Why librarians are important.

Elisabeth at Web 2.0 newbie diary lends her opinion on librarians participating on Q&A sites like WikiAnswers:

“I think it is very important that libraries get involved in answering questions, so that people remember that this is what we do. The difference in quality between the librarian’s answers and other answers was interesting.”

The WikiAnswers folks couldn’t agree more, as commented by Ksmail, one of WikiAnswers’ top Supervisors. WikiAnswers has become a top destination for the librarians participating in the Slam the Boards project. We hope librarians continue to contribute their knowledge and expertise to the fastest growing wiki Q&A site!

Slam the Boards, WikiAnswers style.

IT Nitwit, blogger at… well, Confessions of an IT Nitwit, discusses an online tradition of librarians from all over: Slam the Boards!

These are no ordinary librarians: They call themselves the Answer Board Librarians, participate in their own wiki and describe their project as the following:

“This is an idea-sharing wiki for librarians who post to answer boards, like Answers.com’s WikiAnswers, Yahoo Answers or Amazon’s Askville. We recognize that these sites can help promote the idea that librarians are active and dynamic participants in the web 2.0 community, and we’re not just waiting for the questions to come in!”

Anyway, IT Nitwit has come to the following conclusion, with which I couldn’t agree more:

“On the basis of a fairly brief look in Yahoo! Answers much of the material is rubbish – the questions are insincere and the answers aren’t much better. Perhaps the fact that I looked under the Environment and Health categories skewed the results. Most questions in Environment were more platforms for expressing an opinion.

WikiAnswers had a much higher standard of questions and answers.”

HealthPricer Post proves this point with a comparison done between Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers. Check out the major difference in the quality and maturity of the answers given.

Of course, there is a lot of work to be done on WikiAnswers, but after finding that the site was the fastest growing U.S. site in 2007 – well, it shouldn’t be too far along from world domination…