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I'm seeing a fundamental problem here. I thought the purpose of a wiki was to be a large information resource for a certain topic. Let's say I wanted to know who acts as Jack on Lost. Well I could browse on over to Lostpedia, click the Jack page, and find out. Or, if the Lost article didn't have this information, I could go on IMDB, find out, and add it.

With an Answers Wiki, I could just type in a question and sit back and let someone else do the work for me. It seems like the Answers Wikis are completely opposite of the wiki way, that is contributing and sharing, and trying to get others to contribute to the information on a wiki about the subject matter. Instead of browsing the information at Lostpedia, and perhaps contributing what I know, I can just ask question after question at an Answers Wiki, and that's not helping anyone. -- LordTBT Talk! 05:02, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

An Answers Wiki is not really a departure from the fundamental definition of a wiki (which according to Wikipedia is "a website that allows the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a WYSIWYG text editor"), it's just another type of site that still fits the strict definition of a wiki. It is certainly different from the wikis we're used to, all influenced by Wikipedia to some degree, but at the end of the day, Answers Wikis are still editable online, so it is still a wiki.
I do know, however, that this is more complex than simply saying "this fits the definition of a wiki; thus, it is a wiki". This will also really depend on what a person perceives a wiki to be, and what is defined as the "wiki way". Is the "wiki way" how Wikipedia does it, or other, smaller wikis who have differing ways of doing things? Perception also is important for the "purpose" of a wiki. Is a wiki's purpose purely to be a large information resource on a topic? Or can it be used for other purposes, like personal or business wikis?
What I am trying to say is, a wiki doesn't have to be strictly a site with a couple of articles detailing a subject. Like all mediums, wikis need to be flexible and adapt to a variety of needs. It's true that Answers Wikis do encourage some to simply create a whole lot of questions. But isn't it also true that contributors do this for "normal" wikis as well, in the form of creating dozens of stubs? The 888th Avatar (talk) 06:55, April 22, 2010 (UTC)
But it would be redundant to have an Answer Wiki and as LordTBT says, it's not really helping readers; if you're interested in a particular subject (let's say Jack from Lost in this case or searching for Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs), you would have to make the effort to browse the wiki dedicated to that subject (by browsing in Lostpedia or Psychology Wiki). Answer Wiki, to me, is simply like spoon-feeding readers with answers that is so simple/easy to obtain with several clicks and keyboard taps away...- 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 12:19, April 22, 2010 (UTC)
Right. I saw the Glee Wiki Spotlight, and then I saw the Glee Answers Wiki Spotlight, and was trying to figure out how sending people to ask questions was helpful when really all they had to do was click around Glee Wiki. People are asking questions that have answers on the content-based wikis. -- LordTBT Talk! 19:09, April 22, 2010 (UTC)
That is the case with many of the questions over at the main Answers Wikia site. A simple search around the home wiki would have provided answers to nearly all of the questions asked. --Whiteguru 21:33, April 22, 2010 (UTC)Whiteguru
Exactly...which is why I'm struggling with the whole thing. -- LordTBT Talk! 04:30, April 23, 2010 (UTC)

Answer wikis are there for the purpose of SEO(search engine optimization). People type questions into google, yahoo, bing and Wikia like other companies wants to be on the top of the search results. The best way is to have the exact question be the article name, hence all of these answer wikis. A normal wiki might have part of the question in the article text, but unless that wiki has a lot of links to it, it will show up below a page that has the exact question as a name. So, if you want more people to come to your wiki, it would be in your interest to ask questions as well, just make sure that when you answer the question you point to the related page on the main content wiki.--Sxerks 22:15, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

I don't think many people Google questions nowadays. I simply Google the topic instead. Googling questions would be comparable to running Windows on a TI-89. You might get somewhere, but not far, I'll tell you. For two, once such a thing such as the Semantic Web exists, Answers Wikis will be largely obsolete, but I suppose that's another topic that can go elsewhere. RAN1 (talkcontributions) 03:25, April 23, 2010 (UTC)
Then what you're saying is that they're stealing readers/editors away from the content wikis, which is inherently unfair to wikis which have content that needs development. -- LordTBT Talk! 04:30, April 23, 2010 (UTC)
Let's be honest, Answer Wikis attracts unwanted guests than it is to actually help readers/users. It's the internet and it's inevitable.- 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 11:14, April 23, 2010 (UTC)
My experience is that if I Google topics which form questions, Wikianswers tends to come up the top of the search results. With regard to the unwanted guests, yes, this happens and only happens when no one is administering an answers wikia. They need to be dealt with, and quickly. Unfortunately, most of those who put their opinions in as replies are ignorant of pre-existing policies about appropriate questions. Guests can come and ask what they like; admins should oversight what is happening.--Whiteguru 21:38, April 23, 2010 (UTC)Whiteguru
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