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November 30, 2007

Amazon.com All About Sharing with Askville.com

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Amazon.com (News - Alert) has joined the list of companies that have their own question and answer sites, as it releases the public beta of its new Q&A resource, Askville.com. For a limited time only, and while supplies last, users who answer questions on Askville.com receive quest gold, which can be redeemed for $100 or $50 Amazon.com gift cards.

The web site is considered to be a direct competition to Yahoo’s Q & A site. The site will provide information on everything from playing a cricket match to buying the newest home theater system. Askville.com is now available to all Amazon customers around the world. The site was launched for beta testing in December 2006 and has been offered to only select users until now. Users who are not Amazon customers and have a cell phone in the U.S. and Canada can still gain access to Askville.com by authenticating themselves via mobile phone.
Joseph Park, director of Askville.com, said, “Finding information or getting good advice is hard enough when you are searching the Internet by yourself. Askville.com allows you to ask a question to a community of users who are willing to help you find that information or give you advice from their own personal experiences, which makes the discoverability of information much more efficient.”
He adds that the experience of interacting with other people as opposed to merely looking at links is preferable. Askville.com also allows users to share information they have with like-minded people.
Askville.com users who ask or answer questions earn Quest Gold — the amount of which will be decided by the usefulness of the answer to the person who has asked the question. As you answer various questions on a specific topic, you can earn experience points and you will be promoted to higher levels as you continue to submit high-quality answers in that topic.
Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.
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