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service is an information-sharing tool launched in 2002 for Naver
Naver is a popular search portal in South Korea, with a market share of over 70%, compared to 2% for Google. Naver was launched in June 1999 by ex-Samsung employees, and it debuted as the first Web portal in South Korea that used its own proprietary search engine...
users. The tool allows users to ask just about any question, such as how to cook "ramen
is a Japanese noodle dish. It consists of Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a meat- or fish-based broth, often flavored with soy sauce or miso, and uses toppings such as , , kamaboko, green onions, and occasionally corn...
" or how to subscribe to international magazines via the Internet, and get answers from other users. In this way, Knowledge Search was an early example of harnessing user-generated content
User generated content covers a range of media content available in a range of modern communications technologies. It entered mainstream usage during 2005 having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles...
to expand the amount of information available in the web, particularly in the Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...
. Bradley Horowitz, Vice President of Product Strategy at Yahoo!, has cited the South Korean experience with knowledge search as the inspiration for Yahoo! Answers
Yahoo! Answers is a community-driven question-and-answer site or a knowledge market launched by Yahoo! on June 28, 2005 that allows users to both submit questions to be answered and answer questions asked by other users...
, which was launched three years after Naver introduced the original service. As of January 2008 the Knowledge Search database included more than 80 million pages of user-generated information.
has four sub-categories:
- Knowledge Q&A allows for general questions about anything
- Local Q&A allows people to ask for local information such as good restaurants, cheap stores, and real estate.
- Agony Q&A is for people seeking advice on relationships, love, career, and sex (with anonymous posting enabled.) While Knowledge Q&A and Local Q&A provide factual answers, Agony Q&A usually returns more opinionated responses.
- Open Dictionary is a database of informative articles generated by users. Users can create an article alone, or enable other users to collaborate to create a thread of articles on the same subject. In addition, the user may add his or her own answers from Knowledge Q&A to Open Dictionary.