FAQ’s are one of those cornerstone pieces of a website. Just about everyone has them and they are often a go-to place for visitors who need the basics. They’ve been around almost since the web was born and haven’t really changed much since then. Everyone knows what they are and they sort of work, so why change them?
Well, let’s face it:
1. FAQs rarely change or are updated after the site goes live.
2. To call them FAQs is generous because they are typically a best guess at what the publisher thinks a visitor might ask or even more common, what they would want them to ask. They were never asked by web visitors, because web visitors can’t ask questions!
3. They are limited in number because they are typically a list and are not designed to be searched or ranked. You just browse them in order.
The big diferences are:
1. FAQ 2.0 are a ranked list of the actual most frequently asked questions (if the publisher wants to feature specific questions that’s possible, but otherwise the FAQ is a true reflection of questions asked).
2. FAQ 2.0 is dynamic. It always kept up-to-date based on the lastest question.
3. Visitors can ask a question if it is not on the current FAQ list! The question can be routed to staff or answered by other visitors/experts as appropriate.
4. There is no limit to the number of questions. So even INfrequently asked questions can be on the list.
5. The questions can be searched by keyword so they do not need to be browsed.
6. The work of keeping the FAQ up-to-date is passed on to the users because they ask the questions (and can be permitted to answer them too).
7. There is no work for webmasters or designers to do. The FAQ is a widget reading Q&A data that can be managed and moderated by no technical resources such as marketing people.
8. The FAQ can be distributed as a widget on whatever pages in whatever form is most desirable – as compact as a little sidebar button, expanded as a sidebar widget, or defined as an entire Q&A section.
And it’s free. So go try it.