WikiGuides: Our very own welcoming committee.

WikiGuides, or WikiAnswers Community Outreach members, perform activities geared toward fostering a positive community experience. They welcome new contributors, invite them to participate in special events, offer guidance, and help where they are needed.

Other opportunities for WikiGuides include sending special occasion greetings, contacting MIA supervisors, and offering congratulations for special achievements.

Recently, we added some awesome new WikiGuide badges. Oh, the levels you can achieve!

WikiGuide
WikiGuide (program participant)
Noble WikiGuide
Noble WikiGuide (5,000 credits achieved)
Imperial WikiGuide
Royal WikiGuide (25,000 credits)
Royal WikiGuide
Imperial WikiGuide (50,000 credits)
Do you like welcoming new people? Become a WikiGuide! For information about the Community Outreach program or on how to become a WikiGuide, please contact CommunityOutreach @ WikiAnswers.com. To participate in the Community Outreach program as a Wikiguide, you must be at least 13 years of age or older.

Filtering for hidden risks.

You’re probably familiar by now with the action filter on the recent site activity page that lets you see all new answers by guests so that you can go straight to work on those high-risk answers. (If not, you can read more about it here.)

What about risky answers by users who are registered, but are very new to WikiAnswers?

Well folks, there’s a new tool in town, and it’s a powerful one. Recently, we added a noob filter (officially called “new members” – those who have registered in the last 2 weeks), so now you can see all first answers by new members. Or, since these folks can also edit questions, answers and alternates, you might want to keep an eye on them by filtering for edits by new members.

These filters work on the international sites too. In the URL, just replace “wiki” with the country code. For an example, check out answers by new members on the French site.

Have fun and edit responsibly :)

filter

New Apple iPad, new Q&A category.

Extra, extra!

As Steve Jobs and Apple turn the speculation into reality, releasing their latest and, arguably, greatest product into the technological wild, the questions are quickly being answered…

…on Answers.com, of course.

The iPad Q&A category has been set up and is being filled with questions that are being complimented with answers – as I type this.

Visit the category or start here:

So… Are you going to rush to buy one? Or ride out the wave and wait for 2.0?

WikiAnswers: Seven million answers served.

The 7th million answer was added on WikiAnswers this week. The answer is – drum roll, please…

If nail polish remover went down the sink what would happen?

Answer by Wolfgang schwartzschild: “It will float on top of the trap and stink-up the room until it has all evaporated and dispersed. You could try heavy flushing in hopes of washing it down in the current, or open up the trap and pour it into a bucket.”

Let’s not forget to mention that there were plenty of good answers coming in at numbers like 6,999,998 or 7,000,001:

I’d also like to take the opportunity to point out that great community answers aren’t always the first answer added. Take another look at the prickly hedgehog answer. Two contributors made that answer great; one addressed the question in a functional way while the other addressed it on another level. Q&A the wiki way, where answers grow and evolve and deepen with collaboration.

See you at 8 million!

Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day – #CMAD!

For Community Gurus around the globe the fourth Monday in January marks a very special date. It’s Community Manager Appreciation Day! This is the day when we get to say “Thanks!”, “You Rock!” or simply “Woot!” to those who spend their days on the front lines of online communities.

As Jeremiah Owyang (Community Genius and Web Strategist Extraordinaire) points out, we love what we do and will keep fighting the good fight – but man there are days when it’s just not easy. Like the Energizer Bunny, we take some serious hits but keep on running. That’s why it’s important to stop and acknowledge those who advocate for the people, by the people and truly are, of the people.

Have you thanked your Community Guru today?

(Thanks to the Managers, Coordinators, Assistants and everyone else willing to take a hit in the name of Community. We appreciate all that you do.)

DLD ’10: Getting inspired in Munich.

DLD conferenceAnswers.com’s Bob Rosenschein is in Munich attending DLD this week, and there is nothing like a Digital, Life, Design conference to get us inspired.

