Showing posts tagged Community

Askers Hack for City of Oakland

By askdotcom // June 2nd, 2014

As part of the National Day of Civic Hacking,’s Chuck Smith and David Morgan participated in the annual Oakland Answers event this weekend. 


Oakland Answers is a hack-a-thon to develop web pages that quickly and easily answer Oakland residents’ questions about the City of Oakland (think “Where can I register to vote?”, “Where can I pay my parking ticket?”). There’s also have a write-a-thon where teams come up with potential questions from the community and then write quality answers to those questions. does exactly this for our 100 million global users each month - we just had to lend a helping hand to our local community. 


And the community certainly came together. Together over 80 attendees submitted 108 Questions & Answers to increase the Answers databank by 50%. Now the citizens of Oakland have easy access to questions around parking, cycling, the dreaded DMV and much more. 

Looking forward to next year!

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My Mentorship at

By askdotcom // December 16th, 2013

image is a popular website that people visit to get their questions answered. I had the chance to have my own experience at through the Spark Oakland program – a national mentoring program for middle school students. I was matched with the public relations team at Ask because I like to write. My mentors were Valerie Combs, vice president of corporate communications and Suraya Akbarzad, senior PR manager.

My experience at was unbelievable and I met a lot of new and professional people. I thought it was going to be boring and old fashioned. It wasn’t - the offices were decorated with cute and fun toys and the people look like they really enjoy their jobs. I also saw that cares about their users. 

For my Spark project, we decided to do a social media campaign. The first piece of the project was this blog post! Together we discussed the activities of each day and began writing the post. We knew we needed pictures to go with the post so we went to the roof of the building and took pictures under the Ask logo. As you can see – I had a great time! We also worked on a Facebook post and a tweet to help spread the word. We came up with hashtags for the posts and tweet. An Instagram post will be coming later tonight from our Discover Night presentation. 

My experiences throughout the mentoring program showed me how companies work on social media campaigns and other company announcements. My mentors showed me the different sites and social media channels and taught me what their jobs are all about. I was even able to get a sneak peek of the company’s end-of-year announcements.

I really learned a lot at and am excited to present my project at our Discovery Night showcase tonight!

- Angelica, Student at Bret Harte Middle School, Oakland 

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Share the Q&A Community on Facebook & Twitter

By paytonj // October 11th, 2011

Now that the Q&A Community is open to everyone, you can now share questions on Facebook and Twitter. Whether it’s a burning question that you think one of your friends or family can answer or it’s so darned interesting, you just have to share it. No matter the reason, you can now expand your community experience!

All you have to do is navigate to the question you want to share, click “Tweet” or “Like” and then click “confirm.” If you’re not already logged in to your Facebook or Twitter account, you’ll be prompted to do so.

In addition to sharing questions, you can also include YouTube videos in your answers. Simply add the YouTube URL to your answer and when you click “Answer this Question,” the video will be embedded as you see above.

If you have suggestions for features you’d like added to community, let us know! Comment here or visit our feedback forum.

Payton, Director of Community Management

Full Story // Leave comment Q&A Community is off to a great start!

By nedaf // October 4th, 2011

I wanted to share with you some exciting updates about our Q&A Community. As you may know, Q&A Community is now open to all visitors; this means all visitors can receive answers from both the web and from real people. After opening the live user community to everyone in September, the visitors of have responded amazingly. The user registration from the Site has doubled compared to the Beta phase; while the registrations from iOS App have been stable and steady.

Our users are not only joining the Community but are also very engaged as apparent by their many activities (asking questions, answering questions and commenting on questions). Not only do these new Site users browse various Q&A pages, but they are also very engaged in content activities such as asking a question, providing answers, commenting on Answers, as well as voting. In fact, in addition to the existing users, about 75-80% of these new users contribute to various content activities on our Q&A pages.  The visits to Q&A pages are also 2.5 times higher in September.

