Q&A with Google’s Marissa Mayer in Tel Aviv.

What do you get when you mix an industrial part of town, the energy of a few hundred geeks, a microphone and Google’s VP of Search Products & Experience, Marissa Mayer?

Last night a bunch of the Answers.com crew went to Tel Aviv to find out. The event was run by Garage Geeks and Yossi Vardi, infusing the Israeli start up scene with an underground vibe.

Google’s well-spoken (and well-dressed!) Marissa Mayer and her team of budding product managers joined the crowd of entrepreneurs, engineers and dreamers to answer questions on all things Google. Marissa fielded a range of Q&A, including the future of traditional search, Google’s role in social search and when Israel can expect turn-by-turn driving directions for mobile (hey, why not?).

For more tech events in the Tel Aviv neighborhood, visit GarageGeeks.

More on Answers.com’s 5 million-strong community.

Last week we mentioned here that the Answers.com community has grown to over 5 million members. The growth is encouraging, and not just to us no.stupid.answers bloggers. Answers.com’s Director of Community Development, Scott Moore, shared his thoughts in yesterday’s press release:

“Q&A sites have become a very popular means for getting answers to everyday questions, as well as sharing knowledge on topics close to people’s hearts, and Answers.com is at the forefront of this trend,” said Scott Moore, Director of Community Development.

“Whether it is the BP oil spill disaster, the latest on the iPhone 4 release, or excitement surrounding the FIFA World Cup games, our dedicated community is asking, answering and conversing across a vast collection of categories. Our community programs – Community Outreach, WikiReviewers, Mentoring and Vandal Patrol, to name a few, are delivering on the opportunity to expand our user-base, our data-base and our brand. As we fast approach 9 million answers in our community answer database, it’s clear that, without the wonderful, diverse and knowledgeable members of our community, we wouldn’t have one of the fastest-growing Q&A communities on the Web.”

Here are some other fun facts about Answers.com’s recent growth:

  • Answers.com’s U.S. audience size in May 2010 was 45.4 million unique visitors…
  • …this ranked the site #21 on the comScore charts.
  • Globally, monthly unique visitors were 72 million…
  • …which makes Answers.com the 37th highest ranked site worldwide.

Jadeacres, Checkin’ In on the Chicken Coop.

About a month ago, one of our most cherished and deeply respected SupervisorsJadeacres – suggested that we check in on some of our Senior Supers and pay them homage with updated posts here on no.stupid.answers. Of course, this was yet another awesome idea from our man Jade (something he seems to have an endless stream of). We jumped on this opportunity – not because we wanted a piece of his glorious, orange birthday cake (drooling!) – but because we want our long-time contributors to know that on Answers.com you will forever be admired, talked about (in a positive light!) and appreciated.

Fittingly, first to the plate is Jade. Here’s an update direct from “The Chicken Coop”:

What is your Answers.com user name?

Jadeacres but I am also known as Jade/James/Jamie…or That Vandal Patrol Supervisor. My bio page is commonly referred to as “The Chicken Coop.”

How long have you been with the community? What are some of the badges you hold? Awards won?

Coming up to my fourth year…really? I am proud of all the accomplishments I have made over the years including my association with WikiGuides (from concept to what it is now), Vandal Patrol (first Senior Investigator thanks to An8thg) and the Mentoring Program (thanks to Katz2). I have been involved with all these programs, many of them before they were conceived as “official”.

Remind us of what brought you to Answers.com and what keeps you around.

I first came to the site (FAQ Farm) seeking information about Crohn’s disease. I actually registered months later when looking for information about chickens, when I got interested in the whole concept of sharing information and correcting erroneous or incomplete answers. My work was noticed, appreciated and I was asked to consider becoming a Supervisor.

Since you were last featured, have there been any changes in your life? Exciting new developments?

Liz did a wonderful three-part series on Jadeacres/Snugglefoot Hollow. The three-part series Fun, Farms and Friendship from December 2008 just about said it all. I am older, a little bit wiser (thanks to Answers.com) and very much richer with cherished friends from all over the world. The trip to Atlanta last December was truly a highlight in my life as I was able to relax and enjoy the companionship of many people I would otherwise never have met in person.