A few such inspired moments were captured on digital film and are shared below.

First, ‘Disruptive,’ a panel with guests all involved in disruptive technologies that changed their respective industries.

Vardi, Wales, Zennstrom and Baker at DLD in Munich

This panel was moderated by Yossi Vardi, the father of Israeli high-tech and an angel investor inAnswers.com. The speakers included Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, Niklas Zennström, founder of Skype, and Mitchell Baker, founder of Mozilla.

Another noteworthy moment was when Mitchell Baker received the Aenne Burda award for outstanding female entrepreneur from last year’s winner, Esther Dyson.

Mitchell Baker receiving award at DLD in Munich.

Bob sat with Sharona Justman, who runs the annual Israel Conference in Los Angeles.

A quick chat between sessions… Hey, Bob, are you using Mobile Answers?

Does Mathdoc have a prescription for Wikidiction?

Is there a cure for wikiholicism? For that strong wikidiction that keeps you up at night and leaves you longing for more? C’mon. You know what I’m talking about… The urge to recategorize, revert and edit when you should be working, eating, sleeping or spending time with your significant other. So is there a remedy? My guess is probably not because even our resident M.D.s have found the insatiable appetite for sharing knowledge incurable. Our Featured Contributor of the week knows all too well what I’m talking about. He’s MathdocAnswers.com contributorship at its finest. But like the rest of us, he is verifiably addicted. Don’t believe me? Read on to discover the name of his daughter’s dog… (and other interesting tidbits and noteworthy accomplishments!)

What is your Answers.com user name and the history behind it?

My Answers.com user name is Mathdoc. I am a pediatrician and also a college math teacher. Put them together and you have me, MATHDOC.

What other badges do you hold on Answers.com?

I have my gold badge, my runner-up AnswerThon badge and my 10,000 contributions badge. I hope to get 1,000 trust points! I am also a mentor.

What is your first name?

My first name is Charles, but I go by Chuck. Charles was what my parents called me when I was in trouble, so I avoid it.

What is your age?

I am 51.

Would you like to tell us about your family?

I have two wonderful kids, a 24-year-old (Justin), who lives in San Diego, and a 21-year-old (Melanie), who lives at home. My 21-year-old named her dog, YES! YOU GUESSED IT, WIKI! (Wiki is Weimaraner). Melanie is working on her English credential. I have a wonderful wife named Judy who loves to bake. I am working on getting her to answer more baking questions.

Do you have any pets?

I have a dog named Echo. We call her that because she is kind of hyper and bounces off the walls. My wife has a dog name Hunter and, of course, now you know about Wiki, my daughter’s dog. Echo and Hunter are Springer Spaniels.

Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?

I live in Southern California, Northridge to be specific. Many people know it for the large Northridge Earthquake. (January 17, 1994 at 4:31 AM)

Where did you grow up and do you have any special memories of your childhood?

I grew up in Southern California (born in Los Angeles). I have always loved math and science. One of my favorite things I did growing up was rock collecting.

What educational information would you like to share?

I went to (undergrad) college at U.C. San Diego in California. Then I went to Med School at the George Washington University in Washington D.C. I got my Masters in Science in Mathematics at California State University Northridge.

What are some of your past and/or present occupations?

I am a pediatrician (medical doctor) and a mathematician. I teach math at Moorpark Community College.

What are your key areas of knowledge, interests or expertise?

I love math, science, medicine and trivia. Love to watch Jeopardy.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

A long time ago, I collected Beanie Babies. I still have them since they are worth just about nothing now. I collected pennies to and have all the US pennies. I also collect rocks.

What do you like to do for recreation?

I have a 220-gallon salt water reef tank filled with corals and fish. It takes tons of work almost every day, but I love it and it looks amazing!

What are a few random facts about yourself?

I am pretty much tone deaf. When I sing you better RUN, but I love music and I do try. I love the movie The Wizard of Oz. It is my all-time favorite. I also love country and oldies music.

