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Social Question Asking Does Anyone Want to Learn How to Get Questions Answered?. Jaime Teevan with M. R. Morris, D. J. Liebling, K. Panovich, J. Yang, L. Adamic , M. Ackerman, B. Hecht, D. Gergle. ?. What should I talk about at dub?. Questions About Questions.

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social question asking does anyone want to learn how to get questions answered

Social Question AskingDoes Anyone Want to Learn How to Get Questions Answered?

Jaime Teevan

with M. R. Morris, D. J. Liebling, K. Panovich, J. Yang, L. Adamic, M. Ackerman, B. Hecht, D. Gergle

slide2

?

What should I talk about at dub?

questions about questions
Questions About Questions
  • What questions do people ask their social network?
    • What type of questions do people ask? About what?
    • Which questions get answered?
    • How can someone ask an effective question?
  • Why do people ask questions of their network?
    • What motivates question asking and answering?
    • Why would someone ask versus search?
    • How can tools help find the best answers?
what question do people ask
What Question Do People Ask?

What type of questions are asked about what?

Which questions get answered?

How can someone ask an effective question?

survey of status message asking
Survey of Status Message Asking
  • Have you used a status message to ask a question?
    • Frequency of asking, question types, responses received, why?
    • Provide an example
  • Have you answered a status message question?
    • Why or why not?
    • Provide an example
  • Participants: 624 Microsoft employees
    • Follow-up: 933 from four cultures (US, UK, China, India)
overview of asking and answering
Overview of Asking and Answering
  • Asking status message questions
    • Half of participants reported asking questions
  • Answering status message questions
    • 3 out of 4 participants had seen a question
    • Almost all who had also answered questions
  • Cultural variation in overall behavior
    • China and India asked and answered more questions
    • Questions seen as more important than in US and UK
consistencies in question wording
Consistencies in Question Wording
  • Questions short (75 characters, 1 sentence)
  • 18.5% of phrased as a statement

I need a recommendation on a good all purpose pair of sandals.

  • Often scoped
    • 1 out of 5 directed to “anyone”

Anyone know of a good Windows 6 mobile phone that won’t break the bank?

    • Network subset

Hey Seattle tweeps: Feel like karaoke on the Eastside tonight?

social network question topics
Social Network Question Topics

Missing: Health and Pornography

Religion, Politics, Dating, Finance

questions vary by who i s asking
Questions Vary by Who Is Asking

men

Twitter

old

women

Facebook

young

questions vary by who is asking
Questions Vary by Who Is Asking

Asking used more seriously by Asian cultures v. Western cultures

types and topics of questions
Types and Topics of Questions?
  • Subjective questions on acceptable topics
    • Popular topics: Technology, entertainment, family
    • Popular types: Recommendations, opinions
    • Questions vary by demographics and culture
  • Which questions get answered?
questions get good answers
Questions Get Good Answers
  • Quantity: 94% of questions answered
  • Quality: 69% of responses helpful
  • Speed: 90% within a day (24% within 30 minutes)
    • People expected faster responses
    • But were satisfied with speed
  • Answer quality varies with phrasing
    • Shorter questions get more useful responses
answer quality varies by question
Answer Quality Varies by Question

Faster

No correlation

Unhelpful

which questions g et a nswered
Which Questions Get Answered?
  • Subjective questions on acceptable topics
    • Popular topics: Technology, entertainment, family
    • Popular types: Recommendations, opinions
    • Questions vary by demographics and culture
  • Questions get many high qualityanswers quickly
    • Correlated with phrasing
    • Correlated with topic and type
  • How can someone ask an effective question?
controlled study of effective asking
Controlled Study of Effective Asking
  • Controlled experiment
    • Many people ask the same question
    • Compare responses
  • Need generic question
    • Topic: Entertainment
    • Type: Opinion

Should I watch E.T.?

controlled variables
Controlled Variables
  • Who posted the question
    • Demographics
    • Social network use and makeup
    • Profile picture
  • Time of day
  • Question phrasing
    • Length
    • Punctuation
    • Scoping
controlled variables1
Controlled Variables
  • Who posted the question
    • Demographics
    • Social network use and makeup
    • Profile picture
  • Time of day
  • Question phrasing
    • Length
    • Punctuation
    • Scoping