Are you involved in any new hobbies or activities (outside of Answers.com)?

Who? Me? LOL WikiAnswers is my life! Really though, now that my son has recently moved away to the big city I have found I have slightly less time for being online, and I miss my once daily obsession. I do check my e-mail daily, but I find with the new trend toward social networking and my general reluctance to learn new computer skills I am having difficulty keeping up. I might not Facebook, Twitter, etc. but I will, however, forever be found on WikiAnswers.

What one feature on Answers.com are you directly responsible for suggesting?

Offhand, I cannot think of many, although I am sure there are more than a few. Those handy volunteer Supervisor “wiki” cards (modeled after traditional business cards) we all now receive with parcels were my idea, first proposed in 2008. I was very much involved in the start-up of many of the programs we all enjoy now. I see my mark on much of WikiAnswers as it is today.

If you could sum up your experiences on Answers.com in five words, what would you say?

I really don’t need five words to express my feelings for WikiAnswers, one will suffice…Family!

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

It’s gonna be a looong day…

Today is the Summer Solstice for all you Northern Hemispherians. Since you have a bit more daylight to play with, go on and turn off your artificial lights and learn a little more about what this means:

By the way, the folks in the Southern hemisphere will have their day in December, the opposite end of the year. Meanwhile, hope you enjoyed the Winter Solstice down under!

And now to leave you with today’s quote:

“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January.” – Hal Borland

Have a great day!

Rose8787: Contributorship of Titanic Proportions

In the epic film, Titanic, the beautiful, upper-class socialite, Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), falls in love with the unsophisticated, impoverished hoi polloi, Jack Dawsen (Leonardo DiCaprio), during the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage. It’s an onscreen love story that was, until recently (Yes, Avatar), the most celebrated the world over – at least from a financial perspective.

For some of us, nothing can top the story that was the Titanic – real, tragic, eternal. With a user name that pays tribute to the Titanic’s Rose is this week’s Featured Contributor – Rose8787. Recently placing 3rd in our Spring Cleaning Question Editing contest, Rose8787 is of the finest variety of Answers.com Contributors – truly contributorship of titanic proportions. Here’s more:

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

My user name is Rose8787. It’s actually the user name I use everywhere. The history of it is a bit funny. It started after playing a game for quite a long time, and just typing random digits when getting on the high-score list. Numerous times it became 8787 (eighty-seven-eighty-seven). I thought it was funny, and started using it other places, too. Rose I came up with after watching Titanic. I love the name Rose, and because most places Rose is already taken, I putted the 8787 as part of it, too!

What is your first name?

Sunniva

What is your age?

17

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

I currently live in the southern part of Norway. I have lived there for about 10 years I think. I love it there because the sea is really close, and the summertime is usually warmer here than in the north.

What educational information would you like to share?

I am currently attending high school.

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

I can’t come up with something specific, but I do like geography and science which I learn at school.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

I like taking pictures. In school I am actually collecting different kind of plants to make a herbarium.

What do you like to do for recreation?

I love being outside in the woods.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

Curious, kind and friendly.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

Becoming a Supervisor on Answers.com!

How would you describe yourself or personality?

I love to learn new things and do not give up easily.

What brought you to Answers.com?

It was actually just a coincidence that I found the site. I was at school working on a project, when I was searching on Google for various phrases. And one of the hits led me to Answers.com. I had never heard about it before, but I liked the idea of a site where anybody could help improve the pages. It didn’t take long before I joined then.

What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?

It must be the excitement of helping other people with their questions and also the possibility of asking new questions.

What is your favorite Answers.com activity?

For the moment, I like to clean up questions with too many alternates. But I also enjoy recategorizing and answering questions here and there.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

Bigcatone is loving life

Big catHave you met the Big Cat?  (No, I’m not talking about the famous baseball slugger)   Bigcatone is an Answers.com supervisor who also happens to have been a zoologist in a former life.  You’ll typically find him on the prowl in the Wild Cats category but he can do the History thing too. Rumor has it he can even belt out a song or two on the side!

