We have already reviewed bunch of google services but only 2 services from Yahoo, so it is a right time for Yahoo Answers, one more application with 100% user generated content.
Yahoo Answers is a place where you can ask and answer questions. And unlike many other similar services and forums, things happen extremely fast here. Most of the questions receive multiple replies within a one day of posting. It is like free consulting service.
Question posting process is quite simple, you only need is to select right category and specify how long it will stay open. Once this period is over best answer is choosen. Each posted question goes through 3 stages; open(still needs an answer), undecided(multiple answers are given and users are asked to vote for the best one) and resolved(best answer has been choosen).
1. Apart from asking and answering questions, you can also browse through 40 million already answered questions. There is a high chance that the answer you are looking for is among these 40 million answers, just search or browse by category to locate it.
2. For each question following options available
- vote on it
- report abuse
- emait to friend
- add it to your watch list (this is very handy for tracking several questions)
- add it to del.icio.us
- track answers through RSS using your feedreader
- Add it to “My Yahoo!”
3. If you like answers given by one user you can monitor this person’s questions and answers through rss
4. User account interface provides detailed statistics about your questions, answers and points
5. Display your questions and answers on your blog or myspace profile.
To measure each user’s activity Yahoo answers introduced point based system. Each user receives some points for different type of actions like asking(-5 p) and answering(+2 p) questions. Initially every user starts with 100 points. This point system requires user to contribute in order to continue receive benefits of using the system. More on point system here. You can see highest perfroming users and their scores on the leaderboard seciton.
Need more information? Check out Yahoo Answers tour here. There is also Google Answers, which comes with a twist, it deserves a review of it’s own which will be coming soon.
Note: Yahoo does not guarantee the accuracy of the answers provided by users. So, people giving an answer may actually have no or little knowledge on the subject. Thus, I would not to rely on users when problem needs a professional assistance (ex;health issues).