Scope

measuring the responses
Measuring the Responses
  • Quantity
    • % with responses
    • # of responses
  • Quality
    • % answered, useful
    • Response length
  • Speed
    • Time to first response
who posted the question
Who Posted the Question
  • Generally saw few significant differences
  • Larger social networks give better answers
  • More social profile picture get better answers
    • Close shot
    • Another person
time of day
Time of Day
  • Afternoon questions
    • Receive more answers faster
  • Morning questions
    • Receive longer responses
phrasing
Phrasing
  • Length
    • 1 sentence gets more high quality responses faster
  • Punctuation
    • Question get more (useful) responses than statements
  • Scope
    • Scoping the question helps – even if just “anyone”
how can someone a sk e ffectively
How Can Someone Ask Effectively?
  • Subjective questions on acceptable topics
    • Popular topics: Technology, entertainment, family
    • Popular types: Recommendations, opinions
    • Questions vary by demographics and culture
  • Questions get many high qualityanswers quickly
    • Correlated with phrasing
    • Correlated with topic and type
  • Can influence responses by how a question is asked
    • Ask short questions of “anyone” in the afternoon
what questions do people ask
What Questions Do People Ask?
  • Subjective questions on acceptable topics
    • Popular topics: Technology, entertainment, family
    • Popular types: Recommendations, opinions
    • Questions vary by demographics and culture
  • Questions get many high qualityanswers quickly
    • Correlated with phrasing
    • Correlated with topic and type
  • Can influence responses by how a question is asked
    • Ask short questions of “anyone” in the afternoon
why do people ask questions
Why Do People Ask Questions?

What motivates question asking and answering?

Why would someone ask versus search?

How can tools help find the best answers?

why do people ask questions1
Why Do People Ask Questions?
  • What motivates question asking and answering?
motivations for answering1
Motivations for Answering

Motives for Not Answering

- Don’t know the answer

- Don’t have time or interest

- Don’t know the asker

why do people ask questions2
Why Do People Ask Questions?
  • People motivated by trust and altruism
    • Search often considered or tried
    • Cultural differences: Entertainment v. social capital
  • Why would someone ask versus search?
study of searching v asking
Study of Searching v. Asking

Information Need: Backsplash Re-Tiling

kitchen re-tiling tips

backsplash re-tiling

kitchen remodel diy

“Any tips for tiling a kitchen backsplash?”

how people searched v asked
How People Searched v. Asked
  • On average, searchers
    • Spent 30 minutes
    • Issued 6.5 queries
    • Visited 35.4 pages
different benefits for each approach
Different Benefits for Each Approach
  • Benefits of searching
    • Received answers very quickly
    • Could refine their query as they learned more
    • Found content considered objective and unbiased
  • Benefits of asking
    • Auxiliary social benefits (awareness, connections)
    • Answers highly personalized
    • Received answers not encountered through search
    • Answers encountered through validated
why ask v search
Why Ask v. Search?
  • People motivated by trust and altruism
    • Search often considered or tried
    • Cultural differences: Entertainment v. social capital
  • Searching and asking provide different benefits
    • Searching is fast and can be refined
    • Asking creates social connections, finds the unexpected
    • How can tools help find the best answers?
socially embedded search engine
Socially Embedded Search Engine

How do people respond to search engines in their social spaces?

hard problems to overcome
Hard Problems to Overcome
  • Not always appropriate to respond
    • Most status messages are for social discussion
    • Questions can be rhetorical
      • Can poop qualify as a character in a book?
  • Coming up with a relevant answer is hard
  • Relevance not the only factor to consider
    • Social conformance also matters
      • Your friends comments reflect on you
      • Mentioning others can feel invasive
new opportunities
New Opportunities
  • Extend existing search algorithms
    • Lots of context available
    • Answers do not need to be found immediately
  • Interesting feedback mechanisms
  • Humor and serendipity can outweigh relevance
    • Link to the children’s book Everybody Poops
  • Opportunity to shape the dialog
    • Ask follow-up questions
    • Influence friends responses
how can tools help answer
How Can Tools Help Answer?
  • People motivated by trust and altruism
    • Search often considered or tried
    • Cultural differences: Entertainment v. social capital
  • Searching and asking provide different benefits
    • Searching is fast and can be refined
    • Asking creates social connections, finds the unexpected
    • Get both with algorithmic content in a social setting
      • Social conformance important, can be collected in new ways
      • Opportunity to influence friends responses
answers about questions
Answers About Questions
  • What questions do people ask their social network?
    • People ask subjective questions on acceptable topics
    • Questions get many high quality answers quickly
    • Can influence answers by how a question is asked
  • Why do people ask questions of their network?
    • People motivated by trust and altruism
    • Searching and asking provide different benefits
    • Get both with algorithmic responses in a social setting
questions
Questions?

M. R. Morris, J. Teevan, and K. Panovich. What Do People Ask Their Social Networks, and Why? A Survey Study of Status Message Q&A Behavior. In Proceedings of CHI 2010.

J. Yang, M. R. Morris, J. Teevan, L. Adamic, and M. Ackerman. Culture Matters: A Survey Study of Social Q&A Behavior. In Proceedings of ICWSM 2011.

J. Teevan, M. R. Morris, and K. Panovich. Factors Affecting Response Quantity, Quality and Speed in Questions Asked via Online Social Networks. In Proceedings of ICWSM 2011.

M. R. Morris, J. Teevan, and K. Panovich. A Comparison of Information Seeking Using Search Engines and Social Networks. In Proceedings of ICWSM 2011.

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