Do you have any special talents you’d like to share?

Keeping my salt water reef tank with many rare corals from all over the world.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I am proud of my masters in math and proud to be able to help people learn and understand it. Also, as a doctor, I saw some problems with the HMO system, and I actually wrote legislation which was passed and signed into law by the Governor of California. I am a member of a union for doctors. Here is a quote from them:

“Charles D. Goodman, M.D., a pediatrician from Los Angeles County, was elected as the UAPD Secretary. During the past few years, Dr. Goodman helped to write and pass state legislation protecting the interests of HMO patients and doctors. He is an effective advocate for the rights of doctors. “

I am no longer Secretary, but still an active Union member!

I was also a PADI dive instructor for many years. I don’t do it anymore, but I love SCUBA.

What are your special goals or dreams?

I would love to help more people love and understand math.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

I am very outgoing, often loud. I am a GIANT practical joker. I consider myself a very fun person; often people say I am very “childlike”. Probably a good thing for a pediatrician!

What brought you to Answers.com?

I was looking up something and found the answer on Answers.com. I knew right away it was a great place and a “class act.”

What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?

I love the questions. They are always fun and interesting. Also, I love getting feedback. The other Supers especially Matthew (Brave3) have always been good to me. In fact, I have ENORMOUS respect for all the Supervisors here. They are a dedicated, great group and, I always enjoy talking to them, each and every one!

What is your favorite Answers.com activity?

Answering questions. I love the math questions, but sometimes I just love to look at the main page and answer some of the random unanswered questions.

A piece of the community’s mind.

What’s on your mind? Allow me to share what’s on mine… as well as the collaborative mind of the community-at-large.

Here are some of the latest Hot Topics being worked on by the WikiAnswers community:

Do you have what to add? Visit those categories and add your answers!

Timwilson jaxpoet: Slowing down in Winter

One of our newest contributors, Timwilson jaxpoet, makes a contribution to the Poetry Cafe this week.  He explained that the inspiration behind this poem was that Winter always depressed him (and many others too) with the short days and bitter cold.  Everything outside was losing its life.

But after listening to Sting’s new CD “If On A Winter’s Night” he said it finally dawned on him (after 45 years on the planet) that God created it this way for a reason. His belief is that we, as humans, need to slow down once in awhile but that we never do.  “Winter is designed to force us to do just that, turn towards the indoors where it’s warm, by the fire or in the kitchen and to turn inward also, where our warmest thoughts live and dwell, in our hearts and souls” Tim reasons.

Tim is seeking a publisher both for the poems and a series of old-fashioned fairy tales he has written (and continues to write).  You can contact him on his Answers.com message board.

[If you would like your original poetry profiled on this blog, please e-mail it to poetry @ wikianswers.com (no spaces) and include your WikiAnswers username!]

Untitled, by Tim Wilson

Autumn’s twilight gently falls,
as winter whispers, icy breath.

Soft lullaby for earth now calls,
upon the season’s gentle death.

Gone the leaves and harvest moon
As winter brings much needed rest,

Sings her melancholy tune,
lays all to sleep upon Earth’s breast.

Rest good Earth now slumber deep,
Do not be troubled and forlorn.

Dream the promise you must keep,
The flowering of your spring be born.

A t-shirt worth 1,000 words.

SarahI, or Sarah, a fabulous WikiAnswers QA Engineer and our resident photographer, traveled all the way to Thailand and all she gave away was an Answers.com t-shirt… or several!

While exploring Ko Phi Phi Island, Sarah met a couple of junior smarties who became fast Answers.com fans; seems they all share a taste in fashion (and cuteness!).

One boy she met needed a little cheering up while his dad worked on a boat nearby. Hopefully his new t-shirt helped:

Another boy was happy to make friends with Sarah while his mom snapped a photo of them:

Turns out he is also a local celebrity who performs in a kids’ show at a boxing stadium:

เด็ก ไทย มี คำ ตอบ ทั้งหมด!
The kids of Thailand have all the answers!

