I recently received an e-mail to check out an early look of Askville, a questions and answers website created by Amazon.com. Right away, I can tell you that this startup could very much compete head-on with Yahoo! Answers. However, the advantage that Yahoo! has over Amazon.com is that Yahoo! has a lot more users. Will that hinder Askville from taking off? Not likely.
The questions that are showing up on Amazon.com tend to revolve around consumer devices. For example, dwdrums2032 asks, “Why are digital cameras much morsensative to movement than 35mm was?”
There is a big box with a cursor at the top of the page where users can ask any question, but there is a 120 character limit for the title. As a user becomes more proactive on the webiste, they are assigned points. The points will then determine how reliable that user is in submitting answers. Amazon.com user IDs work as the login.
Questions last 7 days if nobody answers them. Questions receive a maximum of 5 answers. Each answer can be voted for on a 1-5 scale, 1 for Great and 5 for Awful.
Widgets for the service are available too. Users can add favorite videos from Google Video, Bolt.com, and YouTube. A Google Map can also be implemented to see where the user answering the question is coming from. Amazon.com provides a widget as well to display a picture of the product that one may have a question about.
The points earned are called Quest Coins. The Askville team is currently figuring out ways to redeem prizes with Quest Coins being the currency.
The Askville Blog is available at: http://askville-blog.amazon.com/
 Amazon.com: Askville
 Askville Blog