The Answers.com team tries DIY dry ice for Halloween.

How to make your own creepy fog for Halloween

So maybe your fake spider web and Jack-o’-lantern won’t exactly spook the neighborhood trick or treaters. If you really want to give the kids a scare this Halloween, set the scene with some frightening fog. All you need is dry ice!

What is dry ice? It’s frozen carbon dioxide and it sublimates from a solid to a gas creating perfectly creepy wisps of cloud.

Learn a bit more about the foggy stuff before attempting the DIY instructions below:

1. Buy a pound of dry ice for enough fog to fill a room.

2. Store in Styrofoam until ready to use. Warning: Sealing dry ice in packaging other than Styrofoam will cause the container to burst from high pressure.
3. Be sure to use gloves or tongs when handling to avoid freezing your fingers: Dry ice can be close to -100 degrees Fahrenheit!
4. Pour warm water over the ice to produce ground-hugging clouds.

5. Put on your monster mask and scare the kids who come knocking your door for candy!

Check out the Answers.com team experimenting with dry ice last week in preparation for Halloween!

Happy Halloween!

Candy, costumes, creatures of the night: Halloween videos from Answers.com!

It’s not enough to hear about Halloween. It’s not enough to read about Halloween. And it sure is fun to play Halloween, but…

You’ve got to watch it… The colors, the costumes, the pumpkin carvings, the buckets of candy.

Especially when you’re trying to get prepared for your Halloween celebrations – the party you’re going to this weekend, how to dress up in this year’s must-have costume, or how to help your kids enjoy trick-or-treating without cramping their candy style.

Obviously all the videos you need to see are available at Answers.com’s VideoAnswers viewing library… Here’s a selection of my personal favorites:

Candy

Baking

Costumes

Decor and More

Happy Halloween everybody! What are you dressing up as? What candy are you handing out? Leave a comment below!

An even better Q&A source than Answers.com.

Not gonna lie – Answers.com has a pretty extensive and well-answered Relationships Q&A category. Not too shabby in the Spelling category, either.

But, admittedly, there is one guru who does it better than we could ever hope to. And he even has his own Questions and Answers show: Ask Oscar.

That’s Oscar the Grouch, the lovable curmudgeon with ‘all the answers to all your questions!’ Give it a watch (and learn about the letter X).

Calling all Chrome users: Click any word on your screen!

I want you to close your eyes…

Now imagine that you are sitting on the beach, reading an article on your laptop. You come across a word in an article you’re not familiar with. You hold down a key and double-click any word on the screen, and you get background information on that word – instantly.

Answers.com offers a non-invasive way to learn more about what you’re reading – first on your desktop, then for IE, followed by Firefox, and now on Chrome:

With Answers.com, you can get instant definitions, background information, images and more when you hold the Ctrl key (Windows/Linux) or Alt key (Mac) and double-click any word in your browser. A small ‘information bubble’ will appear over the word you’ve clicked. You can easily close the bubble when you’re finished, or click ‘Read more’ to go to the full page on Answers.com.

Ready to get started? Go to the install page for the Answers.com Chrome extension.

Also, stop using your laptop on the beach.

Answers.com Français repond a nos questions!

Pardon my French. I’m just excited to share this interview with our very own French Community Coordinator, Julie!

Julie offers her view on Answers.com’s French community, including a description of the contributors who make the site grow.

The original article was published on Rock’n’Social, and you can find it here: Answers.com repond a nos questions. Or try New York French Geek.

If French is not your thing, here are a few excerpts as told by Julie herself (in English):

  • What is the profile of members?
    We have users from a broad spectrum of backgrounds, professionals, students or retired people. Contributors use their job experience, hobbies or interests to channel what they know into a powerful resource, sharing knowledge with hundreds of thousands of people each day. Answers.com is powered by its unique community – where individuals are bolstered by team spirit.
  • What has been the evolution of the wiki in terms of functionality and user experience?
    Over time we have made great strides in functionality on the original English site which has facilitated significant productivity gains among our contributors. We have developed many “batch” tools in the past couple years which make recategorizing, organizing, and policing questions en masse much easier. The Francophone site benefits from these tools.
  • Explain the different categories of contributors:
    The French Answers.com Community is composed of enthusiastic volunteers who are knowledgeable about different things and who come from different backgrounds. They have one thing in common: they want to share their knowledge and help the community in their own way. Volunteer contributors and volunteer Supervisors are the main divisions of the French community right now, although we do have badges for people who do additional things. For instance, people who answer a lot would get a Premier Answerer badge, and people who write category descriptions might get a Green Thumb badge for growing our categories.

Thanks for sharing your insights on Answers.com’s French community, Julie!

blufr gets creepy… with a Halloween bonus category!

Halloween - way or no way?Ghosts, horror films, pumpkins and more… Get your fill of Halloween trivia by playing the newest bonus category on blufr!

