Garo Garabedyan's Divergent Thinking Blog

Yahoo! Answers: Between the forum and the wiki policies

with 3 comments

Yahoo! Answers is a service of Yahoo! which helps people to ask questions and receive answers from real people. At this post I will try to compare Yahoo! Answers, Forums and Wikis. Yahoo! engineers created this tool which characteristics are taken from famous to us services.

People use forums to ask questions and not so often to search for answers. The same users use wikis to search for answers (knowledge) and share knowledge. Yahoo! Answers enables people to search for answers and give answers in a more productive way than in Wikis and Forums.


  • Conversations like in chat rooms. People express independent views which are presented chronologically in respect of the time of publication, most publications are an answer to the last posted opinion

  • There is no discrete topic in the forum posts. People talk about a lot of thinks not directly related to the topic of the forum discussion

  • There is a social relation factor. People see each others’ opinions

Forums are not able to be searched for previous answers, this is a place for discussion where a conclusion is let in the hands of the hard writing attenders.


  • Work is co-authored. People collaborate and produce a paper which fully represent their views, even if the letter are opposite (in such cases the both opinions are presented as parallel)

  • There is a discrete topic of every wiki page and every piece of a page can be kept on the topic by every visitor with edit rights

  • Wikis aren’t social services, people collaborate indirectly by document (article) revisions

Wikis are not able to store chronological events, document revision engine inside the service is not enough powerful to present the changes in such a way in order to understand the growth (development) of the ideas expressed in the page.

Yahoo! Answers:

  • Every registered user is free to answer a question, to comment an answer (comments are attached to the answer and are chronological)

  • Off topic answers aren’t boring the visitors. A policy for voting the best answer is presented to every visitor

  • Yahoo! Answers is a social service. People earn ranks and points about better answers, they see each others profiles

Yahoo! Answers are too bound to the concrete question, there is no linking of topics like in the wiki. This makes answers to be only authored by only one user and no collaboration which in one good implementation can provide a more deep knowledge.

Yahoo! Answers and all its competitor Answer services are a powerful new Knowledge Management Services.


Written by garabedyan

June 3, 2008 at 16:12

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

3 Responses

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  1. you dont answer nothing tramps


    September 23, 2008 at 13:17

  2. I am here at a forum newcomer. Until I read and deal with the forum.
    Let’s learn!


    December 3, 2008 at 04:41

  3. Hello webmaster
    I would like to share with you a link to your site
    write me here


    March 3, 2009 at 13:13

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