Interview with Yahoo! Answers Q&A Competitor Blurtit

Yahoo! Answers has to be the most well-known and popular Question & Community on the web. However there is always room for improvement on apps like these, and Blurtit takes the cake. Building more of a community around the idea of the “Ask Any Question” niche, Blurtit allows users to connect like never before, searching for the most popular questions and sharing knowledge between everyone.

Chris Lee is the co-founder of Blurtit, and he’s been nice enough to take some time and answer a few questions I’ve had about the application. It’s a revolutionary way to look at using the internet, and it’s a huge step towards universal knowledge and sharing thoughts. You can read more about Chris and his work at his blog, which features some very interested topics and ideas.

For those who haven’t visited the site, what’s the point behind Blurtit and what can users do?

Blurtit.com is a Q&A website for people to ask and answer questions on any topic. Blurtit also has a strong sense of community, visitors come just looking for the answer to a question but end up making connections with other members of the site, often because they have something in common or a mutual interest.

How many users are currently using the site today? Have you seen the amount of users increasing recently, gaining more traffic to the site, etc?

In the last 12 months visits to Blurtit have grown over 200% we currently receive around 400k visits per day.

I’m sure there must be some great questions on Blurtit. What are some of the best or weirdest questions you’ve seen?

I’m not sure how weird you would really like to go!

Here are a selection of “safe for work weird” questions we have seen recently:

  • What are the greatest Bacon-related things people have created?
  • How to survive a Zombie attack?
  • Will humans ever marry robots?
  • How is it possible to catch a fish with noodles?
  • How can you tell if a bearded dragon is male or female?
  • How long until numbness goes away after brain surgery?
  • So, say there is a serial killer that strictly only kills other serial killers. Do you think if this person was caught, the should have to pay some sort of consequence?
  • How do I steal a girlfriend from someone with minimal damage?
  • I suspect my girlfriend is a Zombie, how can I tell?
  • How can I break my leg?

We have a section on Blurtit for our very best questions and answers: http://www.blurtit.com/Best_of_Blurtit

Chris's Blurtit Profile

Blurtit not only has a great scheme behind it, but the design is also remarkable and easy to use. Did you come up with the design, or was it someone else working on the site?

The design has really evolved over many different iterations but the most recent version was created by Henry Jones.

Yahoo! Answers is a service very similar to Blurtit, and run by Yahoo! They gain a lot of traffic to their questions. How do you see Blurtit compared to Y! Answers?

Blurtit is different from Yahoo answers in many ways. The key differences being:

  • You can ask or answer questions on without registering.
  • Blurtit is in part Moderated by its members.
  • Blurtit has many of the features of a social network which has led a strong sense of community.

Have you tried monetizing Blurtit at all? I have seen a few AdSense blocks on the site, but can you see bringing in enough traffic to make a profit from the website?

Blurtit makes a healthy profit and has done for a number of years. Blurtit makes revenue from advertisements and advertising space the majority of which are only visible to non members.

Yahoo! Answers Screenshot

Do you have any new ideas or features you plan on releasing onto Blurtit soon?

We have lots of plans for Blurtit in progress – we are constantly developing new and updated features. We monitor what is happening on the site and amend features when we need to. We have many plans for this year so keep visiting the site!

The user profile and scoring system is also very intricate. How does the point system work on the site?

We recently did some work on simplifying the point system. I think its pretty easy to understand now, basically you receive 10 points for answering a question and 5 points for signing in each day. You can also receive points for a few other activities such as inviting a friend see http://www.blurtit.com/using_blurtit/points_and_levels for more details.

Each day we also reward the member who has answered the most questions overall and members who have been the most active in each category with bonus points.

Along with Blurtit, what other websites do you go to online to hang out and have fun?

Facebook Icon I use the usual social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter and I have a blog (chriswrites.com) which I post to regularly. I am also a regular reader of Techcrunch, New Scientist and Wired.

Have you learned anything interesting or useful to you by browsing Blurtit?

Certainly I have learned all kind of things ranging from the everyday useful like: What Is The Difference Between Biological And Non-biological Washing Powder to the downright bizarre: What Barophobia is

What is the most useful, greatest lesson or idea you’ve learned from launching and working on Blurtit?

That everything is subject to improvement. We receive a lot of ideas and feedback from our users and although we believe the service we offer is great, it is always a good way to pull us back to earth by reading suggestions and recommendations from our users on how to improve what we do.

Cheers!

Image Credits: Photo by Isis França on Unsplash.

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