Google's Human Touch

from the oh-yeah... dept

Just as I was making fun of LookSmart for looking for volunteers, here's an article reminding me about the Google Answers service that uses humans to answer questions for people who can't find stuff themselves. Of course, the major difference there is that it's set up so that the people who find the answers get paid. I've always thought this was a nice service to offer, though I wonder how sustainable it is. As the article points out, for some people it seems like a fun hobby to try to help others with their searching needs for a few extra dollars. However, when it starts to feel more like a job people start to get annoyed with it. Some of the "researchers" were also upset that the person asking the question gets to decide if the question was sufficiently answered and if they agree to pay for it. Once the answer has been given, I can see a lot of less-than-honest people taking the answer, complaining about it, and refusing to pay.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  • identicon
    msykes, 21 Mar 2003 @ 9:55am

    No Subject Given

    Yeah, that sounds extremely fishy if the person gets to decide if they want to pay, *after* they read the answers. Isn't that sort of the opposite of good business sense/bargaining tactics? Third party moderation would be nice but probably way too costly, maybe they could adopt a 50% up front, 50% if you are satisfied kind of approach?


    PS: mhh5, not looking like such a sweet job now is it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.