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Human Powered Search Engine Premiers

   
4:07 pm on Sep 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month Best Post Of The Month



[sfgate.com...]

new search engine model that employs thousands of paid "guides," who will provide live one-on-one help to users who need extra assistance tracking down online information. The free service, called ChaCha.com, goes live today as a test and is expected to go into full beta later this year.
9:13 am on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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it will surely be implemented by the major players

read... bought by major players... please please let it be yahoo or msn so that at least here in the uk we get some kind of competition.

12:51 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Nothing seems to be working now... good thing they are still Alpha
2:20 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I dont think its practical/viable...Say if they manage to attract 100 million queries a day (typical for a top SE) and if 10% of them opted for a guide session they need to hire atleast 40-50k guides
3:29 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think it has a niche, what I have noticed is as a guide creates a result page from a previous users search it offers those results, and the user has to make a second action, to talk to a guide. So over time they will have a lot of created search results pages.

Its got its kinks, but this is only Alpha. We will have to see how it progresses.

3:56 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The business model doesn't look good, because increasing volume is unlikely to bring in bigger margins - you have to keep increasing the number of searchers. Also, compared with everything else, how can be anything but slow.

On the other hand, it might appeal to my father-in-law,
who has a daily 10 minute conversation with the guy who sells him the newspaper.

8:26 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I thought of a similar niche long-time ago, but I never followed through. Anyway, I thought of it working in sort of a way where a common user pay for searches from a search professional. Though, the concept was not an immediate result return, instead a person would get a response emailed to them within 8 hours, I thought of it sort of like putting in a search term before you go to work in the morning and then by the time you got home that night your search was completed and compiled with targetted results and preciseness of the top 20 or more search results.

I envisioned people who was doing research, price comparison, or targeted search would mostly benefit from the niche, but my idea was a pay per search or pay for search method. Anyway, I never got started with it, it was just a thought of mine, but I always felt it could have potential, not for myself, because I was only a small network, but for someone who has a larger group or large network could potentially get someething like this off the ground. I am interested to see what ChaCha would accomplish, but as of yet I am not impressed, but I do understand that it is in beta stages and just open its doors, so I would continue to look onto its success.

11:38 pm on Sep 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I guess there is quite a bit of bias when helping some one do a search.....

Guide: Hi there. I will be helping with your search.
Guide: Hello, what kind of internet marketing are you looking for?
Guide: SEO, advertising, etc...?
Info Seeker: internet marketing tip
Info Seeker: about SEO good tip for free and effective
Guide: Ok let me find some sites with tips on SEO
Guide: The first listing is Webmasterworld.com
Guide: A online community of webmasters with fantastic resources about SEO and everything you could want to know about marketing and building a website!
Guide: Are these links of help?
Info Seeker: great thanks

[edited by: Dpeper at 11:39 pm (utc) on Sep. 6, 2006]

1:02 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



This site does not work at all. I can't figure out why.

There are no results for any term! Not even things like 'holidays'.

Perhaps they don't support Firefox?!? (In which case a quick browser sniff and message would be thoughtful)

3:25 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



No-one really uses firefox dude! Ok...maybe you and 2% of geek users...but bringing up the "Firefox Rocks" arguement again is kinda lame because very few peeps even use that donkey browser except real geek-olas!

[edited by: BaseVinyl at 3:28 am (utc) on Sep. 7, 2006]

3:35 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



BaseVinyl, that was uncalled for, you may also want to read this:
IE browser only users for just over 50% of visits today. [webmasterworld.com]
Firefox officially has a 12% market share in the US, 14% in Europe. Finland has over 30% firefox use, and Germany is approaching 25%. (Source) [spreadfirefox.com]

The comment was based upon the fact the site does not work at all. I don't have access to Internet Explorer so I don't know if it works with that browser, but based on previous comments it seems that it at least works a little.

6:02 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



No-one really uses firefox dude!

Sadly, I must concur with BaseVinyl as Firefox has dropped off the charts.

I get a about 500K visitors a month, lots of international/UK visitors, and Safari tops both Opera and Firefox usage which is sad.

