Phone Reference Done Right

I’m probably a little slow this time, but I just learned of ChaCha today.  This is the first phone/text reference service that I’ve actually felt excited by.  You simply dial the number 18002CHACHA and wait a few minutes for one of their employees to txt you an answer.  Anyone can apply (although they do ask for people with online researching and writing skills) to be one or their researchers, and you get paid by the answer.  There are no requirements for how much time you choose to dedicate to the site, so I’m very tempted to try this out.

However I am a little suspicious of where the money is coming from for this venture.  The site (a quite well designed one) says the company has 75 employees, on top of all the paid researchers and there is no obvious source of revenue.  The service they provide is free, and seems free of ads as well, so I’m it little paranoid that they’re gathering and selling market data.

But overall, my first impression is pretty favorable.  This feels like the right direction for phone reference at last, I just hope they manage to attract a few real researches to the service.

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