The infrastructure I imagine it requires to provide these kinds of services makes me feel queasy and elated simultaneously – there are thousands of hours in these projects. I’d love to interview someone from either project just to get an idea of how long it took to get to launch scale!
Both of these projects would benefit greatly through the kind of on-site search box distribution that Google and Eurekster created – if site owners could make guaranteed pennies per search on their site instead of hoping for the occasional ad click I can imagine some jostling going on out there across independent web media.
ReadWrite Web has a great ChaCha review that also includes a chat dialogue with one of the searchers. Highly recommended for the curious!
I’m a marketer – this is neat but so what?
How important are these efforts to search marketers? They’re certainly worth watching and if they gain prominence then they should be taken into consideration.
Most important to think about in terms of real time human powered search (and Answers search for that matter…) is when and where searchers are using them.
It’s not going to pay individual search marketers to join Mechanical Turk and wait around for someone to ask a question that you can answer with your affiliate link.
It may pay to spend some serious time in Yahoo Answers to generate links and traffic (my business partner has done this a bit and grew kinda disgusted with the quality of the questions… it was good practice though and if you’re a blog marketer you’ll never run out of things to talk about if you’re answering questions in Yahoo or Amazon
So my next search marketing article will be about how to speak a foreign language and hire workers to join the Mechanical Turk and always add your Amazon affiliate IDs to the links they send searchers ;P