My New Fascination with Yahoo! Answers

I have recently become fascinated with Yahoo! Answers. I recently compared it to Twitter except a strict Q&A forum only. I started with a simple question: “What should I have for dinner tonight?” I explained that I was going to Star Trek and wanted to eat something that wouldn’t feel gross in my stomach during the movie but I didn’t particularly want something “healthy”.

Surprisingly I received answers almost immediately. One person suggested a burger while another person said “Subway!” It actually made something stressful like dinner decision-making easy and off to Subway I went.

startreksubway

Shortly after, I was researching for new business and decided the best method for understanding 8th graders was to just ask them, “Hey! What’s cool with 8th graders right now?” I explained that I was doing some research (to clarify I wasn’t some creep) and was wondering if it was still Jonas Brothers or something else. I had a few 8th graders respond to me with the same answers, “We aren’t into ANYTHING. We like all different things. We hate the Jonas Brothers because they are lame”. I then remembered that I didn’t want to be doing anything mainstream either when I was in 8th grade.

 Ahh youth.

RebelTeen

Then I started to think about this forum more and more as it applies to my field. PR professionals could really benefit from using Yahoo! Answers as a forum to research audiences and to find themes and big ideas. It could be a public forum for brainstorms.

I have been told that Yahoo! Answers does have Yahoo! Answers Knowledge Partners. The Knowledge Partner program is a way for organizations to share their professional knowledge with the Yahoo! Answers community. Interesting… so we’d have to partner with Yahoo! Answers in order for our clients to have an impact here? Either way, I still think it’s a great forum for research on an individual basis. But, keep in mind that it is not the SOLE research method you should use – just an additional tool that comes in handy when you need answers fast(ish).

I recently submitted a question that was less “silly” and haven’t had any answers. I think that the forums are still attractive to people who don’t have to “think” to answer a question but get the satisfaction of feeling smarter than someone else online… aka it still has some development necessary and room for improvement.  

Post your Yahoo! Answers question… http://answers.yahoo.com/question/ask

YahooAnswers

 

Disclosure, my employer represents Yahoo! though I do not work directly for this client.

 

May 14, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.