What Is a “Question & Answer” Site / Forum?
Forums have been on the internet since its inception. Users on the internet used to interact with each other on IRC chatrooms initially and gradually the trend went over to web based interaction systems and forums have become hugely popular. Even till this day forums are widely visited portals for seeking advice and interacting casually with others on the web.
How forums evolved?
Forums are definitely a good source of knowledge and have helped millions worldwide just by giving a platform to like-minded people interact with each other. Websites such as Bodybuilding.com, AnandTech, 4Chan & XDA-developers are examples of how popular forums have been helping people across the world achieving their goals in their respective fields.
What was a problem with forums?
But forums are also plagued with one issue - the issue of useless information in addition to the good information. For instance when you ask some question in a forum you will get all sorts of responses and of which only one or two replies may be two-the-point and answer your question correctly. So, in such a case when you have to go through all these responses just to get the correct answer it becomes cumbersome for sure.
Wouldn't it be good if you could get the answers to the point without the extra unwanted information? Well, this is where Question & Answer forums come into the picture. These special forums are dedicated towards solving your queries and cut out the useless talk! From now on in the rest of the article we will refer to a Question & Answer forum as Q&A forum or Q&A site.
Birth of Q&A Forums
Although such forums have been existent all over the web but they were made popular and went mainstream after the launch of Stackoverflow.com - a Q&A site dedicated to software developers. This website was launched by a New-York based company Fog Creek Software, one of whose founders is famous for authoring the tech-blog codinghorror.com.
A Q&A Site is governed by the principle that you can add an answer to a question if and only if you have a possible to-the-point answer to the question that has been asked. For all other purposed you can just add comments to the question or the answers that have been added by various users.
Apart from these users and the questioner can reward points to the answers or even deduct points if the answers are not up-to-the-mark. This sort of brought in a Gamified environment to rather boring forums where users could strive to provide better answers in order to earn community respect & mojo.
Q&A Sites soon caught eyes of many people around the world and looking at the benefits of the platform people started to look for similar platforms where Q&A sites could be started for other topics such as health, education, businesses and many more. This saw the development of many opensource Q&A site alternatives, or stack-overflow clones.
Question2Answer is one such platform which provides a full fledged Q&A site experience and can be offered to the users and visitors of any website on a wide basis. For webmasters or people who run blogs, Q&A sites have some serious benefits which range from building a community to getting search-engine traffic love. Here is another article where we take a look at the 4 benefits of running a Q&A site and how running one can help your business too!
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