Questions & Answers linking

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The question and answer format of information has been ever present on the web, from the first FAQ to the more sophisticated community approaches of e.g. GetSatisfaction to Hunch.   An now the NLP – semantic web – machine automation startups are entering the fray, Swingly has opened its beta doors.

I’ve not used the service yet but this article provides a good insight into the thinking behind the service.  The state they are a ‘web scale answer engine’ or a ‘micro local’ search engine.  But the key is the automation provided by NLP to classify and connect factual answers to questions.  I am never sure what factual answers are, WolframAlpha use the term too, things like the laws of physics that resolve to precise meaning or number.  In the world of life, things are a bit less definitive I always think.  The Swingly service talks about addressing trustworthiness and getting the most up to date data to build a social graph (much like Klout.com does for influence)  but I think in the end,  transparency over the linking logic builds trust.  I foresee much more innovation in this area.

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