Cha Cha Cha!

Wouldn’t you like to have Google at your fingertips wherever you go? Wouldn’t it be even cooler if you had a friend standing by to search Google for you, so that you don’t have to spend the time typing on the go? What if it was a complete stranger working for pennies on behalf of a very cool service named ChaCha?

Here’s what you do: Dial 1-800-2CHACHA (or 1-800-224-2242, if you prefer). A friendly automaton will prompt you to ask a question. Ask away, and then resume your daily business. In a minute or two, you’ll get an SMS message with an answer to your question. Pretty darn slick.

There are a few GotChas with ChaCha: Real humans are finding your answers, and they’re paid for their answers in dimes. (But they make it up in volume, I imagine) So don’t expect the sort of service you’d get from a skilled reference librarian with lots of answers at their disposal. Instead you’ll get a reasonably skilled Google/Wikipedia searcher who will be about as accurate as the same sources.

So it’s great for “I’m at this intersection and I want to find a gas station, where’s the closest one?” or “Who played Iron Man in the movie of the same name?” Not so good for “Where did I put my keys?”

Good stuff. I could easily become addicted to this service.

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Written on June 17, 2008