Type of site
|Launched||December 8, 2006|
|Current status||Inactive as of October 25, 2013|
Unlike Google Answers (2002–2006), Askville were designed to run much like a computer game. Users would gain or lose "experience points" in particular topics if their answers were good. Users also received "quest gold" by asking and answering questions, and by voting on the worth of other people's answers. Those coins could be redeemed for items in an Askville store.
Also unlike other question-answer sites, Askville evolved into a social community as well as an information site. This was primarily due to the discussion boards, where "Askvillians" entered into long discussions sparked by individual questions. Though sparked by the questions, discussions often took on a personality of their own. No "experience points" or "quest gold" were awarded for discussions, but many Askvillians came to value the give-and-take, the bickering, and especially the supportive friendships made there.
There were a variety of topics for questions, many user created. Besides answering factual and opinion questions, members could help others identify a book remembered from childhood or find a special recipe.
In August 2008, members of the Askville community complained of a lack of moderation and participation from the Askville administrators. In response, Askville appointed a community manager to track and handle user feedback, and the site management made a commitment to more effectively enforce their policies. The voting system underwent a major revision, including the addition of anonymous voting.
In December 2008, Amazon announced that work on Questville, a planned addition to Askville, would be postponed indefinitely. In 2011, Amazon filed a new trademark application on Questville, and reactivated the Questville blog.
On March 23, 2012, staff announced that after almost seven years, Askville Bonus questions would cease being offered to Amazon Mechanical Turk in early April 2012 due to a change in operating strategies. On April 13, 2012, Askville staff posted a "Farewell from Askville Team".
Askville launched the Askville Awards in April 2009. These awards were an attempt by Askville to reward its longstanding and active members and motivate the newer members. There were several different awards, including the Veteran Award and the Orientation Award. The former was for members who had been with Askville for a year or more, and the latter was for the members who were new to the site. Awards showed up on the public profiles of all members.
- "Welcome To Askville". Amazon.com, Inc. 2006-12-08. Archived from the original on 2008-09-06. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
- "Askville". Retrieved 2014-01-16.
- Wahlgren, Eric (March 20, 2001). "Legacies of the Dot-Com Revolution". Business Week. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
- "Experience Points, Levels, and Quest Gold". Askville FAQ. Retrieved 2008-03-05.
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- "Community Guideline Improvements" Archived December 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine. AskvilleMayor, August 5, 2008. Askville Blog.
- Sherman, Erik (April 6, 2011). "Is Amazon Resurrecting Questville, Its Q&A Online Game Concept?". CBS News. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
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- "Askville Awards". Askville Blog. 2009-04-20. Archived from the original on 2009-04-28.