Yahoo Answers Gaining Star Power

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If you’re a regular contributor to Yahoo’s Q&A portal, you might find that the company has added some additional features to the service. The latest additions give Yahoo Answers a social networking flare that could propel it into contention with other user submission portals, such as Digg.

Of course, I would hope the community at Yahoo Answers wouldn’t conspire to blacklist users because of ideological disagreements with the questions they submit, unlike the Digg community who seems to take joy in squelching anyone they don’t like, but I digress.

Yahoo has given users the option to “star” questions they find interesting. The more stars a question receives, the greater a chance it has of reaching the front page. Does this model sound familiar to you?

This excerpt from the Yahoo Answers blog describes the process in greater detail:

Starring questions lets the Answers community surface the best questions on the site. When a question is starred, it is automatically nominated to appear in the new “Popular” list on the front page of Answers (check it out!).

Answers’ Popular list is similar to Flickr’s “Interestingness” and the del.icio.us “Hotlist.” Sharing popular content has made these community experiences much better, and we believe our community will benefit from sharing interests with each other.

Loren Baker at Search Engine Journal weighs in as well:

Yahoo Answers is THE pinnacle social media success launched by Yahoo and virtually all other search companies (MSN Spaces is probably a close second) and building upon such success to slowly build the Yahoo 360 Borg is logical.

The question becomes whether or not adding social features to this form of user-generated content will create enough buzz for Yahoo to make a splash in the market. The company’s much publicized failure to complete negotiations to acquire Facebook has left the company lacking any sort of credible social networking platform.

Pardon the pun, but will “stars” be the “answer” for Yahoo?

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Joe is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest ebusiness news.

Yahoo Answers Gaining Star Power
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