Archive for December, 2006

We Thank You All

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006


When Google Answers debuted in the spring of 2002, we, the undersigned, enjoyed the unique opportunities of participating as Google Answers Researchers.

At this time, we wish to publicly express our gratitude to Google, and especially to Andrew Finks and Lexi Baugher, the visionary team behind Larry Page’s rough idea for Google Answers. Finks and Baugher created and championed not only a premium Q&A feature for Google, they unwittingly set into motion the creation of a premium Internet community.

We wish to also publicly thank our many loyal clients without whom Google Answers would not have been successful. For nearly five years, we delighted in tackling your informational challenges, many times learning from the knowledge you requested.

While we are saddened by Google’s decision to retire the Google Answers feature, we are proud to have served such an impressive company, software team, and client base, in our capacities as information specialists.

“Learning is not attained by chance,” wrote Abigail Adams, “it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

We agree.

Knowledge_Seeker-ga: Kimberly Gerson, Ontario, Canada
Tlspiegel-ga: Toby Lee, Phoenix AZ, US
Guillermo-ga: Guillermo Arnaudo, Patagonia, Argentina
Journalist-ga: Emily Moore, Knoxville TN, US
Rainbow-ga: Linda Al-Wadi, Lebanon
Cynthia-ga: Cynthia Lystad, Seattle WA, US
Till-ga: Tillmann Stoffel-Kueppers, Juelich, Germany
Missy-ga: Maggie Brazeau, Toledo OH, US
Hedgie-ga: Petr F., Czech Republic, EU
Crabcakes-ga: Barbara (Susie) Cannon, Glendale AZ, US
Politicalguru-ga: Tamar PG
Umiat-ga: June Dufford, Utah, US
Eiffel-ga: Roger Browne, England, UK
Mother911-ga: Ralph Peragine, Long Island NY, US
Scriptor-ga: Oliver Henkel, Germany
Pafalafa-ga: David Sarokin, Washington DC, US
Answerfinder-ga: Phil George, UK
Clouseau-ga: Bob Ulius, Palo Alto CA, US
Hummer-ga: Patricia B., Québec, Canada
Nenna-ga: Jennifer Pringle, Omaha NE, US
Angy-ga: Angela Cockburn, Sydney NSW, AU
Czh-ga: Clara Horvath, California, US
Aceresearcher-ga: Jo, US and New Zealand
Mathtalk-ga: Chip Eastham, Knoxville TN, US
Nancylynn-ga: Nancy, PA, US

Mvguy-ga: Montana, US
Byrd-ga: Chris Rogers, Austin TX, US
Sublime1-ga: John Everest, Phoenix AZ, US
Tutuzdad-ga: Mike Simmons, Arkansas, US
Keystroke-ga: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, US

Larre-ga: L. Rowan
Bobbie7-ga: Bobbie

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Festive Meta

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Thanks to everyone who helped establish this blog, and who posted entries or comments over the past seven months. The readership continues to slowly but steadily grow.

I’ll be away until early January. If the site needs urgent attention, admins include Missy, Sublime1 and Pafalafaga. If the site goes down, well the server is on my home computer so it will probably stay down until I return.

Have a wonderful festive season, and let’s look forward to plenty of productive searching and researching during 2007!

Why is the sky blue?

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

“Trading Goddess”, who blogs about Wall Street, has written a piece about Why We Will Never Know Why The Sky Is Blue.

She laments the passing of Google answers, commenting in passing that it will be difficult for her daughter to complete her homework questions without being able to ask Google Answers.

More to the point, she reveals the reason why Google terminated the Google Answers service. There were real problems with some of the questions being submitted.

Another take on Google Answers

Monday, December 4th, 2006


Most outsiders who comment on the closure of Google Answers spin it along the lines of “Yahoo Answers has won the battle”. Those of us who were researchers know that this is as bogus as saying that “McDonalds has won the battle against the fine restaurant next door”. Each has its own turf, with only a small overlap. It doesn’t have to be “one or the other”; they can co-exist.

Google employee Matt Cutts, on his blog, has a quite different take on the closure. He describes the axing of GA as if it were pruning dead wood or throwing out stagnant water. That’s not how most researchers view it, of course. We think of it as throwing out a cherished but neglected item instead of refurbishing and improving it.

There are some insightful comments to Matt’s post.

(Matt is head of the Webspam team at Google, and the image above is from his blog. It’s supposed to represent a sword slicing through spam, but just at the moment it evokes something different…)