Yabbly: Looking For a Few Good People to Help Others

One of the things that I truly love about social media is how you can make connections with people that you have never met before in real life. For example, my editor and I live on practically opposite ends of the earth, we have never met face to face, but yet, I feel like I know him decently well. It is amazing how many people I have been able to connect with and share ideas and talk tech through social media. There is something about it that makes people feel “safe”, and they can let their guard down and be themselves.

Over the past year or so, I have started to see a different type of social media avenue crop up around the web. These are sites where you can throw out a question to people, and you let the power of social media help with getting you an answer. There are formal sites like Branch and Quora that are set up for this, and then you have informal ones like Twitter and Facebook where you can solicit feedback as well. But, the app that I have been testing for the past few days, Yabbly, takes a somewhat different approach and so far, I like what I see.

Getting Started

The first thing you will notice about Yabbly that makes it different from its competitors is that it is invite only. But, it is more than just typing your email out on a page and waiting for an invite: you have to prove that you belong. You are asked to write about a product you love and why you love it, kind of like a short essay, to see if you are what Yabbly is looking for.

Applying for membership to Yabbly

Applying for membership to Yabbly

I know there are people who will probably stop right there and not move forward, which is part of the reason why Yabbly has you do this. They want people who are serious and passionate about helping others and who are willing to give solid advice. When I emailed the CEO about this, he said that either he or someone from the team looks at every single entry that comes in and they don’t just let anyone in.

Once You’re In

When you do get accepted, which for me took about a day, you can now start to use Yabbly in a couple of different ways. You can either ask a question or leave a tip for the community there. When it comes to asking a question, you can ask just about any type of question you can think of. Like Twitter, you only have 140 characters to use when it comes to asking others, so you are going to want to get to the point. You can also give a little background about the question to help explain yourself more, which does not count toward your 140 character limit.

Asking a question or leaving a tip

Asking a question or leaving a tip

The other thing you can do here is that you can leave a tip for people who are using Yabbly. For example, if you found a product that you really like that you feel others should know about, you can leave a tip for the community so that they can reap the benefits as well.

Yabbly Honor Code

Yabbly Honor Code

Giving Back

Yabbly is more than just a place where you can ask a question of others, but they also stress that you should be willing to give back to the community as well. You can do this by leaving a tip, like I how I mentioned above, or you can also help give answers to other people’s questions. When you do contribute by answering other people’s questions, you can earn karma points if other people think your answer is a helpful one. People can also flag a response if they think it is inappropriate.

Answering other people's questions

Answering other people’s questions

Can This Model Work?

This is the question that I have been pondering the last few days as I test out Yabbly. They let in about 10 people per day, which I have been told is about 5-10% of the people that apply on any given day. On the one hand, I love that the people that are let in are ones who are willing to contribute to one degree or another. On the other hand because they have an application process, you don’t get to take advantage of the users who could still give useful advice, but are just too lazy to go through the process. I am still on the fence as to whether I like this model or not.

Going Forward

I believe this model can work if you give people an incentive to stay around. In my opinion, even if you have people who are passionate about helping others, you need some incentive for them to stay. Right now they are banking on the fact that people will stay engaged because they are willing to do this out of the goodness of their heart. I believe at some point, you are going to need something more than that to keep the community active. I do agree that it is nice knowing that I have a place on the internet where I can ask a question and I know I am going to get some good responses in return. But, after a while, will people feel guilty for asking too many questions and not answering enough? Will that cause them to stop using the site? These are questions we are going to have to wait and see how they all play out.

Final Thoughts

I will admit that over the past few days that I have been using Yabbly, I did ask questions and got some really thoughtful answers back. So, their system does work and it does produce good results. For now they are in beta and I am unsure if they will loosen up a bit as they reach official 1.0 status. You can also download their iPhone app and use it much the same way you do the site.

What do you guys and gals think, can this method work in the long run over sites that are similar or are Quora, Branch, Twitter, Facebook, and more, or are they just too small to compete?



Ask questions and help the community by leaving helpful tips or give advice to other people who ask for it with Yabbly.