Human-powered Search

Anonymous Patron writes
A new website has been announced on the pages of the San Francisco Chronicle,, which will use guides in addition to automated search functions. The article states that "users will connect to a live guide via instant messenger from the ChaCha home page. After a connection is made the user can ask all kinds of questions of their guides until they get the information they need. The guides, who are organized by their areas of knowledge, will pass on information and Web site addresses that will appear on the user's screen. When the guides are not answering questions, they will be doing test searches on popular terms, helping with the second part of ChaCha's results that are organized by the guides."

Our reporter adds that the article comments, "Librarians aren't educated and trained, they're "selected"!


Funny. When I read that article (in the Chron, my local paper), I sure didn't see the word "librarian" anywhere. And Firefox can't find it on the article you link to. Maybe I'm missing something? (I'll go ask someone who's working for $5 to $10 an hour: That's the ticket!)

Walt - I edited the author's contribution for clarity. Maybe he/she wanted to suggest (as opposed to the article stating) that librarians have it all over "guides", by virtue of their education and training. Apologies if readers were misled.