These are a few highlights of the full release of Q&A Community which marks the start of a very exciting road for us. We will share more updates with you as the Q&A Community progresses over time.


Neda Farzinnia, Director of Analytics

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Questions & Answers = More User Activity

By nedaf // July 13th, 2011

We’ve been looking at user behavior in our Q&A community (which is still in beta) and found that people who ask and answer questions tend to boast higher frequency and retention rates - exciting stuff as we look to roll out this feature across all our traffic later this summer.  Visitors to our Q&A community are more engaged than our non-community users and have a higher visit rate to pages. In fact, people who ask and answer questions on produce 2x as many visits per visitor as our site users who do not interact with the live Q&A community.


Users who participate in asking and answering questions in our Q&A community are able to ask questions, browse questions from other users, answer other questions and make comments. Here are some other data points we have gathered from our community users:

- Users in the Q&A Community have a higher retention than our average site users.

- Percentage of Q&A community users who come back to the site is 2x as large as non-community users.  

- Q&A community users are active across all pages including asking questions, answering questions, and making general search queries.

We will continue to learn about the user community as it grows, and we’ll keep you posted on all the exciting news.

Neda Farzinnia, Director of Analytics

Full Story // Leave comment Q&A community: a look under the hood…

By nedaf // May 27th, 2011

It is so exciting to watch the Q&A community grow and observe users’ interactions and behavior. In particular, we see that users who interact with answers from real people (a feature currently in beta) are more active than those who don’t engage with our Q&A community - in fact, users who engage with human-powered answers visit the site twice as much as those who don’t.  It starts to get even more interesting when we drill down into the different types of Q&A activities occurring across user segments.  We see mobile driving a significant portion of our Q&A service registration.


The mobile users of Q&A  go beyond consuming information – overall they are actually producing more content (questions, answers, comments) than typical site users. In fact, mobile users of our service overall produce 3x as many answers as our site users. Further, they generate more than 4x the volume of answers per question than site users (who, by the way, already contribute a healthy 2:1 ratio of answers per question).  Similarly, our mobile users provide twice as many comments as our Q&A site users.


On the flip side, site users engage in asking questions more than answering and commenting.  In fact, they ask twice as many questions as our mobile users. Although site users appear to prefer asking questions over other activities (answering/commenting), they still contribute to answering and commenting activities significantly.

It seems site users like to ask, and mobile ones like to answer and comment. It will be interesting to watch this evolve as we continue to grow Ask’s presence across more mobile platforms.


Neda Farzinnia, Director of Analytics

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Getting Smarter with Social

By jasonrupp // October 20th, 2010

Growing our community the right way is key, and adding value (not just bells and whistles) is critical. As such, injecting a social layer to in places where it makes the Q&A experience better is a key emphasis for us. Over the past couple of months, we have implemented social functionality across the site to accomplish this, including being a launch partner for the Tweet button, allowing  users to “follow” people who consistently provide great answers, and providing more opportunities for sharing answers across an individual’s social network.

But tying into social platforms can do more than just make it easy to share content and invite friends. With user permission, we can also pull in profile information from other networks to help us understand knowledge areas and expertise. This helps us route questions more intelligently, which also improves our users’ experience.

Soon, we will roll out a feature that will do just that. users will be provided the option to import profile data – interests, places traveled, work history and experience, and so on — from Facebook and LinkedIn. We think LinkedIn is especially relevant given the rich amount of work-related expertise (say you’re a car mechanic or a search marketing whiz) we can glean from that platform.

So, what’s the latest in a nutshell?  A quick look below – Forbes’ Bruce Upbin provides more context in his blog, which you can find here.

    - Universal log in: You can now log into using Facebook or Linked credentials.

    - As of this week, you can now easily invite your Facebook and LinkedIn friends into the Q&A experience.

    -The ability to import and route questions based on Facebook and LinkedIn profile data coming next month.

As always, your feedback is appreciated. Please go here to tell us what you think (must be logged in to view).

Jason Rupp, Senior Director, Product Management

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