AOL announced it bought Israeli online questions-and-answers service Yedda. Yedda, we're told, uses a semantic engine to match user questions to other related questions and topics. It also searches for other users who might be best to answer the question. The idea behind this type of service (Yahoo has a similar one) is that consumers trust each other when making buying decisions, so a nice place to serve an ad is in the middle of their conversations.
Here's how the theory is supposed to play out. Consumer A asks, "What's a good car to buy?" Another consumer, B, answers, "I really like my Prius." Next to this answer AOL inserts an ad, "THIS IS OUR COUNTRY. CHEVY."
Of course, users don't always play along. For example, one might ask as we found one did on Yedda's site this morning, "the size of dick? is my dick big? I got 15 cm on full hard on." Come to think of it, that's not such a bad place to put a Chevy ad, either, though AOL ad salespeople might have a tough time selling GM media buyers on the idea.
We don't know how much AOL (over)paid for Yedda. We'd ask the question on Yedda, but we know better, so tell us. Also, didn't Google give up on its own Q&A service a year ago?