ChaCha adds humans back to the search equation

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The biggest problem with search engines, of course, is that they’re not mind readers, so to our minds, they’re often somewhere between dense and outright stupid. ChaCha lets you chat with an actual human during the search process, so you can theoretically be guided in more productive directions. When you submit a query, it goes to the pool of human Guides, and someone who has expertise on the subject takes charge of your research. If your query is too vague, nonsensical or has some dirty words in it, they’ll either ignore you or bounce you. The more research happens, the bigger the web of pre-researched material grows. Guides are paid $5 to $10 USD an hour and, like a day labourer, get paid straight to a debit card whenever they want. “You can go online for five minutes or work for 16 hours straight if you want,” Jones said. “If you’re in college and you have finals, you can take the week off.” The founder, Scott A. Jones, has a bunch of patents in voicemail and a hard business head, so it’s worth watching how this plays out. [GT]

ChaCha experimental search engine [via ChipChick]

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Camille Dumas

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