Stealth Israeli Startup Yedda Launches

The last time we took a look at Israeli startup Yedda was in January 2006. Today they’ve left private beta and are allowing anyone to use the service.

Yedda is a question and answer service, comparable to Yahoo Answers, Wondir, Google Answers and Oyogi. With the exception of Google Answers, all of these services, including Yedda, are free, and go to great effort to leverage the community to ensure quality answers.

Yahoo Answers seems to have gotten the model mostly right, and they announced the 10 millionth answer back in May (a recent email from Yahoo says they are up to 30 million answers, and Comscore says they had 14.3 million unique visitors in July). Oyogi and Wondir seem to be in a traffic funk, while Google will have a very hard time competing based on their pricing model. Note that wondir may also be changing their business model – see the notice linked from this page.

Yedda is doing a number of things differently than the other guys, and one feature in particular stands out. If you would like to answer questions, you can register, via tags, on topics that you feel you are qualified to discuss. Yedda will then reach out to you via email (or RSS or IM) when questions come in that you might want to answer. I’ve registered myself under a few different topics, and it seems to me that I’m more likely to read an email asking for my help than remember to go to the site and browse for questions. That may give this small startup the edge it needs to carve out a successful niche for itself.

Another feature I like is that they allow users to post questions of any length, and include pictures. The other services don’t allow this. Yedda also has a flat hierarchy (v. Yahoo Answers, which forces a category assignment), and tag suggestions based on a semantic analysis of the question. Finally, they will keep a question “fresh” until answered. What all this means: Yedda is making a real effort to help people get questions answered, and then using those completed questions in the future to help others.

If there is room for an independent service in this space, Yedda may be in a good position to win.

Give it a try. There is already some good beta user content on the site. A good place to start is to review the questions about Yedda itself, here.