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Dedicated to Clay Johnson, founder of
Press Stories

GOLD STAR SITES - Sept 2000 - Yahoo Internet Life

Finding An Expert:  - Overall Rating: C
More accurately, they find you—maybe. Questions aren't posed directly but posted on subject- specific boards. There's little activity on many, and you can't post to more than one at a time.

Getting Your Answer:  Rating  C-
Any user can answer any question, so KnowPost has a certain chatroom feel to it. We got some helpful responses and a lot of not-so- helpful commentary.

Quality Control:  Rating  C
KnowPost tries to discourage low-quality answers by deducting points from users who get poor feedback. But this system punishes only the worst responses, not the many mediocre ones.

Extras:  Rating  D+
Don't have a question? You can post riddles and polls. These features only strengthen the chatroom likeness. More useful would be a way to search archived questions by keyword.


Web Know-It-Alls
"Knowpost quickly became my favorite site because I felt as if I was talking to real people with a sense of humor instead of a bunch of brainiac know-it-alls. "

Suddenly, Everybody's an Expert on Everything
"Sure, it can result in heartwarming interactions with people who want to help for purely altruistic reasons. But it also means coping with people who have real needs to make money, who have real desires to build reputations, or who, at the worst, have real delusions about whether they know what they are talking about."

Knowledge is king - Got a question?, a "knowledge community" launched last year, may have the answer. The site's creators call it an "an organic community built and operated by the community itself." knows Web's answers
(Online Copy Not available, but click the link to see Clay's Picture!)

 Ask An Expert and Get Free Answers
"KnowPost asks you to vote on the quality of the responses you get to your question, and awards credits based on your feedback. This provides an interesting incentive, as the experts compete to accumulate credits to earn a coveted spot in KnowPost's Top 100 Experts list."

  The Answer Man Turned Salesman
"Johnson heavily promotes his volunteers' contemplative responses to 'What is the meaning of life?' Such questions are harder to link a product to than, say, 'What's a good introduction to jazz?' But the question blend is also critical to attracting site participants' interest. 'KnowPost is this hybrid blend of a game, a reference tool, and a search engine,' says Johnson."

At Least You Can Ask
"Here's a site that is easy to use to get information and it appears designed for those who enjoy the camaraderie of the chat room."

Cool Tool of the Day
"So you think you're so smart? Show us who's boss and belly on up to the challenge at KnowPost! Who's yer daddy? We know..."

 The Brain Strikes Back
"Any business model that permits answering questions for free will be the true information gold mine."

Member's Comments About the Time Story:

KnowPost in Time Magazine! Check out the article and let me know what you think.
(Answers 1 through 11 of 11)

Answer by cyndy10 on 2.14.00 2:02 PM
This, OF COURSE, is my favorite line from the article...:

..."Knowpost quickly became my favorite site because I felt as if I was talking to real people with a sense of humor instead of a bunch of brainiac know-it-alls..."

I liked it, but it would be better if we were not compared to/with those other sites. I don't think they are in the same class as we are, but I *might* be prejudiced...

Answer by taragl on 2.14.00 2:26 PM
Thanks for the URL -- I'll print it and add it to my growing collection of KnowPost press. I'm very proud of us -- everyone keep those great answers coming to impress the press!!! (Not to mention to add to that vast database of knowledge...)

Answer by LLDY on 2.14.00 2:57 PM
Three cheers for KnowPost!! I agree with Cyndy about that line:

"Knowpost quickly became my favorite site because I felt as if I was talking to real people with a sense of humor instead of a bunch of brainiac know-it-alls."

Isn't that what made us all stay here in the first place?

 Answer by mamie on 2.14.00 4:00 PM
I loved it! Although I liken the feeling to all of us sitting around a large table in a bar with a frosty pitcher of beer in the center rather than a back fence. But she did catch the essence nicely. And I love that she used a question that I answered in her description!! Bravo, cjoh!

Answer by savia on 2.14.00 6:08 PM
much better than the new york times, who barely bothered to address KP at all, and totally ignored the friendly feel here! most excellent! and likely to have a great impact. we should have plenty of wonderful questions flooding in soon!

Answer by hismel on 2.14.00 6:14 PM
Way cool publicity! Just shows to go ya, we are lovable, reliable and sometimes even right!
Chow mein noodles? yuk. Try coconut. And do people actually floss their teeth in public??

Answer by Ingrid on 2.14.00 7:49 PM
How exciting to be written about in a major publication!! I love the comment about Knowpost being her favorite and her comment about the Knowpost people and their sense of humor. All these question and answer sites with all the degreed experts may have great answers, but I believe it's the personality of KP as a whole that keeps people online for so long at a time and keeps the Newbies coming back. Thanks for the link!

Answer by heyteach on 2.14.00 8:22 PM
Nice find, gang! I answered a couple of those questions myself, so that was nice. However, where the ball got dropped a bit is in the quality of the questions--

What is the meaning of life?

Well, all answers she received were just fine--what is the question ASKING for, really?
You can ask a reference librarian a question like that and, if it's early in the day or she has an abundance of patience, she might NOT wrap her fingers around your windpipe and apply a gentle pressure :)

I answered the death penalty question, for example, and gave the website with current info. This is what would be done if she had asked the researchers at Time the question or the fact checkers to verify the info--the answer with a quality source. I think I did the meaning of life one, too, but clearly handled two questions 180 degrees apart differently--one there was ONLY one correct answer; the other is philosophical--do you give a higher rating to Nietzsche, Kant, Socrates, Aristotle, who? There is no such thing as an expert in life--or philosophy. Just having lived long or read a lot does not an expert make.

At least this was a fairer review than the hit and run from before :)
And Tara, just where all are we getting written up? Don't tell me I need to comb my hair before I sit down to the old computer! LOL.

Answer by AmyLeigh on 2.14.00 8:42 PM
I'm so proud of all of us!!!

That is what makes us better than the rest, we're a community. The other sites are just questions and answers. We're that and so much more. I too have checked out the other sites and they cannot even come close to what Knowpost is.

Answer by jennb on 2.15.00 12:44 AM
Was thrilled to find the article, to print it out to show to friends not yet familiar with knowpost. Some folks visit based soley upon my suggestion . . . others take more motivation. Press such as this should do the trick! What's next, KP? . . . Looking forward to the future with you!! Congratulations on the good press! I am grateful to be a part of the great KP Community . . . I also agree . . . it's "my favorite!"

Answer by jbum on 2.14.00 1:44 PM
Before you buy the magazine, make sure the article is in it. It's not immediately clear to me that the article is in the printed version of the magazine; it may just be in

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