Showing posts tagged Q&A
I wanted to share with you some exciting updates about our Ask.com Q&A Community. As you may know, Ask.com Q&A Community is now open to all Ask.com visitors; this means all visitors can receive answers from both the web and from real people. After opening the Ask.com live user community to everyone in September, the visitors of Ask.com have responded amazingly. The user registration from the Ask.com 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 Ask.com 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 Ask.com Q&A pages. The visits to Ask.com Q&A pages are also 2.5 times higher in September.
These are a few highlights of the full release of Ask.com 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
Today, Ask partner Nuance launched the new version of its Dragon Go! application, the app that recognizes what users say and delivers direct access to the best sites on the mobile web. This next version of Dragon Go! expands direct access to more answers, movies, music and more; layering voice recognition on top of rich content, expert answers and services from leading partners like Ask.com, Wolfram|Alpha, Spotify, Google+ and others.
Users have flocked to Dragon Go! since it launched earlier this year, and we are psyched to have been chosen as a key partner for this next rev. of the product. So, how will it work? By saying “how many calories are in a banana?” or “what is the best vineyard in St. Helena, CA?” users will be directed to an immediate answer from Ask.com - either through search, or answers from a live community made up of Ask’s 60 million users.
By pairing its voice recognition on top of expert content, rich media, and social services like Google+, Dragon Go! has effectively leapfrogged mobile search applications - giving users direct access to their answer or next activity in a matter of seconds.
Dragon Go! understand the questions, and Ask as the answers - seems like a perfect match to me! Check out the new Dragon Go! app here.
David Amato, Director of Business Development & Partnerships
Players rack up points and compete to win prizes by correctly answering trivia questions related to the current and past Disrupt conferences, speakers at the show, and general industry trivia. They can earn points either at our live trivia booth in a head-to-head competition or on our website, AskDisruption.com. Winners of the live trivia rounds are able to even grab cash in our Ask.com Cash Booth. Q&A Disruption is our play-anywhere (from any device) Ask.com trivia game built for Disrupt SF 2011 attendees. Today’s contest came down to a final, last-minute live trivia showdown between our first and second place contestants to determine our winner, see below for pictures!
I also had a chance to check out some of the conference’s speakers today, including an excellent kickoff speech from former TechCrunch Co-Editor Michael Arrington, a Fireside Chat by Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, a Founder Story from Dustin Moskovitz from Facebook and Asana, and a Startup Battlefield Competition, where entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a group of potential investors in front of a live audience.
All in all, it was an action-packed first day and a promising start to the conference. There’s bound to be some exciting announcements throughout- stay tuned for more info and dont forget to play at AskDisruption.com for a chance to win cool prizes!
Sheree Polonsky, Public Relations
Summer is coming to a close, and it’s the time of year when yellow buses are making their rounds, and students are heading back to classes after the long summer break. People all over are getting themselves and their children ready for school, from shopping for school supplies and getting immunizations, to finding resources to help with homework and advice for getting involved in making the school experience as amazing as possible for their children.
Check out some of the most popular back to school questions users are asking below. We hope you and your children have an excellent start to the school year!
Emily Kidder, Knowledge Engineer/Answer Geek
It’s difficult for anyone to be creatively inspired and productive when you’re sitting in a sea of cubicles all in the same monotone color scheme surrounded by white walls and brown office doors.
Sure, you can paint some of those walls to add some color, but who wouldn’t want to create their own environment that you and your cube mates could call “home”. Inspired by another program at LinkedIn, Ask.com kicked off “Pimp My Pod” last week, a program that allows each pod group to permanently transform their workspace into an environment that makes them feel comfortable and express who they are.
The groups were encouraged to bring in stuff from home, create items from scratch and of course we provided a small monetary gift to help them along. Each group then hosted an open house where they invited the rest of the company over for snacks, drinks, and a tour of their area. We had pods themed as a HAWAIIAN LUAU, NIGHTCLUB, JUNGLE, SERENITY LOUNGE and many more!
Each group’s collective efforts provided an opportunity for the team to work together on something creative that the rest of the company could enjoy as a pat on the back for all their hard work.
Check out awesome pictures of pimped out pods:
Sheree Polonsky, Public Relations
Let’s face it. Some questions aren’t meant to be answered by a machine. That’s why you’ll see some changes to Ask.com today that involve you, our valued community of experts on all sorts of topics. Ask opened up its community portion of the site, previously in limited beta, to everyone – yup, all 63 million of you – so you can get answers from real people to subjective questions.
In addition, you’ll also probably notice a new look and feel that reflects what we’ve learned about how search and social intersect to offer the best Q&A experience. The new design helps users find the best answer to their question – whether that answer comes from a traditional Web search or from the community.
