GirlsAskGuys has been recognized by Juggle as one of the top Q&A sites on the web. Below you'll find an interview with Tolga Tanriseven, Founder of GirlsAskGuys.com
- There are a plethora of Q&A sites on the web -- how have you worked to distinguish your site from others in the category?
GirlsAskGuys is focused on creating a community to give and receive advice on all topics related to the opposite gender. Rather than being a Q&A site, we offer a place for people to learn and discuss the different views from both genders. One of the effective ways of this interaction is Q&A; however, besides Q&A we have many other ways to foster the discussion and sharing. To name a few; videos, articles, contests, messaging, live chat and a lot more. The usability of the site, which adds to the overall feel of GirlsAskGuys, is very important for us to know our community is getting the best experience with minimum effort and in the least amount of time.
In summary, I wouldn't think of Yahoo Answers as a competitor to GirlsAskGuys but rather think of iVillage getting married to AskMen.
- Your users post some very unique questions -- what's been the most interesting advice you have seen from your users?
There are many very-well-thought-out unique posts in responses to any particular person's situation. One question asked by a female user is "What are 10 things a girl should know about guys?", and there are over 60 answers 50 of which are from guys, while the best answer not only came from a girl but it was agreed by many guys.
- How did you go about creating a strong resource for users looking for answers to their most burning relationship questions?
We merely provide the means for the communication between the genders. We do have video answers from experts but our mission is to create the community for sharing advice for their unique situations rather than just providing a blanket advice for everyone. In order to achieve this while keeping our community safe we have volunteer and on-staff moderators along with content filters to keep GirlsAskGuys open, fun and high quality.
- How would you describe your site's typical user? Do more of them offer advice or submit questions?
We have over 1 million answers and quarter of a million questions along with thousands of stories posted by our community. Judging by the keywords with which users find GirlsAskGuys on the web, even though the initial intent seems to be seeking advice on one topic, visitors are even quicker to share the experience/knowledge they have on another topic by posting an answer or a comment for someone else.
- Have you ever considered featuring expert opinions in answers to certain questions? Why or why not?
We do have very small, close to 100, video answers posted by experts. On top of that we have a synergetic relationship with several relationship, or life coaching experts who promote their services by providing advice to our community. We do have plans to have a specific “experts section” where our members will be able to direct questions to such experts and get answers to their questions. However our main focus will always be the community and sharing of the knowledge among our users.
- Why do you think your users feel confident enough to post personal questions on a global interface?
Not everyone does. That's why we do have the option to post your questions or answers anonymously. Considering the sensitive topics covered on GirlsAskGuys, from relationships to marriage or behavior of an ex, anonymity may be essential for someone. One statistic we have seen is that, if a question is not posted anonymously it gets 30% more answers on average.
- You have started posting certain discussions on your Facebook page -- what is your strategy for social media integration currently, and how do you plan on developing your social presence moving forward?
Currently we have over 1600 Twitter followers and close to 5000 Facebook fans. We have a point system called Xper Points, which is designed for our members to earn points while asking/answering questions, posting articles, updating their profile and almost any action they perform on GirlsAskGuys. Users can, then redeem those points to get gift cards, t-shirts, ask for expert advice on video, feature their question or create poll questions. Recently we started giving Xper Points to our members who start following us on Twitter or who becomes a fan of our page on Facebook. Currently on GirlsAskGuys you can use our chat bar to chat with your facebook friends without leaving GirlsAskGuys. There is constant work to integrate with more main stream social sites and I suspect this trend will continue in the future, too.
- You've offered your users widgets to expand GirlsAskGuys.com's reach across the web. How successful have the efforts been, and how do you plan on expanding them in the future?
We have seen many of our users, especially those who have blogs, using our question widgets, where they can embed a code we provide them. As part of our integration efforts, we are looking to fully integrate with different platforms to post these widgets with point/click, sparing the user from messy embed codes.
- What was the biggest hurdle you needed to overcome in developing your site?
Being a bootstrapped business, we (a team of 4 people who all have full-time jobs) each of us wear different hats, which is challenging. In any given day I may be fulfilling a request from our users to redeem their xper points and then answering a call from VP of big company, then doing maintenance on our servers.
- How have you worked to promote and market GirlsAskGuys.com, both on- and off-line?
When we officially launched GirlsAskGuys in 2008 we did some PPC advertising with a very small budget. Since then our growth has always been through word of mouth, search engines and social media.
- Is there anything else you would like to tell us about GirlsAskGuys.com?
Since GirlsAskGuys was founded there have been many additions to the core functionality. One thing remained unchanged and that is the focus on our community. The sense of having a caring community will always be our number one priority.