Yahoo Answers

Rather than being impressed by the Yahoo take-over of, I am more interested in the launch of Yahoo Answers (of course the thing is great and the synergies with flickr are interesting but some other things are going on). This service lets you ask a question and have a real person provides an answer. This new kind of webservice (“new social networking/online community/search/question answering service”) is very close to a new trend in the field of libraries and information science: asking specialists specific questions. Since libraries have to rethink their missions, this kind of service emerges (like Lyon's municipal library with their guichet des savoirs project last year). Now it's not only a matter of asking specialist through or in an institution. This is enriched with social software features plus a lazy web spin. I find this model very interesting. Let's wait a bit to see to harsh criticisms as for Wikipedia... Update: a commented list of 'ask and expert' websites is available on thanks to Emily