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Can Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Local duplicate some of the success of Yahoo Answers but on a neighborhood by neighborhood basis? Yahoo Local is rolling out a new service called ‘Neighbors‘ which lets users ask others in their neighborhood questions. Some topics Yahoo suggests: “Best choice for in-home guitar lessons,” “What was the deal with all the fire trucks and police cars,” and “FREE window air conditioner.” Anybody can respond either with a straightforward reply or by adding a photo or event to a string. Entries can also be categorized as being a “great idea” or a “bad idea.”
The new service comes as rival portals AOL (NYSE: TWX) and MSN are both making aggressive moves in the local space. AOL has purchased two local startups, while MSN recently overhauled its MSN City Guides site.
And, indeed, Yahoo appears to be giving Neighbors very prominent play on Yahoo Local, including it as one of the four main tabs that run across the top of the site. The company is also taking a grass-roots marketing approach, providing PDFs of pre-made flyers and encouraging users to print them to post at “work, school, library, or gym.”
Yahoo had been testing Neighbors in select markets, including San Francisco, New York, and Dallas, since November 2007, according to SearchEngineLand, which has more on the effort here.