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Social Startups: Answers Questions You Didn't Know You Had

One of the many things that’s evolved from the advent of the Internet is the idea of a “collaborative economy,” providing a framework where we ask complete strangers online for advice on all sorts of topics. So if you’re looking for restaurant recommendations in Duluth, Minnesota, you probably turn to Yelp for communal advice. Or if you’re curious about the top speed for a hummingbird’s wings, you might type up the question on or Quora and let the community answer it for you. In more ways than one, the Internet is a virtual library, seemingly infinite in its knowledge. Which makes these collaborative sites the bespectacled librarians capable of leading you to the answers you seek.

But what about cross-gender issues? Perhaps you need access to resources more tailored to the subjects of dating, sex, and relationships...

Say Hello to!

Launched in 2007 and privately funded since 2013, GirlsAskGuys (also known as GAG by the community it supports) is a “social community where girls and guys share their opinions and life experiences to help better understand each other on topics ranging from dating to fashion.” A relatively young site, GAG quickly gained an audience of over 10 million monthly users thanks to a library of varied content, all of it dealing with lifestyle issues (sex, fashion, dating, etc.) and all of it candid. 

Like its peers, membership is free but required in order to ask and answer questions on the site. Members may write and also collaborate on content for the site. The GirlsAskGuys team runs a blog independent of the main website and it highlights not only updates to the site, but also allows team members to share their own thoughts on trending topics like marriage, dating, and gift buying.

Let’s Talk About...Everything...and Anything.

“GirlsAskGuys is a platform leveraging the curiosity of an ever-expanding social community in which women and men of varied backgrounds discuss a wide array of lifestyle sharing their experiences and opinions to help each other.”

When you consider that the majority of Internet users worldwide are between the ages of 18 and 29, the same age group as the majority of GirlsAskGuys users, it should come as no surprise that the site has its finger on the pulse of pop culture. The community constantly discusses interesting, relevant, and popular subjects - not all related to the umbrella theme. For example, recent questions have asked:

●      Should the at will employment law in the US be revoked or stay as-is?

●      Should I ask my crush out or should I wait?

●      What is your definition of love?

Like other sites in this category, moderators work with the user entries to ensure that the content being shared is both informative and entertaining without being offensive, explicit, or otherwise inappropriate. They’ve also started an Experts Program, where users can apply to be Experts on the site and share their advice and thoughts via blogs and articles while also increasing the online visibility of their own personal content through social media channels.

Spreading the Word - One Site at a Time.

GirlsAskGuys has started growing in popularity lately, despite the fact its been around for seven years. As of September 2014, the site had logged over two million questions and over 50 million answers - from both men and women, despite what the name might imply. The steady traffic may be due in part to an evolving and expanding audience for this type of content, or it may simply be a case of recognition. In the last year, media outlets like Huffington Post, Forbes, and Mashable have all run features on GirlsAskGuys.

The site has done so well for itself that a Turkish version hit the Internet in 2011 and a Spanish version came online in March 2014. Plus, they recently launched a mobile site - so you can get the answers to your most pressing questions no matter where you are, whether it's the White House gift shop, a tent at Bonaroo, or (of course) the local library. 

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