Yahoo! India has launched its 'Ask The Planet 2007' initiative, on Yahoo! India Answers. This open forum, which was launched in June 2006 in the US, is deigned to provide answers and opinions to questions relating to socially relevant issues in the Indian subcontinent.
The 'Ask The Planet 2007' series in India, inaugurated by Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam will feature questions from prominent personalities, around global issues of concern, in several categories.
According to Yahoo! India the forum is meant for the collective knowledge of the Yahoo! Answers community because Yahoo!'s world audience is a great medium to build awareness for the causes that matter most to the global community.
Rishi Behal, Director, Search, Yahoo! India said, "There is a huge gap between the total information in people’s minds today and the information available on the internet. We aim to get all that information on this platform, to upload and share with other people online. The idea is to create collective intelligence and participate in the spirit of sharing knowledge, with the help of Web 2.0."
George Zacharias, MD, Yahoo! India, further explained, "In line with the objective of Yahoo! answers, in creating a rich knowledge repository, the Ask The Planet series will provide an innovative platform for millions of Indians based on their real life experiences, to answer some of the biggest questions that touch our lives today." He added, "This new type of search allows more casual questions because it is not based on an algorithmic search. This new trend is called Social knowledge media on a Web 2.0 platform."
All answers uploaded by users will be rated according to their relevance and popularity and the best related answers will be rewarded by Yahoo! India. In order to upload a question or answer on Ask the Planet 2007, one has to be a registered user of Yahoo, but unregistered users may view the questions and answers for free, on the Yahoo! India answers site. Zacharias also said that they are looking to introduce Yahoo! Answers in different Indian languages as well.
Initially, in the next six weeks, Yahoo! will be rolling out a string of questions, posed by Indian achievers, on subjects ranging from education, health, law and enforcement, games and recreation, and society and culture, among others. Here again, the highest ranking answers will be rewarded by Yahoo!.
The initiative will also involve students, from across Indian schools who will be encouraged to answer President Kalam's question, "What should we do to free our planet from terrorism?" 10 of the best answers will be selected by the President, and the students will be sent on an educational trip to Silicon Valley. 50 other students will have the opportunity to meet President APJ Kalam in Delhi.
The President's question was also answered by Kiran Bedi, Leander Paes, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Akum Longchari, on the Ask the Planet platform.