10 thoughts on “Amazon Responds to Yahoo Answers with Askville”

  1. If you visit with Safari they tell you it’s not supported and to download Firefox…not.
    I have the Safari debug menu enabled so spoofed that I was Firefox and everything seems to work fine.
    Not impressed Amazon! Open it up.

  2. It’ll be interesting to see how much this changes as the community grows larger. It seems that inevitably as the community grows, quality gets ridiculously bad. Although Yahoo! Answers is successful from a traffic standpoint, many of the questions (and answers) read like they were written by contestants from “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?”

    You see this in the blogosphere, too. I don’t see nearly as much whining here when you write about Facebook as I do on a certain other tech blog. 🙂

  3. http://www.quantcast.com/askville.amazon.com

    My personal guess is that QuantCast is off by the same US metrics with every company. So, I’m shocked that Answerbag, Wiki Answers and FunAdvice (my site) are all beating Amazon’s Q&A attempt so handily.

    To be truthful, nearly every one of their features can be had on AnswerBag, FunAdvice, or to a lessor degree, Yahoo (since Yahoo Answers lacks the breadth of social features of Answerbag or us).

    The only, only way that Askville could attempt to challenge the crazy growth of Wiki Answers (which is #2 in the category) is to deeply integrate their Q&A offering into Amazon, which they’re NOT about to do, because it would sink their ecommerce revenue. People looking for advice or answers are NOT about to make a purchase.

    Last, I fully get why Yahoo, Answers.com, and Microsoft jumped head long into the Q&A business. However, Amazon is ecommerce at it’s core. I don’t think, long term, people want to hang out at the online mall and chat with their friends. There is a reason that Facebook didn’t just announce they’re selling online.

    My 2 cents…but, as I mentioned above, I’m biased 😉 My own Q&A site gets more than a million visitors a month, and I’m putting my bet on that one.

  4. Askville is a great site on a bad platform. Who wants to social network on an ecommerce site. Social Answers is just getting hot as people are getting a little tired of the traditional social networks. Granted MySpace and Facebook are huge, and great at what they do, but people are and will be seeking more stimulating interaction. The sites I go to are Yahoo Answers (huge activity but a little childish), SodaHead (a new site that seems to have what other sites are missing which is the social features) and Answerbag (good questions but little social activity.) Someone should buy them all and make one big Q&A community.

  5. dicky…answerbag was bought by InfoSearch Media years ago (my former employer) and then sold to Demand Media last year for $5 million.

    As they paid such a high price…I really, really doubt somebody will be attempting to re-purchase them for a 3rd time, not withstanding that the very business model of Demand Media is rolling up numerous content companies.

    sodahead has …the social features

    And what, pray tell, are those? I’ve seen sodahead as well, and it seems to be pretty generic. No photo sharing, no photo rating…ah, but they have a blog feature, and they have customizable profiles (something none of the other Q&A sites have).

    Are blogs + customizable profile colors really needed…? Considering Facebook is growing the fastest in the social category, and their profile page is reasonably static (eg, without an application, you can’t change the colors).

    If you tell 10 of your friends about FunAdvice, I promise I’ll add those two features (and others, if you want) to our engineering queue on FunAdvice 🙂

  6. Oof, it’s ugly though! I think Yahoo! Answers is a fantastic site. I’ll be very interested to see whether Amazon can get Askville off the ground this time. A complete redesign might help them achieve this.

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