Is Yahoo! Answers the new Wikipedia?
Just over two years ago, Yahoo! Answers came to the scene and tried to compete with the fledging for-pay Google Answers. It was free compared to the bid-style Google was offering so there was a fighting chance.
Google eventually folded and shut down Answers, saying that the experiment wasn’t a success (it’s now actually shifting towards a Wikipedia model with Google Knol). AOL followed suit with Yedda which it bought from an Israeli start-up.
Today Yahoo! Answer is almost alone in that arena. Last time I visited there was during the beta season and never bothered visiting again. Until last week. I got a little addicted when some challenging math and science questions were thrown all over. Top that with the satisfaction of getting 10 points after being chosen of giving the Best Answer (offering an answer gives you 2 points). It feels like I was back in college again doing evening math and chem tutorials to freshmen students.
If I may hazard a guess, majority of the subjects being tackled there are about travel/tourism and academics. It looks like tons of students are now flocking Yahoo! Answers to get their answers. Remember our previous discussion on Google & Wikipedia not good for students? Yahoo! Answers is next.
Why would one go thru pages and pages of wikis when you can just ask right away and get your question straight and fast? How about math? Wikipedia can’t solve your math problems! But Yahoo! Answers can.
Just today, I helped solve a kids math problem on linear combinations. Then I realized, I just did this kid’s homework! And since it’s free, these students can always use Yahoo! Answers to do all their assignments. Now, how do you solve that problem?