Yahoo Answers

SearchEngineWatch writes that Yahoo Answers is emerging as competition for Wikipedia:

I think the more interesting comparison between Yahoo Answers and Wikipedia is the different approaches. Wikipedia aims to have everyone comprehensively build a corpus of knowledge in an organized fashion. Yes, disorganized in the sense that anyone can change things. But organized in that each topic gets a single page containing the contributions.

Yahoo Answers deals with one-off question answering. There’s a corpus of knowledge growing there, one that’s even organized into categories, but all the answers on a particular topic aren’t neatly put on the same page.

That’s not necessarily a disadvantage. In fact, it may be part of the reason Yahoo Answers is pulling in an audience that might never want to contribute to Wikipedia. Wikipedia, if it were a computer game, would be a strategy game where you take a long view to win a campaign or goal. Yahoo Answers is a first-person shoot-em-up. Questions appear, and as soon as one is shot down with an answer, it’s on to the next one.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.