Breaking: Google Launches Egabat: A Different Arabic Successor to Google Answers
Google had google Answers a questions and answers community site that was based on paying researchers , however that service was shutdown in 2006. In the Arab world Google just entered again the Q&A market with Google Egabat which is still in Beta. (Egabat means answers in Arabic)
Egabat differs than Google Answers mainly that anyone can answer and there are no cash payments for good answers instead points and karama that encourage participations. So the more the user answers and the more his/her answers are rated as “good” the more points he will get thus being able to answer more.
Egabat also competes with Yahoo!Maktoob’s Seen Jeem (Arabic for Q & A) but it has different features, like you can subscribe to Q&A categories, or bookmark a question. One more difference is that when answering a question Google uses it powerful search engine to get references from around the web: blogs, urls, videos, news, books, and maps. All you have to do is type the name and hit search.
Like Yahoo answer which has no Arabic version, Google Egabat also comes with a user profile that is similar to users profile. Though unlike Yahoo Answers, In Egabat users can send questions directly to other users.
All in All Egabat has a simple interface -like all Google products-, already has an active community, has nice notifications system, email or on site, and other features that puts it on top when compared to Seen Jeem. But not being realtime the service does not really satisfy my taste.
We are in the realtime world, we want things right way, work cannot wait for an answer that comes hours or days later, we want it now. And to be honest my friend Mahmoud Mehiar founder of Feedoor and MailPacks suggested several months ago to me to launch a realtime Q&A service but in English. We thought of using AI to determine where to rout the question in realtime via twitter, but dropped it after I learned about Vark which was in beta at the time. Vark enables realtime Q&A via Gtalk, it scans your facebook profile to determine which topics you would be an expert in and routs you questions based on that to you, only from your facebook friends or friends of theirs.
Saying that Egabat is new and in beta, I expect more things to be added to it, here is a video that Google made abut Egabat: