Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Even more answers on Answers.com


User Generated Flame

Answers.com, the encyclodictionalmancapdia, announced on Monday a new partnership with Yahoo! Answers (also on Mashable).

(Disclosure: Yedda, where I work is a competitor to Yahoo! Answers)

This actually makes perfect sense to me… if done right, it would provide Answers.com with an effective method to keep their users happy even if they don't find what they're looking for right away.

The way YA is integrated into Yahoo! Search is a good example of providing searchers with an end to end scenario, converting a potentially-unhappy search user into a YA user, and eliminating one more reason for the user to leave the Yahoo Walled Garden.

This kind of scenario is not yet surfaced on the Answers.com integration, but the potential is there. In fact, without this scenario the value of the integration is somewhat limited given the questionable value of some of the Yahoo Answers content (e.g. "who here loves dogs like I do" ).

One thing that surprised me though – the Q&A on Answers.com is surfaced with absolutely no attribution to the people who created this content – the users on Yahoo Answers.

Hence, the users who asked the question, and - even more important - the users who have taken the time to answer this question - lose all credit and reputation related to the content they've created. Establishing your online reputation is one of the major reasons people share their knowledge on Q&A services like YA, QnA, Yedda, etc.

Though probably perfectly legal and covered by the YA terms of use, it still is a surprising move, coming from the same folks who've been so active in pushing Creative Commons forward by integrating it directly into their advanced search functionality and weaving it so nicely into Flickr.

Perhaps Brad Garlinghouse was right, and a cohesive vision – in this case, with regards to user generated content (oops!), crowdsourcing and users rights – need to be put in place over at YHQ.

4 comments:

Steve Wiseman said...

That is what made Google answers so interesting. They actually paid the experts that answered the question. Looks like most people what good answers for free tho - Google Answers is to shutdown this week

Steve Wiseman
http://www.windows-admin-tools.com

YanivG said...

Yes, I agree. Google Answers used an interesting model, unfortunately it is one that does not scale.

It was an interesting experiment model though.

Check out what we do on Yedda.

Asking and answering on Yedda is free, but we introduced some interesting mechanisms that let answerers get only the questions they're interested in, once they define their topics of interests and knowledge, how many questions they'd like to receive and how often.

pbinder said...

That is pretty harsh but Yahoo! was not responsible for "weaving" creative commons into Flickr as that was there well before Flickr was bought out.

I would hope if this story reaches anyone at Yahoo! that they would take notice and change this to give people credit.

khimming said...

If money is not a good incentive in this case, then what can we use to credit the contributors? Most experts are happy to help others by providing their advice and knowledge without getting paid. However, they’d appreciate if their efforts are recognized and properly acknowledged.

I am looking forward to a creative QnA system which creatively credits its users for the provided content and also reliable for users to build their reputation online.