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January 03, 2004

What this site is

In June 2003, I wrote something about instant messaging that included the words "question" and "answerer". In November of that year, a young girl trying to finish her homework searched for "instant message question answerer", found the piece I had written, and IM'd me, looking for some answers.

Foolishly, I titled that post "Instant Message Question Answerer" which became "sylloge: Instant Message Question Answerer" as the title of the page ("sylloge" is both my AIM screen name and the name of my personal site). People linked to it, and now that is the first result on Google for "question answerer".

And so, people — mostly kids doing their homework — IM me their questions. Depending on my mood, I am helpful or snarky. For a while I resisted, but now I have given in. At some point it occured to me to save the transcripts, and these are the ones I have managed to find. It has slowed down quite a bit, but they still happen from time to time and I will post the results here.

January 3, 2004 | Permalink


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OMGDFAFDSFS! Stewert, I'm laughing so hard from all of these! I think I just felt a trickle of pee leave me. You are the Oracle! If google ever needed to do adverts, they should use these IM's. Genius!

Posted by: lincoln | Mar 15, 2004 10:00:11 PM

All the All-Seeing, All-IM'ing Oracle! ::snork!:: good job. Now, how many other people would be able to rattle off "glucose" at the drop of a digital hat?!!

Posted by: the Other michael | Mar 16, 2004 6:33:59 AM

stewart 1 thing that is not clear from all of this is r u a robot please anser us

Posted by: Dr. Tobot | Mar 16, 2004 1:23:27 PM

Thank you so much for finally doing this. You've totally made my day. u rool.

Posted by: Liz | Mar 16, 2004 1:46:38 PM

And I didn't think AOLiza could be topped!

Posted by: Jason Dufair | Mar 16, 2004 2:36:29 PM

lol, those transcripts are great. :) Excellent website, hopefully it will bolster your Question Answerer status and keep the humor flowing. :)

Posted by: Cormac | Mar 16, 2004 4:20:22 PM

Oh I'm linking to your site lad, definitely :)

Posted by: Dale | Mar 17, 2004 6:02:44 AM

Oh, this just slays me. I'm a librarian and I've done like Official Librarian IM chat reference, and it's pretty much just like that, except you have to sound professional and you get paid. So funny.

Posted by: Abigail | Mar 17, 2004 2:00:39 PM

The part I don't understand is that they must be going to Google in the first place in order to find someone to answer their questions!... but they don't know to use Google to get the answer to their question? Like, can you imagine typing "question answerer" in a search engine to begin with? That's like searching for "search engine." Am I being a jerk?

Posted by: Alexis | Mar 17, 2004 2:30:56 PM

This has been the greatest experience of my entire day , thus far.

Posted by: mark | Mar 18, 2004 5:58:50 PM

Ah, but Alexis that is how I found Google back in '98. Fed up with HotBot's klunkiness, I typed "search engine" into Yahoo and found Google BETA on a directory page. Recursive serendipity!

Posted by: DiffrntMark | Mar 19, 2004 11:20:49 PM

hi, my name is felicia im 101/2 years old i have lots of questions but i need your help answering them. do you think you can. thanks, felicia

Posted by: felicia | Mar 22, 2004 10:10:15 AM

How can one protect oneself from becoming infected?

Posted by: John | Apr 3, 2004 5:07:55 PM

please submit

Posted by: varun prasath | May 31, 2004 5:47:15 AM

is ian still in love with me? just take a hunch? fallow your got feeling...i dont have a clue, all i feel in my gut is a big knot!

Posted by: katie | Jun 30, 2004 10:29:21 PM

Why are volcanic erruptions a hot tourist commondity in Hawaii but are causes for evacuations in the U.S.?

Posted by: Kristie Krall | Sep 5, 2004 5:14:41 PM

do u ever get on anymore

Posted by: craig brown | Sep 6, 2004 10:29:47 AM

info on african genocide anybody

Posted by: negro | Dec 3, 2004 9:24:43 AM

info on african genocide anybody

Posted by: negro | Dec 3, 2004 9:25:24 AM


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Posted by: Phentermine Linda | May 27, 2005 5:35:02 AM

what shoould i get a psp or a second hand ps2

Posted by: josh | Nov 20, 2005 3:54:40 PM

What is the name of the illustrated childrens story, about a runaway dog who unfortunenatley is turned into a girraffe, camel, hippo, dog like beast by a witch. The beast then winds up in London and is captured and made to perform at a circus eventually the spell is broken and the farmyard dog returns to its owner? Does this book exsist only in my head?-is it real?

Posted by: Simon Dratford | Feb 1, 2006 4:28:22 AM

i have some ?'s if u have answers? does sand have a high or low heat capacity why? how is water used as a coolant in a car? how does water cool an animal?

Posted by: bonnie | Mar 7, 2006 12:41:42 PM


Posted by: Cialis | Mar 14, 2006 7:59:01 AM