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Thursday, January 04, 2007

LinkedIn Launches Answers Service

Business social networking service LinkedIn has launched an Answers service, hoping to ride on the success of Yahoo Answers. Although there's been some turbulence in this area with the recent closure of Google Answers, a more focused version of a question and answer service might be sufficient to let LinkedIn get traction.

Questions are broken into business categories like Administration and Management. So, unlike Yahoo Answers or the recently launched Amazon Askville, LinkedIn has chosen to go niche. Like social networks, Q&A is specializing.
Interestingly, you can direct questions to specific connections or to LinkedIn experts. One of the more popular questions concerns how to stop Q&A spam on LinkedIn. The answers are pretty conventional: allow flagging of problematic posts or introduce moderation. There's also a thread on MBA schools on the West Coast.

Although there aren't a lot questions or answers populating the site currently, I can see LinkedIn Answers as a go-to resource for those with business-related questions. There's already a community built around LinkedIn so it already has a head start. Users have a great deal of motivation to build a reputation among their peers, and being considered an expert in, say, Pricing or Web Development would be a real boost.

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