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Answers.com launched a new service yesterday called "AnswerTips". The service is available for blogs and web sites as of today. The basic idea is that you double-click a word on the page, and it brings up a diaglog from Answers with their information about that word. I have tested it a bit and it appears to be about 70% right and about 30% "off". My first reaction was, "when will we see ads all over these windows?" And I didn't have to look far. Check out the implementation on CBS News. I checked the first story that appeared on the home page.
The free content in an AnswerTip comes from Answers.com's extensive database of information consisting of four million topics that are licensed from over 120 authoritative reference publications and other resources. Gil Reich, Vice President of Product Management for Answers Corporation said, "Readers get the information they want while remaining engaged in reading your content. Fewer distractions create a better experience on a website, and they save the writer time providing background information on subjects and terminology that his or her audience might be unfamiliar with."
I have two concerns with this service. First, the ads will probably become overwhelming at some point, especially on the bigger sites that don't care about the user. Second, who knows to double-click a word on a page? What will it take to train users to know to doubleclick? How many times will a user double-click a word, nothing happens and then they will never do it again? From my tests, it does load super quick which is important and seems to provide pretty decent content.
Here is the implementation on CBS:
And here is the implementation on A VC:
There are a bunch of test sites with great writeups if you want to check out how it works: A VC, CleverClogs. Please post a comment if you know any other sites that are using this.