Ask a Question Online & Get an Answer Sometimes

gsandler writes Here is a story from which describes a reporter’s test of how well web sites answer questions."

Search engines are great for pointing people to information that can help them find a good deal on a laptop, the correct spelling of an obscure French writer’s name and the latest news stories on the Iraq war. But how well does the Web do fully answering questions that involve some research or critical thinking? I posted five questions to six of those increasingly popular answer Web sites. Rather than use reference Web sites that help people find answers by directing them to other online resources, I focused on Web sites where people answer the questions. In less than 24 hours, I received about two dozen responses from so-called experts, librarians and helpful Web surfers.

Questions were admittedly “open-ended,” or, in other words, unanswerable.