Google today launched a new service in Russia called the Google Otvety, a.k.a “Knowledge Search“. It’s a community driven question answering website. Unlike the now-defunct Google Answers, this new service is free to all. You can take the tour of the site here. (Google Translate)
For anyone, who can’t speak Russian, you can use Google Translate to get a reasonably good gisted machine translation of the post. Here’s a summary:
- You can ask questions and get answers from other users.
- You can earn points for answering questions and become an “expert” in subjects; better answers gain more points.
- You should label questions to make them easier to find. (What happened to Google’s world-class indexing algorithms?)
- Russia is the first country where this is being launched (which I guess means it may be rolled out to others in the long-term).
- You will be able to chat with “smart people”...
Nowhere does the announcement mention paying for answers, which was the basis for the old Google Answers site. Instead, it’s free to ask questions, like at Yahoo! Answers. However, when asking a question, you must specify how many points you wish to spend on asking the question – and you must have these points available. Presumably, these points then get awarded to the best answer. (I got 100 points just for signing up and could gain more by answering questions.)
Alex Kosorukoff from 3Form has more input on this —“Google encourages users to visit often. It is quite curious that Google’s reward for a visit is higher than for posting an answer. This seems counterintuitive to me and unique among similar services. Points are also assigned based on results of human evaluation.” Read more…