nearly dried up and there was severe belt-tightening at Yahoo!, when many popular free services were shuttered to save on hardware and bandwidth costs. It was quickly replaced by a pay-per-call type service, called Yahoo! Advice which was powered by a company called Ingenio that was later acquired by Keen.com. Yahoo! then shut down Yahoo! Advice after Keen.com came on scene.

    And so, here we are today, with the launch of Yahoo! Answers. Only this time, it’s been tweaked a bit so anyone can answer questions and not have to be “approved” by Yahoo! staffers. As well, it’s not really so much as competition for Google Answers (which charges fees and is hardly what I call “innovative”) but takes direct aim at Wondir. Yahoo! wants all Wondir’s traffic and this is a very good start.

    Ciao,
    Doug M.

  3. Doug – IMHO not almost identical at all, since these factors are new:
    1) Engagement of Yahoo’s very large search community in the answers without much Yahoo editing needed.

    2) Let that large community value the info.

    3) Reward very helpful people.

    Wondir’s mechanics are similar but this had to
    to come from one of the big players to work well, and I have a feeling this will be a smashing success. I count a new question approximately every 6-10 seconds. John loves the database of intentions — Yahoo is creating a database of collective *wisdom*. Google will copy this soon and that’s great.

  4. I have two articles
    The first is a detailed look at Yahoo Answers
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/051207-220118

    and the second looks at other similar services from Wondir and just about every library in the US, Canada and elsewhere. Often referred to as Virtual reference.
    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/051207-220451
    Yes, chat 24×7 from any computer with a live librarian who has access to sources not on the web. We also talk about the many AskA subject expert databases out there.

  5. Do you think people will do this for free just for some label?

    Garbage in and garbage out.

    You want good information you are not going to find it there.

  6. The big difference I see between Google’s service vs. Yahoo’s is the level of depth expected. When paying someone at Google to answer my question I expect a very thorough answer – whereas when I use Y! Answers I am more likely to ask more “casual” questions that don’t require nearly as much research.

    Questions I’ve asked Google:
    -What did Steve Jobs do on his trip to India?

    Questions I’ve asked Yahoo:
    -Where can I find a good mechanic in the bay area?

    Both valuable – just in different ways.

  7. “Yahoo! Answers is nearly identical to a service Yahoo! launched amidst the dot-com heyday of late 1999 or early 2000, called Yahoo! Experts at the time. Yahoo! users applied to be an “Expert” in a category they had a lot of knowledge in then answered users’ questions for free and received merit points, which gave them bragging rights in potential job interviews or similar situations. The service disbanded a couple years later when ad dollars nearly dried up and there was severe belt-tightening at Yahoo!, when many popular free services were shuttered to save on hardware and bandwidth costs. It was quickly replaced by a pay-per-call type service, called Yahoo! Advice which was powered by a company called Ingenio that was later acquired by Keen.com. Yahoo! then shut down Yahoo! Advice after Keen.com came on scene.”

    i think thats the correct words for this

    @ search engine web … thanks for the google link, it is very intresting to know this

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