I wanted to do a follow-on post to let everyone know that Yaniv Golan, the CTO from Yedda had stopped by and left a great comment on my original post here. The reason for this wholly new post is two-fold - first, I wanted to make sure that I got the word out as loudly as I could about the issues Yaniv raises (included here below the fold) and I wanted to say that when people ask me to define this amorphous thing called Web 2.0 - I really think that this kind of interaction is one of its defining characteristics. And yes, I'll be trying Yedda out again as soon as I get a spare 5 minutes to add it back to the blog. :-)
I'm starting to notice a new use for networks...asking questions and providing answers. This is a twist on something that Google Answers and Yahoo! Answers have been doing (although Google Answers recently closed up shop). There is also Askville from Amazon and I'm sure there are others that I'm missing.
The new entries however, are different. The first one to catch my attention was LinkedIN. Typical business-oriented social networking site right? Sure, but now there is a new tab on your LinkedIN screen called "Answers" and once you click on it, you can pose questions to the folks in your LinkedIN network. I've been in LinkedIN for a while but never really flexed it to see what it could do...now I'm thinking this could be interesting - actually giving this network you've assembled something to actually contribute to. Or you could just wind up bothering a lot of people.
The other one I've noticed is from a startup called Yedda. There is a lot of the same dynamic here - you sign up and indicate what you feel are the areas that you could answer questions in and so on. The part that intrigued me was the fact that through Typepad's ever-expanding widget program, you can easily add a Yedda Widget to your Typepad blog. Using the Widget, visitors to your blog can ask questions and they will be sent (the questions) to you and to the Yedda community. Now I'm just doing this so I have yet to see how the full loop works of getting answers back to people but I think the dynamic is interesting enough that I'm going to try it. We'll see. Check back in a little while and the widget will be in one of the sidebars (you may need to refresh the page).
Immediate Update: Yedda needs to work on getting the bugs out of its system re adding their Widget to Typepad blogs...I had to hand add mine....
Immediate Update #2: Now this I really don't like. Putting a question in the box and clicking the "ASK" button, take you off the Yedda site where you have to register. Now I think that that feels a bit like a slap in the face - the box on the blog didn't say I'd have to register...I should at least be able to see my question online if I am not registered, understandably I wouldn't be able to get email updates but come on. Second part of the problem is that as a blog owner, I really don't like the fact that there is no automatic return to my blog or even a "Back to Blog" button apparent on the Yedda site. So while I am still interested in the dynamic of asking your network questions...I'm taking Yedda off my front page for now
Update #3: BE SURE TO READ THE COMMENTS! The folks from Yedda weighed in with some great information and an even better attitude. When people ask me to define Web 2.0, I think that this kind of interaction is one of its most important characteristics.
Next time someone asks you who has the big picture on informal learning, you can tell them you do (actually Jay Cross does but after you buy the book when it comes out, you'll have it too - for now you can download the PDF of the poster here).
"An approach to use of social software in support of a social
constructivist approach to e-learning is presented, and it is argued
that learning management systems do not support a social constructivist
approach which emphasizes self-governed learning activities of
students. The article suggests a limitation of the use of learning
management systems to cover only administrative issues. Further, it is
argued that students' self-governed learning processes are supported by
providing students with personal tools and engaging them in different
kinds of social networks."
"The hallmark of revolution is that the goals of the revolutionaries cannot be contained by the institutional structure of the society they live in. As a result, either the revolutionaries are put down, or some of those institutions are transmogrified, replaced, or simply destroyed. We are plainly witnessing a restructuring of the music and newspaper businesses, but their suffering isn’t unique, it’s prophetic."