Recently I found a fun new website called In Hawai'ian "Mahalo" means thank you. You can see this word in McDonalds on all the trash receptacles, so some of the tourists think that mahalo means garbage. There is a fair amount of smack on Mahalo, but in general the webmaster and participants try to keep it a friendly place. The guidelines request that you keep it friendly, and answer questions from your own expertise.

There are a large number of topics you can chose to respond to, some of them seem common such as sports or health, those are not the most common groups. Themes such as Farmville, mafia wars, facebook and twilight seem to generate a much larger number of questions. There are subsections called "conundrums" that appear to be redirecting you to another site. And also linking to another site that specialized in food topic questions.

The food topic questions were really straightforward. Some of the questions were for example: how do you cook lamb? Where can I find vegetarian recipes? What is your favorite type of yoghurt? For the record I like Brown Cow full fat yogurt the best. Any brand of full fat yogurt tastes better than the lowfat and nonfat varieties. As far as recipes, it seems easier to redirect the querent to website devoted to recipes, so many good ones abound. I was rather fond of Not everything on the internet is good true or useful, for that reason I prefer food websites that encourage viewer feedback. That way you can tell if a recipe is easy to make and if people think it tastes good. I once had some avocadoes I needed to use and found a recipe online for avocado soup. I carefully followed all the directions but what I got tasted much more like chili pepper soup. The spicy taste far overpowered the avocadoes, not what I expected. It tasted alright, I would have named the recipe differently myself.

Anyone can quickly sign up to be a user on You fill in your info on the home page to join and an email is sent to the address you provide. After you receive the email and open it, you are provided a link to click which will register you. After that you are free to roam the site either asking questions or answering them, you can also make comments. As on facebook there is a mechanism to denote you "like" or "dislike" something, via a thumbs up or down symbol. Even though you have to register yourself in order to interact on the site you may ask questions anonymously.

It seems to be under the guise of being anonymous that the more mean spirited comments posted, and also the questions that are nonsensical. Sometimes people post statements in lieu of questions, sometimes deliberately provocative statements such as "msmuffintop, just stop." Sometimes the statements are just odd such as "klv." I made a habit of commenting or answering the non-questions because if you are the only person who answers a query you have a better chance of being voted best answer. In reward for having the best answer to something you can win points. Points on can be redeemed for prizes.

The prizes from can be viewed on their site. Some are in the mahalo gift shop, such as tee shirts, caps and mugs that have their logo on them. Other prizes are gift cards for or credit you can use at Starbucks or Best Buy. View all the participating merchants at the site.

As you continue to participate on Mahalo by answering questions, asking questions, and playing some of the games people post, your points add up next to your avatar and are visible to anyone who visits the site. You will receive emails from the people running the site telling you when you have achieved a new "belt." These statuses seem to be similar to the best system used in karate. White and yellow being lower belts than per se black or brown. I haven't seen yet if there is a graph of all the colors available.

You can friend other members if you like, and send them direct questions. IF you send another member a direct question, while others can view the question, they can't answer it. Answering a direct question does rack up points.

It seems popular to include a visual with your answers. I guess since it's competitive, if you want to be voted as the person with the most helpful answer, it would be worth it to surf the web for an eyecatching picture. By the same token, if you want to answer a lot of questions in a day – it's faster to answer only in text. You get two points for every question answered. You get the two points even if the question, in question is a statement or a typo. You can't answer the same question more than once, so if you think of something better later, too bad.

Some of the questions in the Twilight section are more like fan chats than questions. You can't answer wrong if someone is asking your opinion on something. There seems to be a tremendous popularity with the books, movies and tv shows. People ask about Twilight themed weddings and the fad of wearing blood vials. Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton were ahead the curve on that fashion. They wore each other's blood while they were married, years before the Twilight vampire series was created.

Some of the questions on are curiously soccermomish. For example the questions begin with the words "It is right for. . . ." as if a vote on the internet means anything. One person asked if it were rude to back out of a real estate deal. To which I replied, "Rude"? no, but what is legal may be more important to you than what a number of people on the internet think of your actions.