Posted October 19, 2006 10:10 am by with 0 comments

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Amazon is apparently inviting select customers to join a new community it is calling Askville, according to overstated.

As a valued Amazon customer, you’ve been specially picked to get an early look at a new website called Askville where you can ask any question on any topic and get real answers from real people. It’s new, and best of all, it’s free!

While Google Answers was the first, Yahoo Answers has grown the fastest, simply because, unlike Google, Yahoo doesn’t make a charge for each question. Amazon takes the “free” format a step further, by actually offering rewards to those who ask and answer questions.

These “answer” services are clearly all about community participation; the more a user feels a part of the site, the more likely they are to return. Google bet on the wrong horse – deciding to monetize the Q&A system – and has so far failed to capture the momentum Yahoo has. Could Amazon’s rewarded Q&A service trump Yahoo?