The latest version of the changes in the social media landscape has been released. Looking at Altimeter Group‘s Brian Solis report on Mashable, one sees an increase in the social media categories and the number of players in each of these. Here we look at the Question-and-Answer category:

Quora – Quora is a question and answer website where users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to other user’s answers. Quora’s used by a lot of youngsters these days to Q&A on interesting topics pertaining latest trends, technology, colleges, etc.

LinkedIn Answers – It is a feature on LinkedIn as opposed to other Q&A website that are solely made for the purpose. All the users are LinkedIn members, and the topics are usually business-oriented and or work related as LinkedIn is a social networking website for people in a professional occupation. As of January 31, 2013, the LinkedIn Answers feature is no longer supported.

Answers.com – One of the first websites to explore the idea of Q&A portals, its idea was incepted in 1996 and finally crystallized by Bob Rosenschein in 1999 as GruNet (now Answers Corporation). Answers.com has an extensive user base and a wide range of questions.

Mahalo Answers – Setup in December 2008 Mahalo Answers is a service started by Mahalo.com and allows a user to ask and answer questions. Mahalo Answers also allows questioners to give monetary rewards called ‘tips’ to the most helpful response encouraging users to answer and help people. These financial rewards can be purchased in the form of “Mahalo dollars”.

Yahoo Answers – It was one of the most famous Q&A platforms, started by Yahoo! In June 2005, it’s available in 12 languages, it was created to replace their previous platform ‘Ask Yahoo!‘. Yahoo Answers allows users to be rewarded with points determining a users ‘Level’ giving him/her certain status in the community. These points can not be monetized or can not be bought. E.g., ‘When drafting a professional resume for potential employment, what emphasis is placed..?

Wiki AnswersWiki Answers uses wiki technology and fundamentals, allowing communal ownership and editing of content meaning users can post and edit the questions and answers. It is an ad-supported wiki-based website. WikiAnswers.com uses an Alternates System – where every answer can have dozens of different questions that “trigger” it. When a problem is similar to an existing one, they are joined as alternatives. This helps prevent duplicate entries. E.g., ‘How can you pay off your student loan if you live overseas?

All Experts – Allexperts, created in early 1998, was the very first large-scale question and answer service on the net. They have a list of experts listed on their site to be easily approachable. E.g., ‘David Richardson – Heart & Cardiology Expert.’