Yahoo Answers works surprisingly well

I tried Yahoo Answers when it first came out (I’m a Yahoo employee so I got a sneak preview). Interesting concept, I thought, let’s see how it turns out.

I checked it out every once in a while and wasn’t impressed - the questions are generally junk and the answers aren’t much better.

Tonight I was trying to figure out what kind of game console I should buy for the boys (since the Wii is sold out everywhere). I don’t know much about game consoles so I sent email to friends and family for advice.

Then it occurred to me to try out the question on Yahoo Answers. The results were surprising. Within 30 minutes I had received 9 answers, 7 of which are actually helpful.

Since that worked so well I decided to ask another question that came to mind about chemistry and physics experiments that can be done with household items. That one is also generating interesting answers.

And now that I’ve received value from the community, I feel like I should give back and answer somebody else’s question.

Interesting system. Particularly impressive is how fast you get feedback - the first 6 answers came within 10 minutes of posting the question. The speed makes a real difference in the user experience.

One obvious improvement would be to put a link to questions you’ve asked somewhere more accessible - it’s a pain to find your questions right now.