Challenges and opportunities of a large scale social search product

by Frank Fuchs on October 6, 2008

I realize that it has been rather quiet here – but that’s only because I’ve been really busy working on Yahoo! Answers. It’s hugely interesting and exciting.

But there are a couple of questions and topics that are constantly on my mind and I thought I would share and discuss some of them with you.

Mimic the real world – is always a great thing to do

I see this every day when looking at websites – if you mimic real life scenarios and apply the technology and the reach of the internet – you are on a great track to success.

Answers is what I would call a true social search platform and it provides people with questions a very easy way to access a huge amount of knowledge both through search and through people.

Asking a question to gather information is the most human way to find information.

Easy access – low entry barrier levels

Now you can say that Answers and the likes are not any different to message boards and forums that do exist since ages – and you are right up to a certain extent.

One of the big differences that Answers does provide you with is a very low level barrier of access. Most of the forums I know and use are very topic specific and you have to invest quite some time in advance to learn how to ask a question properly – as otherwise you are at risk to get called out as a noob and you are unlikely getting a good response or help. There are quite a few more but I’ll touch on them later on.

Challenges and opportunities for a large scale social search product

So what are they then? Well there are 5 main areas that I want to dig a little deeper into to share my thoughts and hopefully hear back from you to discuss…

I’ll cover each of them in a separate posts starting with the one on content quality.

This post was written by...

– who has written 270 posts on LocallyType*.

OSS (Operating Systems & Services Evangelist at Microsoft formerly consultant at Valopex, Co-Founder, Author & Speaker , ex Yahoo! Local & Maps / Answers, C64 Fanboy

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