When Jimmy Wales & co earlier this year quietly added Wikianswers to the host of products launched under the Wikia umbrella, we weren’t the only ones who were skeptical about its potential to make waves. Did the Internet really need yet another Q&A site, we wondered?
We already have dozens of those, including popular sites like WikiAnswers.com (not affiliated with the Wikia service but with a terribly confusing name resemblance), Yahoo Answers, Mahalo Answers, Linkedin Answers (anyone else spotting a naming pattern?) and a plethora of similar services. Wikia thought there was room for one more regardless and was going to try and make a difference by focusing on an open, freely licensed community where copyright remains with the user who submits the content at all times.
And unlike Wikia Search, the startup’s disappointing attempt at creating a crowd-sourced search engine experience that was shut down by the company a couple of months ago, Wikianswers seems to have gotten a bit of traction with that strategy. Wikia CEO Gil Penchina tells us Wikianswers recently hit some significant milestones: the site apparently now boasts 200,000 questions of which 50,000 are answered, and it’s generating a healthy 1 million page views per month.
Granted, this is still a far cry from the traffic some of its more established competitors are seeing – comScore pegs WikiAnswers.com at 79 million monthly page views in the U.S. alone and Yahoo! Answers at 4x that, for example – but Wikia of course only launched its Q&A service about half a year ago.
Much too early to tell if Wikianswers will prove to be a winner for the company, but the current milestones suggest its future may at the very least be a lot brighter than the ill-fated Wikia Search service ever was.