Real-time Q&A and Fact-checking
Erisk Schonfeld notes in Techcrunch that Answers.com has started answering questions on Twitter, if you direct your question to @AnswersDotCom. They join the ranks of @Answer, @Blurtit, @ChaCha, @Lazytweet, @twithelpme, @Vark and some others that I am sure I am overlooking. (Maybe I should ask one of those services if I left out anyone?) In any case … real-time answers are coming into their own.
In a potentially related article, Craig Newmark writes in the Huffington Post about Trust, Factchecking, and the News Media Landscape to Come. He notes the increase in fact-checking led by folks like PolitiFact, FactCheck.org , the Sunlight Foundation, and Jon Stewert. I don’t know about you, but it does seem to me that I’ve noticed an increase in fact-checking, especially of politicians, in the last several months.
One problem, however, is that fact-checking takes time. Given our culture’s attention span and the onslaught of the real-time stream its hard for the corrections to catch up with the distortions. How do we accelerate fact-checking? Or maybe if we can’t accelerate it , how can we amplify it? Real-time Q&A and conversation services have the potential to be a very useful tool in that quest.