This man of many talents is now showcasing his writing talents for us.  This week’s feature in the Poetry Cafe is about love and what it means to the Big Cat.

Untitled, by Bigcatone

To hold you close at dawn’s first light
to kiss those lips at lost midnight
To see the ruins of the dying day
And suppress the love we gave away

To realize the true love story
and live our lives
In true love glory
To breathe the air that swirls about
to whisper when we need to shout

To feel the life we made anew
To see the grass in morning dew
To walk along the beach at dawn
And know you are the only one

To watch the sunrise over the gate
To hear the night as it abates
Feeling love and evermore
A walk along the golden shore

To let you know the way I feel
To let hearts once broken heal
and hold the hand I treasure most
As love grows ‘long the golden coast

Orange cake never looked so good…

Our famous pair of Canadian WikiNeighbors are at it again…

This week, Supervisor Jadeacres received an Orange Guy cake baked by Thatwouldbme for his birthday. The flags on the cake have the usernames of 30 of his friends on Answers.com.

So now I have a question: How does orange frosting taste?

And on a separate note, I sense a contest idea brewing…

Presenting the 2010 Answers.com scholarship winners.

The Answers.com Scholarship winners have been chosen and, right here, right now – announced. The students who placed in the top three winner spots include:

1st Place: Natalie Weires ($5,000 scholarship)
2nd Place: Sara Underwood ($2,500 scholarship)
3rd Place: Faizan Ahemad ($2,500 scholarship)

The runners up will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

As follows, the complete list of student winners (and their Answers.com usernames):

To read more about the Answers.com Scholarship program, check this out.

Penpencil22 is DownWrite Awesome!

Okay, so pens and pencils may not be required on Answers.com. But we couldn’t possibly survive without this week’s DownWrite Awesome Featured Contributor: Penpencil22. A self-proclaimed “closet comical genius,” Penpencil22 was drawn to Answers.com because of a “mysterious love for online communities.” Have we created another Wikiholic? Read on to find out!

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

My user name is Penpencil22. I made up the user name somewhere around 6th grade, and it’s stuck with me ever since.

What is your age?

I’m hovering somewhere around the 20s, give or take.

Do you have any pets?

Two obese dogs, a shih tzu and a miniature dachshund

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

Back and forth between Illinois and Michigan

What educational information would you like to share?

I’m currently in college working towards a Spanish degree and a minor in German. I’m considering adding Psych as a major as well.

What are some of your past or present occupations?

Not much more than a student. A couple odd jobs, but nothing worth mentioning.

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

Spanish and German are my favorite areas of knowledge, I suppose. Both languages I started learning in high school and fell in love.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

I have a secret postcard collection, but that’s not really, uh, fascinating.

What do you like to do for recreation?

I love to write for my own benefit; I’ve kept a journal since I was 6 years old. I also read too much for my own good.

What are a few random facts about yourself?

I have a cold-weather-only cactus? It’s very strange, and actually, I’m not so sure it’s even a cactus.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I wake up every day and think wow, self, you are amazing. Other than that, no.

What are your special goals or dreams?

My special dream is to graduate college without debt (it’s not gonna happen – unless, of course, there are any wealthy benefactors out there who would like to supply me with somewhere in the neighborhood of $40,000 a year… any takers?)

What brought you to Answers.com?

My brother, boredom and a mysterious love for contributing to online communities.

What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?

That mysterious love for contributing to online communities.

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

Happy birthday, blog!

It’s not every day you turn 3-years-old. In fact, it’s only one day ever, and that day is today for no.stupid.answers.

There have been a lot of posts I’m particularly proud of. Coming up with the Contributor Corner was a great thing, and ever since we’ve worked to introduce you to one contributor a week, fresh from the Answers.com community (thanks, Crystal!). The Chimpmanzee column is one of my personal favorites (it’s all you, Nirel!). And once we started highlighting poetry from the community, well, things got a little more inspired around here (kudos, Matthew!).

