Got a Question?
Questions come in many forms – some are technical and need expert answers, others are emotional and need input from those that may have lived through something unique and yet others are more of a trivia nature. Whatever type of question you have it helps to know where to turn for answers. The following ten websites are leaders when it comes to getting those answers. It is likely that you have already turned to some of them and yet others you may not have known about. Some are entertaining besides and all are informative so you just may find yourself setting up a few of them as bookmarks for when your next burning question comes along.
Global Alexa Rating: 4
Everyone has heard about using Yahoo! as a search engine but not everyone is familiar with their Yahoo! Answers page that is an incredible source for getting community answers to any question anyone wishes to pose. It is very entertaining to read through the recent and popular open questions. It also gives you a good feeling to find a question that your knowledge gives you the ability to answer and thus help others. Other users will vote on the answers given so everyone always gets an idea which answers make the most sense and can be deemed most reliable. The browse function enables viewing past questions along with the answers given so you may not have to even post the question you have. Another interesting part of the site is the ability to earn points and increase your level as a participant. This feature gives the site a sense of community rather than being just random information sharing.
Global Alexa Rating: 24
Ask is another community based answer site in which members can openly ask and respond to questions. Two unique features are on the home page – Question of the Day and a Poll. The Question of the Day is multiple choice and lets you know how many people selected the correct answer. The poll is an opinion question that once you click your choice you can view what others have said. The site is set up with different areas from there including the Q&A Community and then Images, News, Videos, Local and Reference. Q&A Community has recent questions listed to the left and categories to the right to get you other questions that have already been answered. A field for typing in your question is right on this page. The other sections are just other areas you can get to that may be of interest.
Global Alexa Rating: 194
Answers is more than just one source as there are links at the bottom for various other options including Wiki Answers, Video Answers, Local Answers, Online Answers and Shop Answers. What makes Answers different than other sites is that the topics and categories tend to be more for informational sake than entertainment. Just one look at the categories on the homepage tells you that this is a more serious place to go for information – Entertainment, Technology, Health, Food, Business, Animals, Cars, Sports, History & Politics and Hobbies. A reference tab takes you to the reference library which is full of useful articles and links on subjects such as travel, religion, home and garden, health, science and more. The site enjoys over 200 million registered users including experts in every field imaginable from nuclear physicists to nutrition experts.
Global Alexa Rating: 406
StackExchange is a very useful tool when it comes to needing expert answers to specialized questions as it is a network of over 100 specific topic Q&A websites. Want to know about bicycles? There is a site for that. Have an IT question? That is there also. Add to those photography, home improvement, game development, typesetting, GIS and more and you have plenty of places for even the most technical questions. The site is easy to navigate with links to all sites, a section of hot questions, an area for recently active questions and access to newsletters and blogs. The site links are placed into categories of technology, culture/recreation, life/arts, science, business and professional as well as being able to search all sites by keyword or phrase.
Global Alexa Rating: 625
Right off the bat you may be turned off by having to sign up before you can enter this site but since you can do so with your email address, Google, Facebook or Twitter it is a quick step and really worth it. Quora has managed to do something many other Q&A sites have not – they have attracted the best experts in tons of fields that become the ones answering the questions. Add in a voting system that effectively keeps only the best answers visible and you have a source for expert answers. Quora is a great site for finding reviews on products, finding new products you may not have known about and learning new ideas and perspectives. A great feature is the ability to sign up for Quora Weekly Digest which sends you questions based on your specific interests. The main thrill of this site is getting answers from some of the greatest minds there are and if you are an expert in a field you can find yourself being the go-to person for questions as well.
Global Alexa Rating: 6,048
Answerbag is a community driven Q&A website and just a few moments on the site and you will see that no question is too silly. Users can either ask a question or create a poll. It looks like many people use it just to converse with others because the questions are more conversational than information gathering in many cases. There are categories for looking up past questions and their answers so to say the site is just trivial would not be an accurate statement as there is plenty of useful information there as well. One of the best features is the ability to use filters so you can bring up only that content that you are looking for so you can even choose to only see those answers that have been professionally researched. The main benefit of this site would be the ability to be entertained by others as well as get answers when you need them.
Global Alexa Rating: 12,058
AllExperts touts themselves as the oldest and largest free Q&A service on the Internet with more than 2 million questions answered. The homepage is no frills with links to the various categories used – over 30 of them! One of the things that makes this site so impressive is the sheer number of experts involved. Click on Top Experts and you will find a few names you probably recognize along with plenty of letters such as MD, CPA, DMD and more. What makes this site different is that you don’t just throw your question out there randomly for anyone to answer. Instead you find your category of interest then pull up the list of experts in that field. Once you locate an expert you click the Ask a Question link next to their name and ask that person directly. You will receive an email letting you know when the expert has answered your question. You then have the opportunity to rate the expert on their answer. Experts that consistently receive poor ratings are dropped. This one-on-one method for answers to questions is quite different from other sites and a distinct advantage for many types of questions.
Global Alexa Rating: 17,138
Blurtit is a social Q&A community. Although it is community driven the questions asked do have more structure than some other Q&A sites. There are defined categories with sub-topics for each to further categorize the questions. One benefit over some sites is that users can ask a question anonymously which is great for those sometimes embarrassing questions. Since questions can be about opinions and ideas besides just facts it can be useful for finding out if others feel or think the same about a particular subject. It also makes it easy for people to share their experiences. The site is very easy to navigate and although it has less than 200,000 questions so far it will likely continue to grow in popularity due to this ease of use.
Global Alexa Rating: 18,970
Mahalo Answers is part of the bigger website of Mahalo Learn Anything which is involved in helping users learn about just about anything. Although most of the questions are business related and an extension of the courses and how-to sections of the main website, there are plenty of other types of questions as well. The questions can be sorted by newest, expiring, popular and highest tip. You can pull up all questions or just those in the past week, month or year. Users must register in order to post questions. When you check out the Answers section take a moment to look at the How-To and Courses sections as well because you might just find some answers there as well.
Global Alexa Rating: 320,487
This is a great site or a terrible site – it just depends on who you ask. Some of those that have been using it for a long time are not happy with some of the changes that have happened on it recently but newcomers seem to like it just fine. What they all agree on is that this site is addicting! At the moment it is not an easy site to navigate and the search feature doesn’t seem to pull up much no matter what keyword you put in but that is likely part of their work in bringing changes to the site. Regulars on the site seem to really enjoy getting to know each other so it has become a great social network with a Q&A component. Each comment made on a question can be voted on as either great answer, off topic, disagree, funny or outdated which is a nice feature. Those posting questions are encouraged to add tags to make it easier to find. This site has great potential so it makes the list but you may need a little patience getting used to it at first.
So there is your answer to the question of “Where do I go on the Internet to get my questions answered?” – at least the best ten places to go anyhow. Although many people have grown accustomed to using search engines to do research, it can often be frustrating to have a search bring up thousands or even hundreds of thousands of sites and have no idea which one will really answer their question. Going to a Q&A site instead is far less frustrating and can be more useful in the long run. Use the sites to learn, connect with experts or make some new friends.