Welcome to the Askville blog. For the vets who have been helping us beta test Askville for the past few months - thank you for all your feedback, suggestions, and input; without your help we wouldn't be where we are today! For newbies, welcome to the world of Askville and we hope you'll find it as fun and rewarding as we do. Over the past months the entire Askville team has been working day and night to make Askville a reality. Today, we are excited to open Askville to the general public!
We've created this blog so that we can share with you the latest product fixes and features, announcements about our community guidelines, highlights on interesting Q&A, and give kudos to some of our great users. Our team of nine will work as quickly as possible to fix any bugs and roll-out new and improved features to make Askville a great place to visit. That being said, we are still in "beta" so please keep on giving us feedback!
As our first blog posting we wanted to highlight some of the key features that makes Askville a unique and special place:
- Answer Integrity - Askville answerers cannot see other people's answers to a question until after they have submitted their own answer. This prevents cheating (copying/editing other people's answers and submitting it as their own) and also gives each answerer credit if they submit the right answer, whether they were the first, second, or last person to submit the same answer.
- Guarantee to get Answers - We want to make sure that every legitimate question that is asked on Askville will get at least one good answer. To ensure this, we are using the Amazon Mechanical Turk web service to help provide good quality answers to your questions.
- Rich Content Answers - Askville allows its users to embed rich content including YouTube/Google videos, Google Maps, and Amazon products in their answers as well as a rich-text editor. This allows our users to provide a more comprehensive answer leveraging existing content on the web. In the future, we plan to add more widgets that will help our users create even better answers.
- Earn Experience Points for Each Topic - Askville users will earn experience points in specific tags (i.e. topics) when they answer questions. As users earn experience points in a specific topic, they will gain levels and will also earn special privileges/powers in those topics when they "level up". The experience points each user earns in various topics is critical to Askville's reputation-based community and will help identify and reward our experts.
- Separate Discussion/Talk - We want users to discuss/debate/chat about any question or answer submitted on Askville without feeling concerned about "not being right" or fear of losing experience points in a topic. Consequently, we've created a separate forum where any user can post a comment on any question or answer. These posts will be publicly viewable immediately after they are posted and will not impact any user's experience points in a topic.
- Virtual Currency (Quest Coins) - Askville also has a separate virtual currency called Quest coins which users will earn for various actions, including asking a question, voting on answers, providing answers, etc... We've kept experience points separate from Quest coins in order to keep experience points tied directly to how well you answer questions in various topics, while Quest coins will be a currency that will be earned (or lost) through various different actions each user makes throughout Askville. Eventually, users will be able to use their Quest coins on an upcoming site called Questville.com. On Questville, users will be able to participate in contests, exchange coins with fellow users, earn additional coins, and redeem them for other prizes/rewards. Questville.com is scheduled to launch in 2007.
Finally, we've received great feedback/suggestions, so keep them coming. We read every single feedback email and we take all of your opinions very seriously. Your feedback and input are critical for us to make Askville a better place for you to ask, answer, meet, and play!
The Askville Team
JP, KF, CC, AD, AB, KM, SL, CL, YH