Surprising similarities between Q&A for education and for shopping
It is interesting to see that the same message-based approach that is finally making social Q&A work for ecommerce is also making social Q&A work for education. Today's New York Times profiles a new site called Piazza, which enables students to get help from classmates through a Q&A model. As the Times describes it:
Although there are rival services, like Blackboard, an education software company, Piazza’s platform is specifically designed to speed response times. The site is supported by a system of notification alerts, and the average question on Piazza will receive an answer in 14 minutes.
That's exactly what we see from our shopping Q&A system, Ask Owners. By sending shopping questions directly to people who are likely to know the answer (because they bought the product!) Ask Owners outperforms bulletin board-style Q&A systems in 3 ways: many more answers, much faster answers, and higher quality answers. It makes a lot of sense this model would be powerful for class-based communities, too.
Kudos to Piazza founder Pooja Nath. We're excited to see your success!