As defined in the eXtension 2012 Strategic Roadmap, a new version of Ask an Expert (AaE) is planned for this year. The goal, as described in the Roadmap is “Develop a second generation Ask an Expert system to take advantage of user engagement to serve as a learning and conversation hub. Mechanisms need to be explored to publicly expose these answers, and to facilitate conversations and learning around them.”
Work has begun and eXtension is currently sharing conceptual mock-ups and collecting feedback. An Ask an Expert Redesign page has been created on About.extension to collect all links and materials related to this undertaking.
Some of the biggest changes being explored relate to the concept of AaE as a public facing site. Submitted questions (and answers from our experts) will be publicly viewable, and the public may have the opportunity to post comments on questions. Other features being explored include the creation of groups inside AaE, the ability to assign a question to a group, the ability to post an answer from a group and an improved question assignment system, and multiple mechanisms for protecting the privacy of question askers where appropriate. Developments will be posted on Ask an Expert Redesign so please check back there often.
Information on the AaE changes can be found in an Adobe Connect session held in late April. Information on that session and the recording and discussion can be found here: http://learn.extension.org/events/504
For more information on Ask an Expert, contact Kevin Gamble at firstname.lastname@example.org.