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Friday, August 21, 2009

Fun and Excitement at Yahoo! Answers

Yahoo! Answers is more than just another information site. Among internet reference sites it is ranked as the second most popular site after Wikipedia according to Comscore. According to Yahoo! Answer’s Facebook page, “Yahoo! Answers is a community-driven knowledge market website launched by Yahoo! on December 13, 2005 that allows users to ask questions of other users and answer other users’ questions. The site gives members the chance to earn points as a way to encourage participation and is based on Naver’s Knowledge iN. As of December 2006, it had 60 million users and 65 million answers. On June 11, 2007, Yahoo!’s former questions and answers service, Ask Yahoo!, was formally merged with Yahoo! Answers.”

That is the formal definition. To many of the members of the site it is so much more. I have been a member of Yahoo! Answers since April of 2008. In that time, I have spent countless hours and days of enjoyment answering and asking questions. Questions range from the serious and technical to the whimsical and humorous. They are sorted into 26 main categories and those are divided into numerous sub-categories. Topics include such things as Arts and Humanities, Pets, Entertainment, Health, Education, Games, Travel, and much more.

On Yahoo! Answers you can ask questions, answer questions, or discover what other people are asking all for free. As Y!A puts it, “It is the one place where the world shares what they know to help each other out.” There are other activities that you can do. For example, you can award people extra points for giving the best answer to your question or allow it to go into voting where members can vote which answer is best.

Although they give points and you can advance to different levels, my enjoyment lies in the ability to share my knowledge with others and help them resolve their inquiries. One has the ability to answer questions in all categories on the main page or stay within a category and only answer those questions. If you are an expert on a topic you can earn a top contributor badge that is proudly displayed on your avatar and profile. (That’s my profile’s avatar at the top, though only my head shows on the website.)

My favorite section is the Polls and Surveys section or P&S as those who frequent there affectionately call it. I enjoy this section the most because it is a catch all entertainment category where people ask all kinds of questions. Many questions there are humorous and require a bit of thought to outwit the other members and provide that particular cantankerous answer I enjoy giving. It is also a category that is easy to sit back and relax and enjoy.

Yahoo! Answers also gives one the ability to become fans and contacts of other users in order to follow the questions they ask and the questions that they have found interesting to answer. It provides members with a place to personalize their profile with as little or as much information you wish to share. It provides the ability to socialize with other members but does not require you to participate in this activity. As I said, you can be as private as you want to be. And of course there are community guidelines that must be followed as with any network of people. It is only polite to do so, don’t you think?

There are many frequent users like myself and those who only ask and answer questions on rare occasions. To me it is a great site where I enjoy spending time. I recommend giving it a try next time you are looking for a question to be answered or feel like helping others in need. It gives me a great feeling of joy when I am able to help another person or put a smile on their face.
Is it possible to become addicted to Yahoo! Answers? Well, some people say it is so, but those of us who say that are just kidding around. We all know we could stop anytime we want. lol So that being said, I leave you this poem.

Passion for Yahoo! Answers
by Brian, the old man

Yahoo Answers takes hold of me
Never will it set me free
Answering questions throughout the night
Gives me such a terrible fright
For I will never sleep again
Not even a nap now and then
My eyes have bags down my cheek
But I can't resist another peek
For P&S has got me now
Awaiting best answers so I can bow

Do you like my poem? By clicking on the question, you can see what other Yahoo! Answer members had to say. You can also see which answer I picked as best answer.

Do you remember this commercial?


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