Someone with 42,000 points thats been there almost since the beginning, and helped recommend / debate many of the features you now see while the developers where in the forums.
Since yahoo has such a large audience, Yahoo Answers, with a forum based system is largely successful. It's an educational site with great potential.
Educational resources get much better marks. People are much more likely to link them and give a thumbs up if they see it's about learning. Everyone supports education.
They could easily have a research page like my Yahoo Answers Resource page where it gives you a search box with popular sites listed like wikipedia, how stuff works, and citeseer. They greedily want to keep all people in their sites. They do offer a small search box only to Yahoo's inferior search engine.
Sites often linked are all tagged with the rel nofollow tag, essentially saying 1) this link is spam, do not give it any credit for being posted here. 2) do not bother crawling this site, it was posted by a spammer. Despite Yahoo has a report abuse button they still feel they need to be evil and have this system.
The rel no follow tag was adopted in 2005 to take away the terrible influence link spamming bots were having on the relevance of the results.
Wikipedia articles and other sites linked as references and resources of people's answers will not gain any credit for being relevant. In each user profile where it asks what is your site, also, Yahoo uses the rel nofollow tag, again essentially saying your page should be worthless. Even for something as small as a user profile link, yahoo greedily tries to keep all traffic on it's site.
Yahoo Answers was subject early on to banning people automatically and having a general MESS in their report abuse system. People's useful resources were automatically deleted and sometime their profiles were even banned for apparently no reason at all. Schneb and Yarnlady were banned at one point. Schneb is a religious guy who all he does is banter about religious topics. He's a very respectful guy and posts his site sometimes saying he wrote an article about the topic. Yarnlady was a 60 year old grandmother.
Many people were complaining about the no best answer feature that 12 year olds were using to delete every single question they could, to be funny. Many legitimate questions were deleted thanks to group abuse.
Most the people in the top lists right now are abusers of the original system. One could easily ctrl+click all the questions that were pending a vote, then one by one vote on them without even reading the question. Based on my continual suggestions on the topic they added a limit to the no best answers (check the forums for webmaster_Jimmy). I caught Richard in the Act a few times as his points increased everytime I refreshed my page.
Another way people would abuse is that they started this "orphaned posts" campaign to bring questions to a vote that had more than 3 months open. Many people posted the same comment THOUSANDS of times saying this page has been around for a long time, please select a best answer.
Before one could easily crawl through the rss. I had made them aware of this but they really didn't pay much attention. I noticed they added a key to the end of each post now making it no longer possible to crawl the entire rss. I bet many companies still made use of the information though, as the entire days worth of questions and answers could be downloaded. It was about 30,000 a day. Something very prized among people who make keyword databases.
When Trying to help people with coding problems yahoo has a really terrible formatting system that screws up code.
In arrogance yahoo has the nerve to say:
They offer an "Answers Swag". They came out with it in the point they were talking about adding badges or something to distinguish yourself for being a higher level. To our disappointment this goes to everone on level 2+ and is just a marketing ploy. It's a big disgusting Yahoo Answers wallpaper advertisement as a desktop image. You dont have to be logged in to even see it here. They also say smarty pants twice, which is again, disgusting.
Since Yahoo Answers is obviously a educational resources they thought it would be best to find celebrities that would best represent the Yahoo Answers goal...
They got Tom Cruise who asked people to ask him tom cruise trivia. See Tom Cruise on Yahoo Answers.
They got Donald Trump and His Trophy wife acting like they were in a real relationship asking about parenting advice.
Yahoo also stuffs your answers in it's subsites. Currently the formatting is terrible but from what I've seen it hasn't creditted my name where I've seen my answers posted. Something like tech.yahoo.com. I forget right now. It's a mess though.
Yahoo Answers has a lot of potential, but it is ruined by Yahoo's greed. The same thing with their videos.yahoo.com site. They dont have the ability to embed the videos like yahoo and youtube, because they want people to watch it on their Yahoo site. Their 360 site is not even worth mentioning, it's another disgusting mess. Yahoo is looking just more and more unorganized and messy. Just recently also it was reported they got hacked through an Ajax loophole.