Think you’re any good at it? Trick or treat – start with these nuggets:

  • The term “trick-or-treat” is first found in a play by Shakespeare – Way or no way?
  • The famous mask worn by the Michael Myers in the movie Halloween was made from a Captain Kirk mask – Way or no way?
  • The Nordic Vikings introduced Halloween to America – Way or no way?

So, ghoul on over to blufr.com, click Play Mode at the top, choose Halloween – and get bluf’n! Before the candy runs out.

The Community Team has united in NYC…

Fantastic... more than four. But still fantastic!Much like when superheroes hear the call, change into costume, and unite to defend Planet Earth, Answers.com’s Community Team is banding together this week, joining forces in New York City for an in-person gathering of awesome.

That is to say, because many of us are spread out, this week we are meeting face-to-face to talk about the Answers.com community-at-large, burning issues we’d like to solve and new ideas for the coming year.

So there is no traditional Contributor Corner this week, but we’ll be back to our regularly-scheduled program in no time!

Want to get in on the discussion? Leave a comment with your ideas, suggestions, concerns or good wishes and we’ll share it at the meetings this week.

blufr: Not your mama’s trivia game.

Did you know?

You didn’t? Well, maybe that’s because none of it is true…

Or is it?

Introducing blufr, the addictive social trivia game from Answers.com. blufr is not your mama’s jeopardy. Think of it as the place where all the bizarre, odd, random, crazy, funny information from Answers.com gets spiced up and clamped down into bite-size pieces of trivia – which you can decide are true (way!) and which are false (no way!).

And you have to do it better than your friends if you’re going to make it to the top.

It’s a multi-platform game, currently available on the web and for the iPhone (download the iPhone app to your iPhone or iPod Touch). A Facebook app is coming soon.

Want more?

So…

Boxing champion Mike Tyson has a tattoo of tennis star Arthur Ashe.

Way or No way? Play to find out!

Gil talks content, community and traffic at #SMX East.

Gil Reich, VP of Product Management at Answers.com (and blogger wizard behind Managing Greatness), presented today at SMX East in New York City. His presentation covered the kinds of content that get more traffic, where your traffic is coming from, your site’s community and more.

Check it out for yourself – Gil posted a detailed outline of  his talk in his blog post, Search Traffic and Community-Generated Content.

Find out more about the SMX East panel he was on below:

SEO and User-Generated ContentMonday, October 4, 10:45-12:00
The “voice of the customer” can be a dual-edged sword. Positive reviews and comments can help reinforce reputation or even persuade others to buy. Negative feedback can be the kiss of death if it gets out of hand. But ultimately, applying good SEO to user generated content extends the reach of your site and gives you more potential touchpoints with searchers, particularly if you mine your UGC for keyword research. Come see how several sites are turning the (free) content created by their customers into search engine gold.

Gil addresses the SMX audience again on Wednesday, so if you’re in for the conference, make sure to catch his second panel:

Show Me The Links – Wednesday, October 6, 10:30-11:45
Yes, yes. Do a top 10 list. Got it. Attract links with rewards. Heard that. What else you got when it comes to link building? In this session, link builders share real life stories of how they obtained hard-to-get links. Is it the relationships, stupid? Focusing on what matters? Tips and strategies, for the pros.

Want to catch up with Gil between now and Wednesday? Find him on Twitter: @GilR or leave a comment on Managing Greatness.

A Word From Senior Super, Mike…

This week’s Community Corner is brought to you by…

Well, a lot of you know me as Mike or Mike 2.

So what is the real Mike like? I’m a 56-year-old English guy, married with two children and six grandchildren. We have five rescue animals at home – one daft dog, two sensible cats and two tame ferrets. I’m a skilled car mechanic by trade, but now plagued with arthritis. WikiAnswers has been my saviour in keeping me sane when I cannot work, but a lot of people would question my sanity at times. Seriously, helping out on site is a real feel good factor. I enjoy Mentoring and Vandal Patrol the most.

I found the site by accident over two years ago; whoever said accidents are always bad was certainly wrong in this case. My other passion is fishing. Be it a lake, river, canal or pond, if I’m on the bank, everything is good. I can’t remember who first came up with the quote, “Man can’t fish and worry at the same time”. But they were totally correct. Fishing to me is not all about catching; it’s about good company and enjoying the surroundings. I was very lucky a few years back to see a kingfisher dive and return with a small fish in it’s beak. Only last week I witnessed a cygnet take it’s first flight; yes all five feet of it.

So how could I compare the two loves of my life? With the vandal work I do and enjoy, I suppose it could be called WikiFishing. Fishing for, then catching vandals. There are similarities. Both can be a waiting game, and other times I get an instant bite (RSA). The main similarity though is both are very satisfying to do.

To all my colleagues… as a man once said:

“We are not strangers many miles apart, we are friends who have simply never met.”

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