Qhub, a British startup launched on Wednesday by the founders of the popular question-and-answer site Blurtit.com, is a site for building other Q&A sites.
Community Q&A sites, where people answer one another’s questions, are one of the more utilitarian results of the user-generated content trend among startups. Instead of snarky one-liners, members share their hands-on knowledge.
The best Q&A sites are focused and specialized, rather than general. Bizmore, for example, is designed specifically for mid-sized business executives.
With that in mind, co-founders Tim O’Shea and Christopher Lee have created tools to let anyone build a Q&A site about anything. There’s a how-to tutorial, and of course you can use Qhub to ask about Qhub.
The sites pay Qhub by serving automated ads. Or, for $20 a month, you can remove the ads. Another $20 will even remove Qhub’s branding so your site will seem like a standalone entity.
“We believe the Q&A format is at its most useful when built around a niche with owners and members who are really passionate about their subject,” Lee wrote in a press release he shared with me ahead of the launch. Blurtit, by that standard, was trying too hard to be an ask-anything site. Qhub will let the people with questions about 1960′s muscle cars keep to themselves, away from the people asking tax questions.
Of course, it’s always good to know what other topics have their own specialized Q&A communities. Qhub will inevitably spawn a directory of topical sites built atop the platform. That’ll be the best answer to any question.
For now, Qhub is bootstrap-funded and is run mostly by Lee and O’Shea.