LinkedIn, the social network for "professionals" that people either seem to love or hate (I'm a recent convert) has added a new feature whereby users can submit and answer questions -- limited to people within their own network or the wider LinkedIn community.
Despite the Q&A space being dominated by Yahoo Answers (Google only recently threw in the towel), I think the feature is a really good fit for LinkedIn for two main reasons:
- The ability to limit a query to particular users within your existing network means that not only can you target the people who you trust to be experts in that domain, but also that you can keep sensitive business information private e.g. asking about a competitor or a potential hiring.
- If you decide to ask a question to the wider LinkedIn community, you are able to view the profiles of those who respond so that you can put their answers into context of who they are and their professional background etc. If they prove a useful source of information you can then invite them to be part of your network.