Google makes the internet more relevant for Africa with launch of new question and answer product
November 4, 2010 – Have you ever wanted to know something really badly but no one nearby knew the answer? Lost a bet because you could not get supporting evidence for your argument? Arrived at the movies two hours early and for the wrong movie because the guy in charge of newspaper listings forgot to change the previous week’s details? Not sure where to stay in Lukenya?
Not anymore. Internet users can now enjoy the new omniscient feeling aided by Google Baraza, Google’s latest contribution to making the internet more relevant and useful to Kenyans. Baraza, which means ‘taskforce’ or ‘council’ in Swahili, is a newly launched question-and-answer service that will also be integrated into Google Search results. The service allows anyone with a question, particularly about topics for which there is not yet much information online, to seek answers for what they need. Knowledgeable people in any field, be it business, entertainment, tourism or fashion, can log on today and start providing advice. Users can create profiles, send messages, follow others, rate answers and receive points for asking and answering.
This week, Google and Kenya’s omniscient viral sensation and super hero Makmende have come together to ensure that you not only have answers to your every question, but that the answers are just as local as they are relevant.
“Every day, Kenyan internet users ask Google multiple questions. However, a lot of these remain unanswered because there isn’t any related or up-to-date information online”, explains Joe Mucheru, Google Lead for Sub Saharan Africa. “For example, you might want to ask what the best restaurant is in a certain part of town, or where to find a good doctor. We recognise that users are the best at answering each other’s questions within a community. That’s why we’ve launched Baraza and this product is the perfect way to share and contribute information”
Anyone with a question, particularly about topics for which there is not yet much information online, can ask it on Baraza. Furthermore, anyone with expertise in any field, be it food, tourism or fashion, for example, can log on today and start providing advice. Users can create profiles, send messages, follow others, rate answers and receive points for asking and answering.
Joe Mucheru adds, “We’re delighted to be launching Baraza and are looking forward to seeing local users flock online to check out this new service, and make the most of it.”