About.com is paying $30.7 million in stock for the site. The company will exchange 500,000 About.com shares for all outstanding ExpertCentral shares.
ExpertCentral allows users to ask questions either publicly or confidentially on a variety of topics. Questions can also be posted to public bulletin boards that are accesssible to all visitors. In addition, ExpertCentral features a knowledge base listing all prevous questions and answers.
The site, which launched in October, allows visitors to rate the answers provided by experts. While some answers are provided free, a fee can be charged for those that require complex answers. Payments are taken via credit card.
About.com Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott Kurnit said the acquisition will play a key role in the company’s plans to expand its business-to-business offerings.
“Having ExpertCentral.com as a resource will allows us to greatly expand our personalized question answering capabilities at each of our 700 sites while providing increased, highly-targeted inventory for our ad sales group,” he said.
Earlier Thursday, Ask Jeeves debuted Personal Jeeves, a customized platform that provides targeted information and customized services to consumers based on their needs and interests.
Features include a daily answer, which provides customized national and world news, including breaking political, business and sports stories. Also available are personalized stock quotes, individual sports scores, local
weather conditions and a daily horoscope.