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Features: Israeli startup Yedda emerged from stealth mode in August 2006. (Yedda is the Hebrew word for knowledge. Originally, the company was to be called Yadda, as in “yadda, yadda, yadda,” but the domain name was taken.) In appearance and function, Yedda is pretty much the same as AnswerBag and Live QnA, but because it’s new, it has a smaller database of questions and answers. There’s one feature, however, that makes Yedda different from the other Q&A services: the site encourages members to name the topics they know best, such as travel or electronics. They can then elect to receive e-mails, instant messages, or RSS feeds notifying them about new questions tagged with those topics. Theoretically, this system draws in the best-qualified answerers for each question. In practice, however, I couldn’t see much difference between the answers at Yedda and those at Live QnA, Yahoo Answers, or the other sites. Points: 2

Is there any truth to the five-second rule? Yedda had no wisdom to share on this urgent public-health matter. Points: 0

Why did the Mormons settle in Utah? I received one answer to this question at Yedda. But it focused on why the settlers left their original homes, not on why they picked Utah. Points: 1

What is the best way to make a grilled cheese sandwich? Only one Yedda user tackled this question. Her answer was charming: “There is no BEST way. It’s the cheese that makes the difference. I’d use sharp colby or similar … My daughter puts sliced tomatoes inside … As for me, I like to use 2 slices of bread. Spread feta cheese on each, put yellow cheese on top of the one and cover with the other. Enjoy and use your imagination.” Points: 1

Total points: 4

Can any site in the social Q&A space catch up with my clear winner, Yahoo Answers? Not as long as so many Yahoo users hang around the site answering questions from complete strangers. It’s important to realize that the social Q&A sites are intended as much for the entertainment and aggrandizement of the answerers as for the education of the questioners. The site that gives answerers the most exposure, therefore, is likely to be the one that thrives the longest.

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