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Amazon Askville

John Federico

This morning I received an invitation to Amazon Askville, a free question and answer marketplace that is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon.com.

"Marketplace" might be the wrong descriptor as it's free to ask or answer a question. However, participants do earn "Experience Points" which allows them to build a reputation within this community.

Of course, not all members of the community are equal at all times. The concept of earning (and learning) "Superpowers" shifts the whole Q & A marketplace concept to that of a game.

1. What are superpowers?

Superpowers are special powers and privileges that users can use on Askville. To be eligible to get superpowers you must reach at least level 1 in any topic (you do this by answering enough questions, which will earn you experience points, in a topic to reach level 1). Whenever you reach a new level, you will have the ability to learn additional superpowers for that level. For example, once you have reached level 2 in any topic you will be allowed to learn a maximum of two "level 1" superpowers and one "level 2" superpower (see chart here).

We currently offer two Superpowers in both Level 1 and Level 2:


  • Voting Authority Superpower (Level 1 & 2)

  • Coin Earning Multiplier Superpower (Level 1 & 2)

Surprisingly, Amazon is trying to monetize the site using Google AdSense. I'm assuming this is because their ClickRiver Ads system is optimized for the Amazon.com ecommerce store.

The site is in direct competition with Yahoo! Answers.

[tags]Amazon Askville, Amazon, Amazon.com, Yahoo Answers, Questions, Answers, Google AdSense[/tags]