December 8, 2005
@ 11:17 PM

I just spent some time browsing the questions on the Yahoo! Answers site and as usual Yahoo! shows that they get it. They may build unspectacular user interfaces but they know how to build useful software for users of the World Wide Web.

I find this to be an interesting experiment in providing alternatives to traditional search engines for answering people's questions. Unlike Google Answers, there is no payment required from the person whose question is answered. This raises the question of why anyone would want to answer questions on the site. Whuffie?


Saturday, December 10, 2005 2:28:06 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Why do people answer questions on newsgroups? On web forums such as On mailing lists? None of the above offer payment.

I do it because I like, sometimes, investigating the answer to questions - I find that I learn well this way. I get satisfaction in helping someone with their problem. And I guess I get an ego boost from finding that my answers were helpful. I suppose I also like 'showing off' that I _can_ find an answer.

At the same time I don't want to answer every question, so I'll do it as and when I feel like it, and I won't necessarily respond if a question is addressed directly to me or sent in private email, rather than to the forum/newsgroup/list.
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