Jimmy Wales Quietly Launches Wikianswers

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Erick Schonfeld
TechCrunch.com
Saturday, January 31, 2009; 1:47 PM

Here's a question for you. How many Q&A sites does the Web really need? Already, there is Yahoo Answers, WikiAnswers, Mahalo Answers, Linkedin Answers, ChaCha and dozens beyond. But Wikia (and Wikipedia) co-founder Jimmy Wales thinks there is room for one more.

We learned from a tip that he has quietly launched Wikianswers, a Question & Answer site that attempts to create one true, consensus answer for each question, wiki-style. If this sounds familiar it is because Wiki Answers, which is part of Answers.com, does the exact same thing and had 26.7 million unique visitors worldwide in December (comScore). (Yahoo Answers had 144.7 million worldwide uniques in December).

And then there is the little problem of the name. It is supposed to be Wikia Answers!, but in the current logo the last "a" of Wikia shares the first "a" of Answers, making it Wikianswers. The already established WikiAnswers might have a problem with that. (The URLs are different: http://answers.wikia.com and http://wiki.answers.com/, respectively)

Wikianswers is built on the same wiki platform offered by Wikia, and it is already being promoted from Wikia Search. Building up a searchable Q&A repository is a natural add-on for a search engine or any online information database. (See our post on Mahalo Answers).

But, really, How is Wikianswers different than any other Answers site? Unless Wales can satisfy that question, people will ask look for answers to their own questions elsewhere.


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