- Flexibility and Choice – With a new tabbed interface on the homepage, users can choose which experience makes sense for their question: searching the Web for a published answer immediately, or tapping a community of users for personal answers and recommendations.
- Ask People – The ability to join Ask People and exchange questions and answers with others is now available to all Ask.com users. Answers with positive user feedback are indexed and will surface in response to relevant searches conducted in the Search the Web tab. Ask People also includes the ability to browse Q&A content by social connections or topic areas.
- Web Search tailored for Q&A – Ask.com’s Q&A focused algorithms go beyond page rank and link counts to actually match queries with real answers. A search on Ask.com benefits from a number of these technologies working in the background, including Ask-curated Smart Answers and a database of more than 700 million Q&A pairs, to produce a real answer at the top of the page instead of ten blue links.
- User Q&A Content Front and Center – A new, streamlined design showcases more user-generated Q&A throughout the homepage and overall site via “People Are Asking” and “Related Q&A” sections.
- Improved Sharing & Social Features – Users can now share questions and answers of interest across multiple social platforms.
The Wall Street Journal wrote on the news this morning, check it out here. Also, check out screenshots below.
SXSW 2012 may seem far away, but March 2012 will be here before you know it! The PanelPicker voting for SXSW 2012 is now open and we’d love for you to vote for our panel spotlighting an Insiders’ Guide to the Q&A space. This panel features some of the most influential leaders in the Q&A space. Joining me in the discussion are some of the leading minds in the Q&A space: Ro Cho of Formspring, Lenny Rachitsky of Localmind, Shawn Schewegman of Cha Cha and Dan Peters of Yahoo! Answers.
As we all know, there are plenty of places on the Web you can go to get an answer to a question, but it’s difficult to find an answer you can actually trust. We have been trained to turn everyday questions into search terms and in turn get low quality results due to content farms, keyword optimization, and a lack of understanding of what we’re really asking. With the recent rebirth of Q&A, there are now a multitude of models motivating users to ask questions and receive answers from real people as opposed to algorithms. However, getting that credible answer quickly still remains a challenge. In this panel, we will dive into the different flavors of Q&A sites available which models are working, highlight how to get the best answer you are looking for, and discuss why Q&A is different than search and how to unlock the potential of this exploding category.
Click here to vote and learn more about our panel. Voting ends September 2nd so vote now!
Hope to see you there!
Lisa Kavanaugh, Chief Product & Technology Officer
The famous quote by Benjamin Franklin has sort of become a phrase used by corporations to make themselves look less singularly focused on profit. I can see why people are skeptical. But can you really improve your business and still also support a cause you really care about?
Well, a while ago we reached out to a very big name in the non-profit world with a unique idea. We asked, could we build something where we engage our users to help out other users while at the same raising money to support a great cause? And the answer is: yes!
We call it “Answers for the Cure" - you can sign up here - and it allows anyone who wants to support this program to sign up on Ask.com and answer questions asked by our users, on many different topics. For every answer, we’re making a donation towards the fight against breast cancer. And it’s been great so far: Thousands of members have signed up and some of them have answered hundreds of questions, as many as 20 or more per day. That’s pretty exciting and helps out a lot of people who come to us in search of answers.
But while members loved the program, we heard that a lot of people didn’t even know about it. A simple change to the program, which now not only shows when somebody in the program answers a question, but also allows other users to easily learn about and join Answers for the Cure with just one click, truly unlocked its viral appeal. Take a look at the chart below… When we turned this new feature on, literally over night, the number of answers per day, and thus donations per day, just went up dramatically.
Doesn’t that look like doing well and doing something good at the same time? Here’s to our users: thank you so much for being so engaged and supportive.
IAC Headquarter in NYC lit in pink for breast cancer awareness in Oct 2010.
Robbie Waeschenfelder, Director, Brand Marketing
The night sky is going to be even more impressive than normal over the next few weeks, due to the yearly light show known as the Perseids Meteor Shower. What is a Meteor Shower you ask? Well this particular one is the most visible all year, and is caused by the Earth passing through a trail of debris from the Comet Swift/Tuttle. Visible annually from around July 23rd through August 22nd, the meteors are most visible the night of August 12th-13th. This year, the peak night to see meteors also happens to be the night of the full moon, and the brightness of the moon will make it a little bit harder to see the meteors when they are most abundant. Don’t despair though, if you can make your way out into the country and away from the city lights during the first week of August, you should be able to see an impressive display, especially in the hours between midnight and dawn. Happy sky-gazing!
Emily Kidder, Knowledge Engineer/Answer Geek
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 Ask.com pages. In fact, people who ask and answer questions on Ask.com 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 Ask.com 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