The best of Yahoo! Answers

Illustration by William Joel / The Verge

During the aughts, there was a vague notion among techno-optimists that crowdsourcing knowledge was the answer to just about every problem. Using the wisdom of crowds, the thought went, people would have unprecedented access to expertise. “With enough eyes, all bugs are shallow,” said the open-source software community. The success of Wikipedia meant that mass collaboration, open systems of production, and talented amateurs would win the day, this line of thinking went. Books such as The Wisdom of Crowds, Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, and Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations pushed the idea that the future was the group.

It was in this environment, in 2005, that Yahoo! started Yahoo! Answers. In theory, it should have been the biggest, most important site on the internet. In practice, Yahoo! Answers will be shut down on May 4th.

So I thought I would preserve, for future generations, the intellectual inquiry that went on there.

Adolescent development

Ant killing

Cake

Human inquiry in action.

Computer help

BORN TO YELL

Human reproduction

Insta-meme.

*Note: This is a repost. The original is featured in this video.

Mermaids

I am also a witch.

Music

What is “Sandstorm,” Alex?

Nutrition

Honestly, a shocking number of pizza rolls...

One Direction

BrOOtal

Pets

Ships

Parenting, explained.

Space travel

Wait, when did humans land on Mars?

Spider anatomy

Inquiring minds want to know.

Taylor Swift

No, it’s Becky.

Vampires

Well, do they?

(More here.)

Vaseline

Great use of the meme format.
Gaming

Resident Evil 4 VR is launching October 21st, but only on Oculus Quest 2

Entertainment

NBC gets super aggressive in YouTube TV dispute

Apple

Backbone offers 3D-printed solution for iPhone 13 Pro camera bump issue

Comments

I wonder if Griffin will have a FINAL final Yahoo…

Thank you! When I first saw the Yahoo Answers shutting down article, I sent it to my bros (three, not two) and just said "uh oh."

What are they gonna do! I think they could pivot to Reddit, I’m sure there’s some gold out there.

This is a great selection — I laughed a lot. Thanks for making this!

No discussion of this topic is complete without The Luigi Board.

Thank you for that good Samaritan.

Y’know, there was actually a famous news photographer back in the day called Weegee:

Legend has it that his uncanny ability to appear with his camera at crime scenes as the police arrived—or sometimes even before—led to the moniker "Weegee," a phonetic spelling of the first word in Ouija board, a device used in occultism to receive messages from the spirit world.

I’d heard of the guy, but had no idea that is how his nickname originated!

Do not get the "ship/shipping" one. Help an old guy out.

"Ship" is slang for "relationship."

…and a subset of any fandom for any property like to write their own fan-fiction based around those properties. In some, the focus isn’t so much on the original aspects of the media property in question, but more on the interpersonal relationships of the characters in question.

In some cases, the non-authorial writer (best euphemism I could find for "amateur", because that’s not an entirely fair categorization) will reconceptualize how the characters engage in their interpersonal relationships.

For example, in the Harry Potter franchise non-authorial writers can reframe Harry’s love interests in many iterations. Harry & Hermione, Harry & Ginny, Harry & Ron, Harry & Draco… I’m sure there’s some Harry & Hagrid out there, too.

In the MCU, Steve Rogers & Tony Stark, Steve & Bucky, and many other iterations are out there. These combos tend to get shorthanded as a shared name like (ugh) how Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez became "Bennifer". So you end up with "Stony" or "Stucky" for the MCU – that’s what some of those "nonsense words" in the OP were referencing.

People can get quite obsessed with their conceptualization of their ideal mate for their fictional crush/placeholder. Hence the "OTP" reference.

…apparently all of this originates in modern pop culture with Kirk & Spock fanfic.

Don’t get me started on slash.

When I found myself laughing uncontrollably I knew this had to be a Lopatto Production. Bravo and thank you.

Um, I’m sorry, this compilation already exists. It’s a little podcast called My Brother, My Brother, and Me.

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