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By Clarence B. Smith, sports editor

“Nobody – but nobody – needs 8,630,400 pages that mention [a topic].” Answers.com says. “We save you time by providing a topic-based snapshot answer rather than thousands of pages that contain your word in some context.”

According to Answers.com, “Ever since the early search engines emerged in the mid-1990s, Web users have been trained to accept a single-search paradigm. A query for a word or phrase returns a long list of links to other Web pages that contain the search term. These results are often overwhelming, inaccurate, or even inappropriate.

“ In contrast, Answers.com delivers…multifaceted definitions and explanations from credible, attributable references sources on over one million topics in our database.”

The editors of Answers.com select content from over 100 encyclopedias, dictionaries, glossaries, and atlases, which are “carefully chosen for breadth and quality.”

Among these media is the wildly popular Wikipedia engine (wiki, from the Hawaiian word meaning “quick,” and pedia from “encyclopedia”). Wikis, in technical terms, are Web applications that allow users to add content, as on an Internet forum, but also allow others to edit the content. Such an expanse of information makes writing research notes a lot easier.

Answers.com has also introduced a free, innovative program called 1-Click Answers™. This add-on allows users to hold down the ALT-key and click any word in any program on their screen for instant, accurate facts. Its formal model, GuruNet, was a $29.99 subscription service.

Founded in 1999 by Bob Rosenschein, Answers Corporation develops and markets Answers.com. Statistics on their site show that since the beginning of the 2005 school season, average daily user queries, including weekends, have increased by about 20 percent to approximately 2.1 million, compared to 1.7 million reported for June.


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