Yahoo Answers: Social knowledge base or trash can?

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Though Yahoo Answers isn’t brand spanking new, it’s creating some interest amongst social networkers – at least, according to ABC News, who weigh up its pros and cons in quite a lengthy article.

Yahoo Answers is a free service whereby anyone with a Yahoo account can post questions and provide answers. These are then all grouped together and people can vote on which is the best answer.

It works on a points system – you can only view a certain number of answers each day, but you can also earn points by answering other people’s questions (I’m not sure how or if this is vetted)

Google have a service called Google Answers, but this is a paid service that relies on real experts and researchers, rather than the general public.

Yahoo Answers is supposed to work in a bubble fashion – the best answers float to the top and the power of large-scale social voting and policing takes care of the rubbish – like rude or banal questions and equally suspect answers.

Sceptics of the service say that there just aren’t enough people willing to donate their knowledge for free, and (as with critics of Wikipedia) the results can’t be relied upon.

What do you think about this social knowledge base?

Yahoo Answers

Andy Merrett

4 comments

  • I think the Yahoo ansers is a pretty good invention! Think about it, someone has actually took the time and effort to repsonde to a question.

    Although you may not be satisfied with the repsonse, at least there is another place on the net that you can try and get an answer.

    Freeview

  • You cannot even compare the level of professionality on Google Answers and the type of 14-year-olds talks that take place on Yahoo! Answers. Yahoo! Answers is not more than a Q&A version of “MySpace” or another version of forum (including the trolls and the typos).

  • Yeah that would make sense! I did think it a bit odd that you’d only be able to look at a limited number of answers. It came up with some spiel the first time I typed a question in and I wasn’t sure what it was referring to. Thanks for the correction.

  • Correction: You can view as many answers as you want (of course!), but you can only write a certain number of answers each day until you prove yourself a bit and level up.

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