More Questions and Answers: Windows Live Answers

windowslivelogo.gifSharp eyed Spaces users (like Chris, below ;)) may have noticed a couple of new modules that appeared briefly, only to disappear (for now), "Questions Asked", and "Questions Answered". (They have disappeared as well from the Australian version of Spaces, which is currently rolling out an expansion into social networking.) These are part of a not yet officially announced Windows Live service called "Windows Live Answers".

This new community site, with it's Spaces tie-in, will allow Windows Live users to pose questions (unanswered via search), have them answered by other users, be able to rate answers by others, and be rewarded for answering questions and having the best answer, as rated by other users. Details on this supplement to search and the reward system are currently unclear, but the new credit/point/rewards are alluded to when Moz Hussain talks about "answering good questions in community q & a" in our recent interview with him. Moz described "rewarding users" as a pillar of what's to come in the upcoming months with Spaces, saying

"as our infrastructure for being able to actually pay out to users to give them points and rewards, etcetera, starts developing – we will be able to give people more reward and credit for their contributions to the community. If they are driving traffic, if they are engaging people, if they are writing good content, if they are answering good questions in community q & a – all of these things we can actually reward those users much more effectively"

This ties in as well with the revamped version of Passport, soon to be Windows Live ID, and Windows Live Account Services, which will presumably handle the rewards accounting – although this, too, is currently unclear. The newly rebuilt account and ID services, as Trevin hints at in his post on Live ID, are being built with this new infrastructure in mind. LiveSide expects that this is only the beginning for a new tier of services based around rewards integration.