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Friday, September 08, 2006

Finding Answers and Power of Questions

I just saw a post by Mike Oehlert on the Power of Questions where he says:

So then I read about how Yahoo!, MSN and another service called AnswerBag are valuing the question (Google Answers is also in the mix along with AllExperts). These folks are all offering services which allow you to post your question to a community and get answers. Some allow people to offer those answers to you for a small price (couple of dollars). They are also integrating RSS feeds into these technologies so that you can subscribe to an answer stream and some are even integrating it into your Instant Message client.

When I read stories like this, I wonder if there is some huge technical hurdle
I'm missing which is preventing this kind of thing from catching on in the
corporate/government world or if it really just boils down to a question of
culture again.
This has been done for quite a while in corporate environments through a variety of mechanisms. However, it's about to heat up again both across organizational boundaries and within companies because of having lighterweight solutions. A good example is Illumio that basically uses the contents of what is in your email to determine what you may know about and will route questions to you based on that information.

What's interesting is that this maps nicely to part of how we learn. Once we've formulated basic information, we can then postulate questions that we want to get answers from multiple people.

Of course, we are going to have hurdles with getting people able to pull together intelligent questions and getting some people to be willing to participate. But, I believe with the lower technology hurdles coming about now there will be incremental adoption in the enterprise.

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