Ask.com was arguably the original Q&A engine. Now the site is seeking to introduce a new product, which leverages both its search assets and the community. We were approached but we’ve yet to formally speak to someone from IAC about the forthcoming launch.
However, Silicon Alley Insider today exposes the PR email outlining the plan:
On July 29th, Ask will announce a brand new product aimed at delivering the best answers to people’s questions through a unique hybrid approach (think: a little bit search, a little bit social) that is not available on the Web today. As you know, the search landscape has evolved tremendously over the past few years and many search companies are attempting to tackle the Q&A space, but so far neither search nor social media alone as met this need.
With an avid userbase of people seeking questions (over one million questions per day; more than any other established or startup Q&A service online) and the best new technologies and products to meet this need, Ask knows that it is best positioned to capitalize on this opportunity online
In addition to Ask’s coming tool, there are a growing number of other Q&A/answer/help engines, including but not limited to:
- Aardvark (Google)
- Askville (Amazon)
- Facebook Q&A (not yet formally launched)
- Quora (started by former Facebookians)
- Yahoo Answers (which just upgraded)
However, none of these so far (we haven’t see Facebook’s) have quite “gotten it right” in my opinion. People sometimes also use Twitter as a Q&A tool.
Microsoft had a Q&A site that it shuttered a few years ago. And Google’s paid answers site was also closed several years ago.
Before we say anything more we’ll have to see what Ask produces and how it works.
For fun see the related 2006 post: Question & Answer Search Engines Ranked