News Column

"Integrating Smart Social Question and Answers Enabled for Use with Social Networking Tools" in Patent Application Approval Process

August 21, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors Chi, Chang Y. (Beijing, CN); Liao, Qinying (Beijing, CN); Luo, Lin (Beijing, CN); Nichols, Jeffrey W. (San Jose, CA); Pan, Ying-xin (Beijing, CN); Schaeck, Thomas (Achern, DE); Zhou, Michelle X. (Saratoga, CA), filed on January 25, 2013, was made available online on August 7, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to International Business Machines Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates generally to social networking and in particular to integrating smart social questions and answers enabled for use with social networking tools.

"Social Networking is a recent phenomenon that has been helped tremendously with the advent of wireless technology and on-line services such as mobile devices and the Internet. A social networking group is similar to an online community with a group of individuals as its members, that often have a particular need or specific interest. Social networking is often made possible by a social networking service. A social networking service is an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of relationships among people who share common interests, activities, backgrounds, or real-life connections. Most social networking services build a user profile or other representation that identifies a particular user with some specificity. These profiles can vary but often provide additional information about the user such as gender, age, and social links. Most social network services are web-based and provide means for users to interact over the Internet such as through electronic mail (e-mail) and instant messaging. However, the popularity of mobile devices has not only enabled web-based connectivity but also has helped with the development of applications that may provide mobile connectivity through other subscription means.

"Social networking websites are known as social sites and often function like an online community. Once access is provided to a social networking website, the members begin socializing and exchanging ideas and pose questions and answers. Social networking sites allow users to share ideas, activities, events, interests and at times provide a neutral forum to ask questions and receive answers from a large cross section of the population anonymously, if desired.

"In recent years, social networking websites have also been used to interconnect employees of a particular company so that they can share ideas and solve problems. In addition, open communities have taken advantage of such websites to identify potential problems and help resolve them. Examples can include user groups, open source software developer communities or other relationships that are established around connecting customers and merchants/service providers."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "Embodiments include a program product and a method for providing responses to questions provided on a social media site. The method includes receiving, via a processor, a user question from a social networking site and decomposing and filtering the user question so that it can be further analyzed. The method also includes generating a list of most closely matched potential responders based on analysis of the user question and sending the most closely matched potential responders the user question. Upon receiving responses back from the most closest matched potential responders, the responses are aggregated by the processor in a final response format.

"In an alternate embodiment, another method includes detecting a question submitted via a user to a social networking site via a processor. The processor decomposes and filters the user originated question and suggests a different question format. Refinement options are provided to allow the user to modify the question. In addition, a recommended list of responders are provided to the user and if these responders are selected the question is then forwarded to them.

"Additional features and advantages are realized through the techniques of the present disclosure. Other embodiments and aspects of the disclosure are described in detail herein. For a better understanding of the disclosure with the advantages and the features, refer to the description and to the drawings.


"The subject matter which is regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing and other features, and advantages of the disclosure are apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

"FIG. 1 depicts a flow process for an integrated smart question and answer session in accordance with an embodiment;

"FIG. 2 depicts a flow process for an integrated smart question and answer session in accordance with an alternate embodiment; and

"FIG. 3 depicts a block diagram showing a network of devices in processing communication with one another in accordance with an embodiment."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Chi, Chang Y.; Liao, Qinying; Luo, Lin; Nichols, Jeffrey W.; Pan, Ying-xin; Schaeck, Thomas; Zhou, Michelle X. Integrating Smart Social Question and Answers Enabled for Use with Social Networking Tools. Filed January 25, 2013 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Politics & Government Week

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