A Librarian's Worst Nightmare

A Librarian's Worst Nightmare. you can't beat that for a headline! Slate takes a look at Yahoo! Answers and says Yahoo! Answers is so frequently sloppy and inaccurate, it's still the juggernaut in its field. Despite a rapid proliferation of answer-giving sites—Amazon.com's recently inaugurated Askville just joined a crowded field that includes Answerbag, WikiAnswers, AnswerBank, and Ask Metafilter—Yahoo!'s is still by far the most popular.

For a passive reader, this has the same value as listening to two random guys at a bar talk about what to do if you are driving during a tornado. You may not learn very much by eavesdropping—and you certainly shouldn't trust what you hear if disaster strikes—but that isn't really the purpose. The lesson Yahoo! Answers teaches is that, for millions of people on the Web, it's less important to get a good answer than to get someone to listen to your question in the first place.

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