Microsoft and Yahoo Want Your Untapped Brain Power:

Posted: September 14, 2006 in Misc Tech

The Next Unexploited Resource.. You

First it was Reality TV, a good idea then it got nuts. Too much reality is boring, we watch TV sometimes to escape it, not find out more about it.

This is starting to be the same with community sites, bless the diggs, and delicious’s of this world but what next?

The problem with community sites is you are seldom immersed in it. That is you visit you whine or vote (or both) then you go away, or worse you stay around but not offer any “value” to the community; loitering if you will, perhaps with a few more whinges on a site then you go away. Not good.

The secret is how to make the community “sticky”. Marketing speak for make them stay around a bit longer but add value to the community. This builds loyalty and loyalty means you buy into the communities other services and become a loyal customer.

But how?

What better way to tap into a community than to ask it loads of questions, not just vote but answer questions then vote.
the result is the golden chalice. Sticky customers that offer value or go away, Loitering is ok as the worse you can do is answer a question stupidly.

Yahoo and Microsoft are tapping into this where you ask a question it costs you, answer a question and you get points. On the surface. The idea seems a bit silly or old. Ask.com was the 1st one to do this and it was useful (still is for some), but the ability to Google made it unnecessary.

So it makes you wonder why people would trust a bunch of strangers to answer questions about things they may know nothing about. I have seen some of the answers and frankly it’s a bit scary.

Sample Q&A

Q: How do I speed up my computer?
A: Go to start, run, type cmd then type format:c

Q: I have a dog about to give birth what do I do
A: call 911

Q: How do I cope with my father dying of cancer?
A: Ohh that’s tough don’t know

geez, The list goes on. I am sure some good will come out of this and it is a bit addictive, but I cannot see it.

Visit the sites and let me know what you think.

http://answers.yahoo.com/

http://qna.live.com/


 

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