Answers.com Scholarship: Calling for submissions!

Think you have the academic know-how to answer 50 questions on Answers.com and win money for school next year?

If the answer is yes, sit up straight and pay attention: Answers.com again plans to give away $20,000 in scholarships for college students. New countries have been added to the list of those eligible and this year the best submission of 50 or more answered questions wins a $5,000 scholarship.

You are eligible if you’re a student planning to be enrolled in a 2010-11 undergrad university program in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or India.

For more info, click the image below or read on…

Answers.com Scholarship

What? The Answers.com Scholarship Program plans to award one $5,000 scholarship, two $2,500 scholarships, and ten scholarships valued at $1,000 each.

How? Sign in to Answers.com with your username and answer at least 50 questions of your choice after January 1, 2010. The panel of judges will review the 50 answers you submit with your application for quality and accuracy to determine the winners.

Who? This scholarship is for students planning to be enrolled in undergraduate classes during the 2010-2011 academic year in the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or India.

When? All materials must be submitted (and postmarked) by March 31, 2010.

Be sure to read the FAQs and rules.

You can best believe that he’s: MountainMan391

Mountain, mountain man! I wanna’ be a mountain man! Okay, so the lyrics might be a little bit off – but this week’s Featured Contributor is certainly not. He’s MountainMan391 (a/k/a Keith) – a Category Supervisor, Bronze Contributor and one of Answers.com’s rockin’ knowledge ninjas (or is that pirate?)! When he is not busy spending time in the wild outdoors, field herping or winning prestigious contests for model rockets, you can find him watching over Norse Mythology or just fixing some of the grammar and spelling blunders that sometimes pop up on Recent Site Activity. Here’s more on our very own MountainMan391:

What is your Answers.com user name and the history behind it?

My user name on Answers.com is MountainMan391; it derives from a nickname that I received from my friends. You see, I have a beard and I spend a lot of time out in the woods, so they think that I look and act a lot like a 19th Century mountain man. The name just kind of stuck.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, I currently have two dogs, two cats, a red rat snake and a green anole lizard

Where do you live, how long have you lived there and why do you like the area?

I live in the small rural town of Pequea, Pennsylvania and have for about four years. Some of my friends make jokes about me living in the “boondocks“, but, as a huge outdoorsman, I am absolutely in love with the area. I get to wake-up to the sight of the beautiful Susquehanna River right outside of my window; sometimes even to the sight of a bald eagle swooping down and catching a fish from the water. I live within a 20 minute hike to a magnificent limestone cliff named House Rock, a cavern called Wind Cave and a trail system that reaches all the way to Baltimore, MD. What’s more, I’m within an hour, by car, of the Chesapeake Bay. There are only two other places where I would want to live: the Colorado Rocky Mountains and the Alaskan wilderness.

Where did you grow up and do you have any special memories of your childhood?

I grew up in a semi-urban town right outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania named Lemoyne. However, I do not have many special memories of the place.

What is your key area of knowledge, interest or expertise?

My greatest passion in life is the great outdoors, and I became interested in it when I first moved here to Pequea. Before this town, I’ve always lived in an urban environment. I think the reason why I love being out in the woods so much is just the freedom and sense of calm and peace that I get from it.

I also love studying Norse culture and mythology, mainly for religious reasons; I follow a religion called Ásatrú (or Nordisk Siðr), the revival of the beliefs and practices of ancient, pre-Christian Scandinavia.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

I don’t have any collections, but I do have plenty of hobbies: hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, canoeing, spelunking, animal watching, field herping, model rocketry and making pyrotechnics, to name a few.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

I am obsessive compulsive when it comes to proper grammar and spelling, so called “text-talk” really bothers me; and my predominantly dark-brown beard has a random patch of red in it, LOL.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

Well, I was a national finalist in the Team America Rocketry Challenge, the largest model rocket contest in the world, for three years in a row. The final year, my team came in 15th place out of 700 teams.