Anyway, enough of this off topic debate, the ChaCha thing isn't even alpha and I would've expected to be be fired if I ever sent anything like this out for customers to see calling it "alpha" as I would've turned over our customer base to the competition.

I suspect when the CEO is sleeping there's no search results ;)

6:06 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



This thing does not works well with firefox. I got connected to a serach guide but the chat box was only half visible & was lying down on the screen.

Couldn't even scroll up & look the whole chat box. So I was unable to type.

But I must say it may be a hit if the things workout properly and atleast someone is there to try break google's monoply.

6:23 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



atleast someone is there to try break google's monoply.

It's not a scalable concept unless you employ an entire nation to sit and answer questions all day, Google has no fears.

6:44 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



<threadjacking>
Update on the Firefox threadjack, Google Analytics shows 13% which means it may be artificially being undercounted in my other log analysis tools due to scrapers.

Needs more research.
</threadjacking>

10:26 am on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I tried it just now.

The search results are very poor. I tried the guide way. It was okay, but not as good as the article describes it.

I prefer to search myself :)

Abhishek

1:32 pm on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm baffled by how many people see this as a viable business model. It's ridden with problems. Unscalable. Open to high levels of bias. Unbelievably slow (when available). If it was 95% algo, 5% human, it might work.

I'm surprised they don't have a feature where a monk scrawls the serps onto a parchment and sends it to you via the postal service.

2:11 pm on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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i have gotten blank search results the last few days. so far for me, ChaCha sucks. if ChaCha is good, they are missing out on impressing some early adopters. maybe they should hire a few more interns to act as guides.
2:21 pm on Sep 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Agree with Walkman...people are too impatient for this to be adopted widely.
12:52 am on Sep 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I've been dying to get this site to work, still no joy.

I can only see value in the service if the guides are experts on given subject areas. Otherwise they are doing no more than sending the top ranking sites after removing anything they visually identify as spam.

12:59 am on Sep 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I remember back in the 80s a dial-up phone book service called 611-info and how they made money was pushing their advertisers above everyone else, but it eventually went down in flames.
3:25 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Dont' want to look childish, but would they help you to find good free p0rn site!? LOL

Or what about looking info for making bombs?

And the list go large...

3:53 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>Or what about looking info for making bombs?

No that's GotCha, the new gov't SE with human guides. And to think toolbars used to creep me out.

7:10 am on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



How will they serve 10k queries a second?

How is this going to pay off for the investors?

How will they stop me from working as a guide and prmoting my site?

How will they stop you from bribing me to promote your site?

How will they stop me from scripting a "bot guide" to promote my site?

This is a joke. They probably put it live to keep the VCs calm. ABANDON THE SHIP!

1:46 pm on Sep 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



well, I asked the guide to send me an invitation to become a guide and he did. So those who wants to become a guide, make a search and ask the guide to send you an invitation and make sure you rate him/her 5 stars :)
4:20 am on Sep 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Becoming a guide? Thats another word for becoming a desperate single on a social network website...good luck with the project!

[edited by: BaseVinyl at 4:21 am (utc) on Sep. 10, 2006]

3:49 am on Sep 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I did finally manage to connect to this and to start a guide session. The guide didn't understand the question, kept asking for more info - and the reply box moved down and down and down, until it was not visible in teh browser window and I couldn't reply any more!
8:50 pm on Sep 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My guess "ChaCha" means "look up" in Chinese. but as the English writing for a Chinese word is not 1-to-1. It may mean other things, or not even in any Chinese way.
9:02 pm on Sep 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



In tarahumara "ChaCha" stands for "come and search with a strange helping you".
9:09 pm on Sep 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Im gonna pull a 180 on this thing it sucks poor planning, poor everything...
7:58 pm on Sep 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



In English "ChaCha" means "poorly developed human guided search engine"

It also means something else in English but it's a little too naughty to print here...certainly opens some eyes though!

What would be a good slogan for this company? I'd like to see something like "Check out my ChaCha!"

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