There are a lot of ways to get no.stupid.answers. You can continue to come directly to the blog, of course. You can also ‘Like’ the Answers.com page on Facebook, so the posts will show up conveniently in your news feed. There is the RSS to subscribe to, or even easier, the no.stupid.answers email.

A big thanks to all our blog writers, as well as the Answers.com engineers, staff and contributors who are constantly giving us what to write about!

The 300th Protégé: RoddLuna

The Mentoring Program has announced its 300th graduate, and he goes by the username RoddLuna. As you may know, the Mentoring Program is a chance for Supervisors, new and even not-so-new, to pair with an experienced Supervisor and get a deeper knowledge of the Super tools and policies. The program has been around now for a few years and has proved successful and effective.

A few words from the Mentoring Program Graduate himself:

I was born and raised in southern California. My family hails from Yuma, Arizona. I come from a long line of lawmen on both sides of the family so I‘ve been around guns all my life. I served in the Air Force during the Vietnam war as an Air Crash Rescue Fireman on the Island of Okinawa. The majority of my adult life I worked in the telecommunications industry. When I retired I went back to work as a contractor and have worked everywhere from Boston, Massachusetts to Honolulu, Hawaii. In March of 2008 I stumbled onto WikiAnswers (Answers.com) and became hooked on answering questions about air guns and rifles. I’ve been collecting air guns for several years. In November ’09 my wife and I attended our first WikiAnswers conference (Answers Summit) in Atlanta, GA where we met other Wikiholics like ourselves.

Previously, I had been asked to supervise a category about firearms but declined as I was not sure what that entailed… A few months ago Topbuilder asked me to supervise a new category which is Air Guns & Air Rifles. This time I was ready. Mike.2 became my Mentor and was very helpful in answering and assisting me with my questions and problems. I found the mentoring experience to be a real asset. I never realized how many tools are available to a supervisor and it does help to have someone assist you with everything. I still feel I can ask Mike.2 for help when I need it. Overall it’s been a great experience.

The next step for a Protégé is to become a Mentor themselves; so stay tuned for whether RoddLuna takes the leap…

Vive Bieber!

The Anglos have it. The French have it. Even Google France has it… So maybe it’s time you did, too.

Ready for it? Ready for… la fièvre Bieber?!

Justin Bieber fever. Well, Answers.com has it covered; not sure whether to laugh or cry or put on a purple hoodie.

This post is dedicated to Julie, the Community Coordinator ‘merveilleux’ for Answers.com Français!

How do you fry your pants so you can eat them?

You’re hungry. You have a frying pan. You have pants. So what’s the question?

How do you fry your pants so you can eat them?

Ingredients

  • 1 pair of pants
  • 10 cups vegetable oil
  • Flour for dusting
  • 3 cups milk
  • 5 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoon oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Chill or freeze pants for several hours or overnight.
  2. Heat 10 cups vegetable oil in deep fryer to about 375 degrees.
  3. Mix together milk, vinegar and oil.
  4. In another bowl, blend flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. Whisk wet ingredients into dry and continue mixing until smooth. Refrigerate while oil heats.
  6. Dust pants with flour and dip into the batter. Rotate pants until batter covers them.
  7. Place carefully in hot oil. The Pants will float, so hold them under with a utensil to ensure even browning. They should turn golden in 3 to 4 minutes. Depending on the size of your deep fryer, you might be able to fry only one pair at a time, two at the most.
  8. Remove pants to paper towel and let drain. Allow Pants to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 1 pair. Serves 6.

Gil Reich manages links, greatness, and even jokes.

When it comes to building your reputation online, Answers.com has a lot to offer.

So Gil Reich, Answers.com’s VP of Product Management, went ahead and talked about that yesterday at SMX Advanced in Seattle, Washington. The panel was called, “Show Me The Links: Real Life Link Building” and you can check out the live-blogging coverage on Search Engine Roundtable. It’s worth a squiz; apparently Gil managed to crack a smile or two in the audience:

The basic rundown from Gil:

  1. Make “your” message “This guy rocks!”
  2. Write on sites that want good content.
  3. Be part of the community.

You can review Gil’s complete notes on the topic at his blog, Managing Greatness.

