Newspapers long ago found that readers liked a question-and-answer format on issues, and FAQs online have been with us from day one (particularly, it seems, for troubleshooting chapters in hardware and software manuals, instead of a live troubleshooter at the end of a phone line --- but I digress).
Now Hitwise is reporting a spectacular growth in another, broader iteration of this theme: the user-generated question-and-answer site. Peer-shared knowledge is a booming field, with U.S. visits up some 889 per cent over two years. When we can reach out to a community for answers, we do.
Yahoo! Answers has a strong market edge, with nearly three-quarters of the share, but watch out for WikiAnswers, which only launched last June and appears to be drafting off the Wikipedia brand quite successfully in the early going. It has commanded 18 per cent of the market in a matter of months.