SOCIAL NETWORKING AND TRAFFIC WITH YAHOO! ANSWERS
The goals of Yahoo! Answers are to share knowledge, help others, while earning earn points in the process. A leading competitor to Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers has taken the traditional way to search for information into a new avenue of opportunity with its community-driven network. Since each user can earn points, there is an extra incentive to create a profile and network with other users. It’s simpler than ever to share a message, thought, idea, or advice. Social interaction becomes incentive-driven, and provides a fresh area of opportunity for marketing and promoting purposes as well.
Although Yahoo! Answers launched in December 2005, it reached impressive numbers for web traffic in just six months. According to Hitwise, Wikipedia earned a “6.76% market share in May 2006, with Yahoo! Answers trailing far behind with 2.94%; Dictionary.com
came in at 3.80%. However, the important thing to note here is that Yahoo! Answers was only a few months old when it reached the number three ranking; even sites such as Google Scholar and City-Data.com didn’t reach the level of success that Yahoo! Answers managed to acquire.
Yahoo! Answers has often been compared to Wikipedia, but the difference may trace to the addictive component. Yahoo! Answers often makes use of references to Wikipedia as a resource; but since each user is involved in interaction, building up their profile, and sharing independently researched information for review by other users, it becomes a highly evolved social networking community: naturally. Users can compete for a position on the ‘best picked’ answers of the day or week, look to the leader board to find the most valuable users, and pitch all sorts of questions.
Users can contact each other by setting permissions on their account and allowing other users to contact them by e-mail. Adding communication permissions is easy by selecting the appropriate editing option in the profile page. E-mail addresses are never shown to the users, but are sent through a messaging system instead.