GenuineVC David Beisel's Perspective on Digital Change

April 7, 2005

Last week, I blogged that the “question and answer” search paradigm wasn’t dead at all. Earlier this afternoon, Google responded by launching its Google Q&A feature. Now users can type a one-line question into the search box, and if a simple factual answer exists in the company’s mining of open source encyclopedia-type information, the results page contains an answer in the OneBox section at the top. Gary Price at Search Engine Watch has a good initial write up on it.

For example, I typed in, “What is the population of Pittsburgh?” and Google responded with a simple reply, “Pittsburgh Population: 334,563” at the top of my results.

This Google Q&A is a great simple first step. But “question and answer” microcontent publishing still has a lot of progress to be made. And new startups will continue to make waves here as well, not just the old guard.

Most questions that people have can’t be answered with simple factual answers. Users already know where to get these – Wikipedia, dictionary.com, etc. This service just makes it easier by cutting out the middle man. Look for continuing innovation around answers that are deeper, more subtle, and opinion-based.

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  • Lee Hower
     - 1 day ago
    here's a summary of @pmarca tweets which make all the naysayers about Facebook over the years look somewhat silly http://t.co/5rIEYkVbZU
  • robgo
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    wow, that bald cap I had on last night was really really ugly
  • robgo
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    To parents helping their kids set up lemonade stands: at least take the lemonade out of the store bought jar!
  • robgo
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    RT @angusdav: The kids who turned around Burger King: http://t.co/CRYCYfZfBc

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