Yahoo! Answers: Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’

Yahoo! Answers: Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’

This week’s blog is about the Web 2.0 Application, Yahoo! Answers. I will go on to discuss the second pattern; Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’ from Tim O’Reilly’s ‘Design Patterns and Business Models’ and how Yahoo! Answers relates to this pattern.

So what is Yahoo! Answers?

Yahoo! Answers is a social networking site where people can ask and answer questions on any topic they wish. It is a shared online knowledge base service which provides a new method of finding and sharing information between users anywhere in the world. It allows people in the Yahoo! Answers community to share their facts, opinions and personal experiences. Below is an introductory video on Yahoo! Answers and Getting Started.

How is Yahoo! Answers the Next ‘Intel Inside’?

Tim O’Reilly refers to Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’ as being perhaps one of the most important patterns of Web 2.0. He states that most Web 2.0 applications to date are essentially data-based. Although Yahoo! Answers is a user-driven platform, the data that is added and provided by its users allows Yahoo! Answers to be a data-driven platform. In the case of Yahoo! Answers, the data is the questions people ask and answers they provide. The more data there is, Yahoo! Answers becomes a much better online social experience.

Yahoo! Answers vs.

Like Yahoo! Answers, allows you to ask and answer questions as well. However, one key difference that I find with is that it lacks that sense of a ‘community’ feeling which Yahoo! Answers has. Although users provide somewhat more detailed answers than the Yahoo! Answers community, the Yahoo! Answers community provides data from their personal experience which most users want.

Who owns the data on Yahoo! Answers?

When you first post a question, you are able to edit the question by adding additional information that will help people to answer your questions. Once you have posted a question however, there is a waiting period of four days which gives users enough time to attempt and after questions. After this time has passed, questions and answers that you have posted cannot be removed in any way which then becomes the property of Yahoo! Answers.

References (2011). About

Yahoo!Answers. (2011). About Yahoo! Answers.

Yahoo!Answers. (2011). Yahoo! Answers Community Guidelines.

Yahoo!Privacy. (2006). What This Privacy Policy Covers.


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  1. #1 by Sirous on March 26, 2011 - 9:43 pm

    Very nice choice! Yahoo Answers is a real example of data driven site which has high levels of user’s participation in generation of data. Tell more about their data strategy and management. How do the classify data? What is their data policy?

    • #2 by bkb90 on April 7, 2011 - 12:28 am

      Hi Sirous, thanks for the comment and sorry for the late reply.
      Regarding Yahoo!Answers data strategy and management. Well, Yahoo!Answers has made it very clear to its users on the proper guidelines of using Yahoo!Answers and how questions should be asked and answered. Firstly, Yahoo!Answers have mainly left the data management to its users, in the way of asking questions. So when a user asks a question, they are to follow the correct procedures of asking a question by placing their question in the right category which ensures that it is seen by people who can give them a much more accurate answer as it is in the correct category. This is how their data is classified.
      To be honest, I couldn’t find much on their data policy, however, it is stated that questions should not be offensive and disrupt the use of Yahoo!Answers. And answers should always be cited unless the answer is from your personal expertise or experience.
      Hope this answers your questions. Thanks again.

  2. #3 by DJ on March 30, 2011 - 5:51 pm

    Good to see a comparison between other services available (Yahoo! Answers vs I also like the flow of your blog posts in that you describe the pattern and how the pattern relates to the service/application you are discussing.

    Just a suggestion: maybe you could post something about the Community Guidelines and/or Safety Tips Yahoo! Answers offers to users in relation to the data posted online.

    • #4 by bkb90 on April 7, 2011 - 12:31 am

      Hi DJ,
      Thanks for the comment. I will definitely take your suggestion into account and whip something up. If you have a look at the comment above this one, you will see that I have replied to Sirous regarding some of Yahoo!Answers Community Guidelines in regards to the correct procedures of asking and answering questions. Thanks again.

      • #5 by DJ on April 8, 2011 - 12:29 pm

        No worries 🙂
        Thanks for taking the time to reply. I have read the reply to Sirous and now understand a little part of the policies in place, but it is good that Yahoo! has regulated how questions and answers are posted/responded to to ensure that quality is maintained.

        Thanks! 🙂


  3. #6 by Anonymous on April 7, 2011 - 4:43 pm

    Hi, thanks for the quick and handy info. Your blog was really helpful. It has helped me in uderstanding what is meant by Data is the Next ‘Intel Inside’ and how Yahoo!Answers is a great example of it. Thanks again 🙂

    • #7 by bkb90 on April 7, 2011 - 7:48 pm

      Hi there, thanks for the comment and I’m glad I helped you out. Let me know if you would like some clarification on anything.

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