Askville: Amazon’s Answer to Yahoo! Answers

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AskvilleOver the weekend I had the opportunity to try out a new service by Amazon, dubbed Askville. Askville is Amazon’s answer to Yahoo! Answers, a service that has turned out fairly popular within their website — where users ask questions which are then answered by other users (i.e. a free, community-based, more naive version of Google Answers).

If you’ve used Yahoo! Answers before, you won’t have any trouble using Askville. Much of the concept, structure, and ideas behind it are the same. Of course, the major difference is the Amazon tag behind it.

While the service is currently in an invitation-only beta stage, browsing through some of the most recently asked questions reveals that it has managed to claim a base of ‘hooked’ users already: questions posted as less as an hour ago already have more than five answers. While a topic needs to have a set amount of answers and for the questioner to approve the best one until it is revealed to all users, most of the questions which have reached this stage reveal that a large amount of answers are given by its top users. The top most user has gained an excess of 5,000 points, .

Questions range from “”What’s the best way to stop nail biting?” to “Looking for a good non-fiction book to read. Any recommendations?”. Sifting through its tag cloud section of “Topic needing Answers” and “Topic with Answers,” one can roughly see and make out the kind of topics the service has managed to attract so far — which is, really, where its future lies. Some of the current top tags include “random crap,” “health,” “food,” “television,” “computers,” “web design,” and “travel.”

Other notable players in this space include Otavo and Microsoft’s Live QnA. Askville plans to launch to the public by early next year.

Askville Screenshot

[tags]Askville, Amazon, Community-driven[/tags]


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