Kevin’s Answers

googleanswers

This image might just have the highest picture-to-idea-relevance percentage of all time.  Bless you, Flickr (and your benevolent Yahoolian overloads).

Tangent #1:

Craig’s List.  Judy’s Book.  Angie’s List.  Tom’s Hardware. 

Adding a first name to your website’s name is a very effective tactic, especially in a situation with the following criteria:

  • The site is geared towards helping a user make a decision
  • Trust/authenticity is an important aspect of the decision-making process
  • A lo-fi solution is “good enough”, and in fact may be a better overall experience than expensive, flashy sites

Tangent #2:

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Google recently launched a new phone called the Nexus One.  One of the more intriguing aspects of the phone is the release of a new Android feature that adds voice-to-text transcription to any text field.  I fully expect this feature to be standard fare for modern smartphone OSs within the next year.

One important implication of this change is the formatting of the average search query.  Instead of using a series of keywords as a search query (i.e. “Chinese Restaurant Seattle Yelp”), users who are speaking are more likely to ask direct questions as opposed to playing keyword bingo (i.e. “Where is the best Chinese restaurant within five miles?”) 

Tangent #3:

If you haven’t yet read the mind-bending Wired article on a company called Demand Media (and Mike Arrington’s poignant response), you really ought to.  As a passionate wantrepreneur, I’m incredibly torn by the rise of “Fast Food Content” movement.  On one hand, I hate to see thoughtful, hand-crafted content get overrun by lowest-common-denominator drivel.  On the other hand, I can’t help but get excited for the potential business opportunities this new model could unlock.

The Idea:

So with the devil seated firmly on my shoulder, I offer up today’s idea: Kevin’s Answers.  The idea is a very simple site that provides short, specific, and direct answers to the most popular questions currently being asked on search engines. 

While algorithms could be employed to determine the right questions and to help with the answers, one aspect that would set this site apart would be the fact that every single question on the site would be answered/approved by the owner of the site (that’s me!).  Hence, the “Kevin” in “Kevin’s List”. 

Would this take an extremely long time to build?  Of course.  But that’s the competitive advantage.  The key here is that the site would be so simple to set up that any development time would be replaced by hours upon hours of researching and answering questions. The site would be ad-supported, and as time went on, the unique brand and difficult-to-compile content would potentially become an acquisition target for a search company looking to improve their semantic search capabilities.

What do you think of this idea?  Would love to hear thoughts on this one.  And if you want to know what I’m eating for lunch every day (spaghetti with meatballs!), you can follow me on Twitter here: @astartupaday

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One response to “Kevin’s Answers

  1. Yahoo Answers, About.com, Mahalo, and Answers.com all kind of do this already. I like the idea of making it more personal though. I’m also starting to see ads for sites that offer real time ‘text your question now’ type answers. How do you see your site as being unique?

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