For more on the conference itself, check out Gil’s blog post, Best of SMX Advanced 2010.

Answers.com Help Center: learn it with Slideshare!

We recently announced that the Answers.com Help Center was media-enriched with how-to videos for several site actions. As of today, Supervisors on Answers.com can review the how-to’s of several ‘super powers’ with slideshares created by Ganderton (or Gregg), the Mentoring Program Coordinator.

The presentations are all available on Answers.com’s Slidespace (Slideshare account), or Supervisors can review them directly from the Help Center pages by clicking the Slideshare thumbnails:

Check out an example right here: Merging questions on Answers.com (tip: increase the slideshare to ‘full screen’ to see the text clearly).

http://static.slidesharecdn.com/swf/ssplayer2.swf?doc=mergingquestions-100513033059-phpapp01&stripped_title=merging-questions-on-answerscom

View more presentations from Answers.com.

Interested in creating a how-to slideshare to help other community members? Get a t-shirt for it! It only requires a basic knowledge of PowerPoint and of course, the help topic you want to cover. Leave a comment below.

Take your answers further with WiseStamp.

Here’s a new way to get more mileage out of your contributions on Answers.com: Show off your latest answers in your email signature with WiseStamp.

WiseStamp is about making your email signatures into dynamic representations of you and your work. Every time you email friends, family or colleagues, you can showcase your latest answer, most recent contribution, favorite category – any kind of dynamic information that is available through RSS! In addition, you can add your social profiles, links and images to further customize your email.

As a category expert, you spend valuable time answering questions; broadcast your Answers.com contributions and profile every time you email a client, colleague or potential customer. The signatures can be as professional or as fun as you prefer:

WiseStamp is an add-on for Firefox, Chrome, and Flock browsers as well as Thunderbird and the following webmail clients: Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, AOL, Hotmail, and Google Apps.  WiseStamp makes it simple to add its feature to your email tools so you can get started designing multiple signatures for the different kinds of emails you send.

Once you have the add-on installed, you are given all kinds of options for what you want to share in your signature. For the Answers.com-specific content, all it takes is an RSS feed (and there are lots more to choose from). You can also use an Answers.com badge or show off your profile with a clickable Answers.com icon.

Learn more about how to set it up with the step-by-step directions.

“We are very pleased to partner with Answers.com and provide the Answers.com community with WiseStamp’s effective solution,” says Josh Avnery, WiseStamp’s CEO. “Answers.com users are true knowledge lovers and WiseStamp gives them a new exciting and efficient way to share their passion. Answers.com users can now bring their interests, questions and answers into their daily email interactions in a simple and functional way.”

Got any questions about using WiseStamp? Check out the FAQ.

Introducing His Excellency, Technogomzi.

This week’s Featured Contributor, Technogomzi, really does deserve a royal introduction. Not only is he an amazing Answers.com contributor, but outside of our little wiki world he continues to stand for all things excellent. First off, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence when his thermal power plant idea opened the door to a college internship. Cool (um, hot), huh?

He also possesses a strong ability to deliver the best in any situation and notes that he “measures experience with work not money”. During his college years, he took part in a robotics automation work shop. The project (Electrical Distribution Control System) his team made was acknowledged by the director of the college! Wow! And last, but not least, he firmly believes that smiling is the key to success.

Yep. There’s no shortage of excellence when it comes to this brilliant and dedicated Answers.com contributor. Here’s more:

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

My Answers.com user name is Technogomzi. I chose this name because I am very much interested in reading/discovering facts related to science and technology. “Techno” is derived from the word technology itself. I have some ideas for generating power (electricity); however I have been unable to find people with whom I can actually share what I have in my mind!

What is your first name?

My name is Gautam Gupta.

What is your age?

I am 22-years-old.

