Heard the term Web 2.0 thrown around a bit? Kind of know but not exactly sure what it means? Allow me to explain. In short, Web 2.0 sites are second-generation of Internet-based services where the users provide the content and collaborate. In other words, companies provide the idea and the platform while users provide the content. It’s probably the new dot bomb, and I’m sure many of them will be going under within the year, but like the Internet wave of the late ninties, there will certainly be a few successes. Israel’s hi-tech industry is primarily focused on R&D, but a few notable Israeli dotcoms have had success, ICQ and Shopping.com for example. The question for you readers: Do any of the myriad of Israeli Web 2.0 companies have what it takes to make it big time? Time will tell, that’s for sure. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be taking a look at some of the more promising Israeli Web 2.0 startups. We’ll call it “The Israel 2.0 Project” because it sounds cool to call it that.
Today we take a look at Yedda. Yedda is the Hebrew word for knowledge and the folks at Yedda.com provide a platform for users to share knowledge with one another. It’s sort of like Yahoo answers on crack. It’s a place to not only ask questions, but to answer them as well. As a registered user, you provide a few tags (keywords for you Web 1.0 folks) in the areas that you deem yourself an expert in. For example, I’m an expert in…er….nothing. But that didn’t stop me from entering the tags “Israel,” “Vietnam,” “Music” “Arthritis” and “WW2,” five areas where I feel I’m more knowledgeable than your average Yossi Shmoe. Whenever someone asks a question about any of my topics, I recieve an email notification and am invited to answer. I recieved notifcations for two questions: Who is your favorite Jazz saxophonist? as well as “Most embarrassing band you’ve ever liked?” I’m an Internet agoraphobe and generally hate people, so I didn’t answer. I posed my own question four days ago in preparation of this series: How many Web 2.0 companies have been developed in Israel? Sadly, I didn’t recieve a response and had to go to google for my answers. However, that doesn’t mean that Yedda is useless. Far from it. Folks are getting questions answered about Home Improvement projects, ipods, photography and even relationships. Although, I’m fairly certain that folks that need to use a community website for relationship advice probably step away from their computers a bit more often. Others ask more practical questions that are easily answered such as “Is there a God?”
While I find myself having a good time fiddling around with Yedda, I think most answers I am looking for can be found substantially quicker via other means. A site like this is only as good as its users and it seems that since its launch a few months ago Yedda’s knowledge base is slowly but surely increasing. However, in the meantime, when I want answers that don’t require someone’s opinion or personal experience. I’ll most likely be heading towards wikipedia or google. That’s not going to keep me from asking the occasional question though. Speaking of which, anyone have an experience with recaulking a bathtub?
UPDATE: Moments after posting this I recieved an answer to my first Yedda question. The answer can be found here.