Let’s keep the synchronicity flowing. MIT Technology review just wrote up a half-decent blow by blow comparison of the different Q&A sites out there. Despite a super confusing first page that makes it look like we came in 5th place (we’re on the 5th page), we actually came in a well deserved first place.
The reviewer based a good portion of his scoring on the results of 3 questions that he asked on each service. The interesting thing is that on Yahoo! Answers, for 2 out of 3 of them, he already had the question and answer there waiting for him. This is something that he found to be a very positive experience, and that has me very excited. We already do some surfacing of existing content during the ask flow, but it’s fairly immature and there’s a ton of room for improvement. If what we already have has made for a rather positive experience, then I’m very optimistic for the future.
For months now I’ve been pushing everyone on our team to begin to think of more and more ways to leverage our already substantial and rapidly growing corpus of knowledge. We’ve got lots of data and tons of meta data and it’s about time we get out of this rigid web search mentality and start using that information in more creative ways. There are a few things in the pipeline that I can’t yet mention, but I think it’s very exciting stuff and I’m really looking forward to getting it out there.
From the article:
I didn’t bother to post this question on Yahoo Answers, since the site already contains more than 100 questions and thousands of answers relating to grilled cheese sandwiches. I can’t begin to list them all; just go to http://answers.yahoo.com and type “grilled cheese sandwich” into the “Search for questions” box.
It’s good to be the big dog.
Can any site in the social Q&A space catch up with my clear winner, Yahoo Answers? Not as long as so many Yahoo users hang around the site answering questions from complete strangers. It’s important to realize that the social Q&A sites are intended as much for the entertainment and aggrandizement of the as for the education of the questioners. The site that gives answerers the most exposure, therefore, is likely to be the one that thrives the longest.