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…
- Content quality – the good the bad and the ugly
- Abuse / Trolls – the dark side of a social platform?
- Long term user engagement – what you can learn from World of WarCraft
- Monetization – show me the money
- Relevancy – a big word
- Crowdsourcing and wisdom of crowds – truth or fiction?
I’ll cover each of them in a separate posts starting with the one on content quality.