Measuring effectiveness and user satisfaction in Yahoo! Answers

  • Chirag Shah Rutgers University
Keywords: Social Q&A, Social information seeking


Social question-answering services such as Yahoo! Answers (YA) are becoming highly prominent venues for online information seeking. While their immense popularity indicates their success, there is a need to measure how effective these services are and how satisfactory information they provide to the information seekers. To study these questions of effectiveness and user satisfaction, we collected a large amount of data from YA. For operationalizing these two constructs, we considered the amount of time lapsed between a question being asked and answered, and the asker choosing an answer to be satisfying, respectively. Using data mining, we show that the majority of the questions on YA get at least one answer within a few minutes, however, it takes longer to receive an answer that satisfies the asker. We also demonstrate that the sooner an answer appears for a question, the higher chances it has being selected as the best answer by the asker.

Author Biography

Chirag Shah, Rutgers University
Assistant Professor School of Communication & Information (SC&I) Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
How to Cite
Shah, C. (2011). Measuring effectiveness and user satisfaction in Yahoo! Answers. First Monday, 16(2).