Would you care to tell us about your family?

My mother is a homemaker, my father is lawyer and my sister is research analyst.

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

I have lived in Delhi (India) for the past five years. I like this area because of its greenery; there is plant and tree life everywhere. That gives me a sense of refreshment whenever I feel low.

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

I was born in Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) India. I have lots of memories of my childhood. First, I was a known player of football (which I absolutely loved), although it has been five years since I have been to the field. If given an opportunity, I would surely play for my team.

What educational information would you like to share?

I have my bachelors in electrical (electrical engineering) and currently pursuing a CFP (Certified Financial Planner).

What are some of your past or present occupations?

I have worked as a graduate engineering trainee in a steel plant. Then I joined Transweb Education where I worked as a Junior Associate of Operations. Right now I am currently studying for the CFP examination. I’d surely work for Answers.com if ever presented with an opportunity!

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

From the beginning (I mean from high school), I was much interested in missiles, aerospace and space exploration (astronauts). I bought many games, made motors and fans in my school days and also participated in polio campaigning at the school level.

Do you have any collections or hobbies?

I love reading books, playing chess, carom (board game) and Answers.com.

What do you like to do for recreation?

Listen to songs, sleep, meditate…but it really depends on my stress level at any given moment.

What are some of your special goals or dreams?

I want to have my own firm and to earn a quality life. I want to make my parents and everyone proud of me. I want to work with top organizations so that I can gain maximum experience which will help me in building a strong foundation for my firm.

How would you describe yourself or personality?

I am sincere towards my work. I get along with people very easily, because I know how to make things flow smoothly. I am always happy to motivate others to do well in their fields and have a firm set of rules for everything I do.

What brought you to Answers.com?

I have a habit of searching for things. One day I was searching for GRE questions, so I went through the site. I was in college at that time, just starting to prepare for my MBA. I found the site quite useful and finally joined. Now I am a happy user of Answers.com!

What keeps you coming back to Answers.com?

Earlier on it was just for fun. Now it’s going after that Number One position for answering questions!

What is your favorite Answers.com activity?

My favourite activities are editing questions and giving answers!

Do you want to be interviewed for the Contributor corner? Just leave a comment below and we’ll get to work.

Answers on the Start-Up Nation.

Answers.com‘s Bob Rosenschein was in Los Angeles last week for The Israel Conference, an annual forum bringing together entrepreneurs and business professionals from California and Israel to explore mutual opportunities.

Bob spoke at the event, discussing the culture of Israeli start ups, including much of his own experience having started up his own company there in 1999. He also took a few moments to describe ‘that company,’ otherwise known as Answers.com. Among the topics covered were the site’s mission, product and latest news, including a mobile version and instant answers on Twitter.

Check out a video taken at the conference for Bob’s full talk.

Night of the Radishes?! Now you know.

Last week, while I was in New York attending BookExpo America on behalf of the Answers.com Content Team, our content integrators published a slew of new content on our site. I should go away more often.

Festivals and Special Events: every celebration, commemoration, feast day or fast day that’s important to any culture around the world – be the event holy or profane, solemn or kooky – all the relevant info is in here. Learn about the Dog Days, the Night of the Radishes, the National Manly Man Festival and Spam Cook-off, or the Tanabata (Star Festival).

In a related development, we also went live with a collection of “When is?” questions. For every one of the special days and events in the group mentioned above, we have an entry that asks and answers the question, “When is ?” E.g., When is Purim, When is Kentucky Derby?

Need a new set of wheels? Avail yourself of the professional expertise in our new Car Reviews and see what car writers have to say about the 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche, the 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid, and my own next car (heh heh), the 2010 Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Are you wondering: Is anyone keeping track of the asteroids and comets that come close to the Earth? Need to know what was the deepest oil well ever drilled? Curious about how dolphins are similar to humans, or what the newest Hawaiian island is? You can find the answers to these and hundreds of others questions in Geology Q&A and Oceans Q&A. Don’t forget to watch out for the black smokers.

We aim to answer. Happy reading.