Life is full of questions. How do you change the tire for a bike? Where is the best place to eat in San Francisco? (hint, it’s in Chinatown). Then there are greater questions, such as what career should you choose, or where should you live. We all have a network of advisors around us from which we draw to make these decisions.
Oftentimes that network extends to the web, where we can go to online forums to post our questions. There’s an element of safety in asking anonymous people. First, they’re unbiased. Second, you can be as honest as you’d like since you won’t meet them in real life. Third, you can reach more people with broader backgrounds. Perhaps you’re going to Morocco, and don’t know anyone who’s been there. Post a question online and you’re bound to find some Moroccan enthusiast willing to tell you everything about it.
There are many online question forums available. Some of the more frequented question and answer boards are Yahoo! Answers, Stack Overflow, Wiki Answers and Answer Bag. There’s one website that took it a step further- BeenAsked. They import all the questions from various question forums so that you can search them from one location.
The way BeenAsked works is you can search the questions and it brings back a series of results that match that criteria. Selecting one bring you to the question’s page which has a full description of the query. From there you have two options. First is to comment on the question within BeenAsked’s comment system. Second is to click on the View External Answers link. This takes you to the question’s original source where you can view the ongoing discussion and contribute to it if you like.
BeenAsked has a few other bells and whistles including a Questions Archive page and a Popular Tags page. The Questions Archive is a list of all the questions drawn from the various forums in chronological order. The Popular Tags page is a cloud of popular tags. When clicked, you’ll get a list of the latest questions related to that term.
BeenAsked is a questions forum aggregator. It draws all the questions from the major Q&A forums and coalesces them into one organic list. The ease of searching makes it a powerful tool to find answers for just about anything in life. It’s also a good place for people to find topics that they can impart knowledge about. I have to admit, I was also drawn in by some questions, and clicked on the link to bestow my supposed wisdom. BeenAsked tracks all of the questions found in the main forums online, and provides an easy way to find the best answers the web has to offer.
BeenAsked decided not to stick around for the answer. In this case, the answer they so feared to hear, was no.