If you have questions it seems some Internet start-up companies hope you'll turn to them for answers. Online sites like WikkiAnswers and Yahoo Answers have dominated the market and each attracted close to 50 million unique visitors in the United States in December, according to the analytics firm comScore.
Internet entrepreneurs say there's a need for new services to fill in the information gaps and provide users with access to experts. One of the founders of Stack Exchange, Joel Spolsky, recently spoke to the New York Times about his 2-year old company, its $6 million in capitol investment, and the site's 700,000 users.
"You can read the Wikipedia page about Egypt, but it might not answer an actual question someone has about what's going on there right now," Spolsky told the New York Times. "But an expert, a historian or someone with specific knowledge would be able to."
Stack Exchange is a network of web sites focused on questions in specific categories like programming, cooking and photography. It's expanded to 41 separate topic-specific sites. A site that's getting a lot of attention, Quora, lets people find and follow the activity of their friends. The site describes itself as "A continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it."
According to the New York Times, Facebook is hoping to cash in on the answer trend. The company has been introducing a feature on its site that allows users to pose and answer questions.
The Times spoke to an analyst at Forrester Research who said, "Targeting a consumer seeking a very specific type of answer could be very valuable to advertisers." One would suspect getting answers to questions is also very valuable to the average college student too.