Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Most Useless Site on the Internet?

Just might be Answers.com. I'd guess 50% of the answers I see there are either flawed or pure nonsense. Here someone asks what the most three-point shots made in a University of North Carolina home basketball game is, and the "top" answer is that once Donyell Marshall hit twelve in an NBA game!

What's interesting is the Answers.com clearly intended to take advantage of the "wisdom of crowds" in the same way that Wikipedia does. So why are Wikipedia's results so much better? I'm just guessing at this point, but I'd say it's the editing. On Wikipedia, nonsense quickly vanishes from the main article (although of course it lingers in the history files). I don't think Answers.com provides a way to make a bad answer disappear.


  1. Yeah I agree. The only time I even look at an Answers.com response is if it's a trial-and-error question where the right answer (if found) will be obvious. Like, "How do I turn off Autosave in Excel?" or something like that. Or, "Name one 8-year-old who has better instincts about government than Gene Callahan."


Current review queue

Pearce: British Journal for the History of Philosophy Deneen: The American Conservative Chao-Reiss: Computing Reviews