What are your special goals or dreams?

I don’t have too many, but I am working on obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental biology, and I would love to someday own a cabin in Alaska.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

I consider myself a pretty open-minded and approachable guy; I love to learn new things. However, I do have my limits, and I will stand loyal to my values, my gods, my family and my friends.

What brought you to Answers.com?

I was looking for an online community of sorts, where I could learn new things and contribute what I know.

Gil Reich on reputation-building with Q&A.

Gil Reich Gil Reich, VP of Product Management at Answers.com and blogger of Managing Greatness, has written an excellent post on SEOmoz/YOUmoz titled: Q&A About Using Q&A Sites to Build Your Business & Reputation.

The post goes into depth about – you guessed it – using Q&A sites (like Answers.com of course) to build online reputation and thus help build your freelance or small business. The number of companies using social media and Q&A sites is rising.

Gil argues the following three points are what makes it worthwhile:

  • Direct your customers (and potential customers) to accurate information about your product.
  • Connect with people in your market, build your reputation, and generate leads.
  • Provide links back to your site. Some of these links are Follow links, and thus also provide SEO value.

Asking questions to your audience and, more importantly, answering their questions, is not a complicated process and doesn’t require any more training than you already have. All you need is your expertise in your field and to become familiar with – and really believe in – Q&A community culture.

Read the full post to get a sense of what the role of Q&A sites is for professionals looking to expand their reputations online.

For more on the topic, see a similar post on BabeofBusiness, a blog by Crystal Williams, who is one of the Community Coordinators on Answers.com.

Getting inside innovation: the value of persistence.

Answers.com Founder and CEO Bob Rosenschein sat with a reporter at Intruders.tv at Le Web ’09 in December and offered his thoughts on the site’s healthy growth, successful business model, fabulous community, and… questions.com?

Watch the video… and skip to minute 6:12 for the Answers.com secret sauce. Hint: it has to do with the passion of the most unbelievable community around!

Inside Innovation: Answers.com at Le Web 09

Helping Haiti.

With more and more details coming out of Haiti after the massive earthquake there on Tuesday, it’s crystal clear how much the people of Haiti need the international community’s support and aid.

There are ways we can help even from far away; the following are some examples (thanks Chris Sacca) – and some more information.

In the meantime, hoping for the healing and restoration of Haiti.

Actually, we love all Colins…

Today, on this partly sunny WikiAnswers Wednesday, we spotlight a wonderful fellow who plays a more important role in project management than he does in grammar:

What is the difference between a colin and a semi colin?

In case you can’t make out the text:

Colin (Answers.com project manager) is an awesome and amazing guy!
Semi is the prefix for half, so a semi Colin would mean you only have half of Colin, and that’s pretty sad.
A whole Colin is always preferable over a semi Colin.

Keep doing your thing, whole Colin!

Oh, and by the way: What is the difference between a colon and a semi colon?

Learn American Sign Language on Answers.com.

This has to be one of the coolest reference resources on Answers.com right now: Sign Language Videos and ASL diagrams.

Good morning in sign language

It’s a good idea to pick up a new language – so why not American Sign Language?

Learn how to say terms like ‘good morning’ on Answers.com with a diagram or a video.

You’ll know you’re doing well when you’re told good job! Or you might be a bit of an overachiever if you’re told you’re signing fast:

But if you’re getting frustrated, just calm down… It takes time to learn a new language!

There are probably a lot of people across the United States who are hoping not to use this next one anytime soon:

And for those random, obscure moments when you just need to be able to express this, well:

Your father is nice looking

For now, you’re still a newbie so you might want to be sure you know how to ask your conversation companion to ‘please repeat‘:

Please repeat in sign language

Get started ASAP: Check out the full range of sign language videos and ASL image guides. Also, check out the American Sign Language category and learn some fun facts about the Deaf community:

Hope this helps… You’re welcome.

Any questions?

Any questions in sign language