It’s not often you come face to face with someone you totally admire but you’ve never heard of. This happened to me last week at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association conference in New Orleans. I met the guy (Ryan Rigoli) who launched Yahoo! Answers (answers.yahoo.com). That’s him next to me (I’m the shorter, thicker one) in the pic. I had no idea who was responsible for Yahoo! Answers; I just knew they must be really smart and really cool, because they created a site that is really cool.
After all, with over 100 million site visits since its launch a little over a year ago, Yahoo! Answers is quickly becoming one of the most popular sites on the web.
I’m often asked, “Clayton (or Clay, which accidentally kind of became my name when I joined Quicken Loans – that’s a long story for some other blog post) what’s your favorite website?” Since I spend so much time online, that’s a very difficult question to answer. It’s like asking “what’s your favorite food?” A question to which I usually respond, “whatever I’m eating that tastes good when I’m hungry.”
The truth is that I love some websites for news. Some for humor. Some for games. Some for research. You get the idea.
But, a few sites definitely make my A list for being outstanding and great sites. And right up at the top of my A list has to be Yahoo! Answers.
I love Yahoo! Answers. The more time I spend on it, the more I love it. I mean, what isn’t there to love about a site where you can ask anything, yes anything, and someone will answer your question. I can ask “what’s the best sushi place in Tokyo?” and most likely I’ll the get the answer. I can ask “why am I hungry?” and someone will answer. I can ask “who would win in a fight between Andy Dick and Richard Simmons?” and someone will probably answer.
Or on the more serious side, someone can ask “what exactly is an interest-only mortgage?” and since I work at Quicken Loans and I know exactly what an interest-only mortgage is, I can answer the question.
So, if you haven’t spent some time on Answers, I recommend doing so. It only takes a few minutes to set up a profile and you can immediately begin answering and asking questions. You get points for each question you answer and a bonus points if your answer is picked as a best answer and when you ask a question, you can pick the best answer. If you aren’t sure which is the best answer, you can put it up for a vote and let the answers community decide. And if you just want to read some other questions and answers, you can search for questions based on categories and topics right from the Answers home page.
So, a salute to Ryan and his Yahoo team which put together one of the best sites on the web today. Yahoo! Answers has so much potential it’s mind-boggling. There are several things coming in the near future to improve the quality of answers and cut down on evil, bottom-feeding, muck-dwelling spammers who see Answers as a place to make a quick easy buck and have no intention of providing good informative answers. That’s good news for people who want to ask real questions and get real answers. I can’t wait to see what Answers becomes in the next year or so.
Without question, Answers is a job well done!