ChaCha

ChaCha、人力ガイド付き検索を停止(叩き甲斐のあるスタートアップだぜ)

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YouTubeのエープリルフールねたは「RickRoll」

人力ガイド付き検索でビジネスなんて大馬鹿なことはChaCha(とこの連中)以外みんな開始当初から分かっていた。結局ChaChaもたった14ヶ月でそれに気づいたということか。

ここのアイディアはChaChaで検索をすると、リアルの人間がチャットのインターフェイスで検索結果を教えてくれる、というもの。理論上はグーグルより優れた検索結果が導き出せるということだったが、現実はそうはならなかった(右図参照)。が、それでもChaChaはこうしたガイド全員に報酬だけは払わなくてはならない。

そんなわけで本日(米国時間3/31)、ChaChaがガイド全員に「The Future Is Here(未来はここに)」というタイトルのメールを流し、人力検索は業務を停停止し、今度は記念碑的にアホではないモバイル検索のサービスの方に注力することを発表した。ChaChaは「新規ユーザーは毎日驚異的な勢いで成長しています」と主張している(おおかた検索スパムのお陰だろう)。

デスクトップ検索で仕事をしてきたガイドはどうなるのか? 少なくとも一部スタッフはモバイル・サービスの新ポジションに採用申込みできるという話だ。

メール全文は英語のまま下に貼り付けておこう。企業詳細・投資情報はこちら
情報提供してくれたLuke Klingさんに感謝。

Check out ChaCha’s Extreme Makeover! Click Here!

What you need to know:

  • Thanks to the success of our Mobile (SMS) Answers, our new users are growing at a staggering rate every day as our loyal customers spread the word about ChaCha. Repeat users are addicted to texting ChaCha, and we want to duplicate that magic on the Desktop.
  • The chat sessions of “Search with a Guide” will no longer be offered.
  • Customers on the Desktop can type their query, and as with a Mobile question, Guides will provide a concise answer with a supporting link.
  • With all our services aligned in a consistent customer experience, we can provide better training and tools. New users will know what to expect. And it will be easier to provide excellent answers!


Current Desktop Guides – join us in building the future of search!

If you haven’t had a chance to read the full communication regarding the change (sent last week), which includes next steps for becoming a Text Guide or Voice Transcriber, please read on!

ChaCha Desktop search is getting an extreme makeover!

Thanks to the success of our Mobile (SMS) Answers, our new users are growing at a staggering rate every day as our loyal customers spread the word about ChaCha. Repeat users are addicted to texting ChaCha, and we want to duplicate that magic on the Desktop.

Based on extensive customer feedback, we’ve learned that ChaCha users want fast answers they can trust. What this means is succinct answers to queries, backed up by high-quality source citations. This model has proven a big hit with our Mobile users, and the natural next step in our transformation is bringing the Answers model to Desktop search.

Our Guides, of course, continue to be the key differentiator for ChaCha, inserting a human element in every question and answer. Your search skills and dependability as Guides will, I’m sure, turn the new Desktop Answers into a popular feature that generates far more traffic than the current Search with a Guide.

Why the makeover?

While “Search with a Guide” was a key part of ChaCha’s initial growth, the time has come for a change in direction. As I mentioned, our customers have told us they want answers they can trust. The current model of guided search only gets us so far to that goal.

With the coming national launch on April 1, 2008 of our experimental Voice service, we will be able to deliver the same Answers experience by text, voice, and desktop search. Now that’s powerful! No other company delivers this killer combination – not Google, not Yahoo, not Microsoft.

Given that “Search with a Guide” represents less than 10% of our daily query volume, we want to let our loyal Desktop Guides expand their portfolio of roles. With all our services aligned in a consistent customer experience, we can provide better training and tools. New users will know what to expect. And it will be easier to provide excellent answers!

So here’s what is changing:

* The chat sessions of “Search with a Guide” will no longer be offered. Instead, customers on the Desktop can type their query, and as with a Mobile question, Guides will provide a concise answer with a supporting link. Once registered, customers will have their own personal account page where all of their questions and answers may be viewed.

* The role of Desktop Guide will be merged into the Text (SMS) Guide role. All current Desktop Guides will have the opportunity to train for the Text (SMS) role, and on successful completion of a brief test, will be able to answer all queries — text, desktop, and voice.

* Current Desktop Guides will also have the opportunity to become a Voice Transcriber by testing for the Transcriber role. This is different from the Text (SMS) role. Desktop Guides may apply for both roles.

If neither role is a good match, Desktop Guides will continue to have access to training and materials in Forum and will have opportunity to train and test for new roles (coming soon!)

Note that traditional (non-guided) web search, which we’re calling “ChaCha Classic” will still be available at ChaCha.com.

Desktop Guides have been notified via e-mail regarding the Search University resources to prepare them for the test and next steps to participate in the testing for new roles.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to providing magical experiences for our customers. With your help, the new Desktop Answers will join our Mobile Answers as a buzzworthy service that keeps customers coming back to ChaCha every day.

[原文へ]

(翻訳:satomi)