Visit This Site for Questions or Answers by ProQuest


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									32        InformationToday
February 2010

                                      Visit This Site for Questions or Answers
                                            The reluctance of   by THOMAS PACK   |                     the site in winter 2003 when his          questions on how to fix electronics.
                                                                                                       wife was pregnant. “Like many first       ‘Sometimes I get as many as 100

                                           consumers to buy             ou could make money if you     time parents-to-be, we had a lot of       questions a day,’ says Mr. Davis,
                                                                        know the answers to any of     questions on everything ranging           who has about 55 years of experi-
               Edited by
                                                                        the following questions:       from health to finance,” Kurtzig          ence repairing electronics. ‘A few
            Loraine Page               new products also may                                           says. “I found myself wishing there       years ago, I was lucky if I got 15
                                                                • What should you do if your
                                                                                                       were live experts available to an-        questions a day.’”
                                                                  computer freezes when you
                                           be driving people                                           swer our questions around the clock.
                                                                  try to reinstall Windows XP
                                                                                                       This desire led me to develop Just-
                                                                                                       Answer, which is now the largest
                                                                                                                                                 Asking Questions
                                             to the Q&A site.
                                                                • What are your legal rights           website where people get answers              Asking a question on JustAnswer
                                                                  if your neighbor’s hedge is          from Doctors, Lawyers, Mechanics          is fairly simple and straightforward.
                                                                  encroaching on your yard?            or one of thousands of other Experts      You just type your query into a box
                                                                                                       one-on-one. Since JustAnswer’s            and create a user account. Then,
                                                                • Would the 30-day mood
                                                                                                       inception, millions of people from        you name the price you’re willing
                                                                  disorder program at the
                                                                                                       more than 145 countries have re-          to pay. You can pay up front via
                                                                  Sierra Tucson Treatment
                                                                                                       ceived fast and affordable answers        PayPal, credit card, or debit card,
                                                                  Center help a young woman
  Link-Up Digital                                                 with a history of depression?
                                                                                                       in more than 100 categories.”
                                                                                                           At this writing, Quantcast ranks
                                                                                                                                                 or you can wait to pay when you
                                                                                                                                                 get an answer. But if you’re a first-
     is a semimonthly                                              People were offering $18 for an-    San Francisco-based JustAnswer            time user, you’ll have to pay a “re-
                                                                swers to the first two questions and   as one of the top 250 sites online        fundable good faith deposit,” if you
   updated, web-only                                            $200 for an answer to the third one    that reaches more than 5.7 mil-           don’t prepay, and the site notes
     section featuring                                          a few months ago on JustAnswer         lion U.S. users every month (www          that “prepaid questions are typi-
                                                                (, a website,           cally answered faster.”
     articles, reviews,                                         that also lets users ask (and an-      based on estimated data.                      You’ll get an email (often within
                                                                swer) medical, auto, boat, business,       The economic downturn may be          a few hours, sometimes within min-
  and more for savvy                                            personal finance, homework, pet,       driving many people to seek answers       utes) that notifies you of an answer
                                                                parenting, relationship, and many      on the site. For example, according       to your question or a request for
users and producers
                                                                other types of questions.              to an article in The Washington Post,     more information. Some users have
                of electronic                                                                          JustAnswer saw a spike in recession-      complained that the site’s experts
                                                                Everyone Is                            related health questions beginning        don’t always have the credentials
information products                                                                                   in 2008: “The site, which allows cus-     they claim or don’t always provide
                                                                Looking for Answers                    tomers to pose a health question          useful answers. But JustAnswer
           and services.
                                                                   JustAnswer CEO Andy Kurtzig         and ‘bid’ $9 to $30 for a doctor’s or a   requires experts to verify their cre-
                                                                says he came up w
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