A Little Searching Help

Submitted by Steven on Wed, 09/06/2000 - 10:25

Here is an article from Newsbytes about those \"Ask A\" services that companies like Webhelp.com seem to think will rule the web searching realm in the future. A word to the wise when using these services...patience, patience, patience.\"After about six minutes, Shawn showed me a page with general information on Dalmatians and asked if this was what I was looking for. I said, \"No, I wanted to buy a Dalmatian.\"

About six or seven minutes later Shawn returned with a list of Dalmatians for sale on eBay.\"

\"Holmes, USA TODAY. Although I\'m eternally grateful for the depth of information the Web provides, I sometimes wish I had a fairy godmother who could point me to what I\'m looking for with the wave of her magic wand.\"

\"I haven\'t had much luck finding one, but a number of companies are experimenting with technology that at least employs the human touch.\"

\"No matter how much technology evolves, the \"human element can\'t be entirely removed,\" says Kerry Adler, president and CEO of Webhelp.com.\"

\"Adler\'s company employs \"Web wizards\" to help users find information on the Internet. All communication between the user and the \"wizard\" takes place in a chat window, and the \"wizard\" then presents his or her findings — a Web page with the requested information — in a frame to the left of that window.\"

\"An inveterate pet lover, I used the service to find information on Dalmatians.\"

\"It took a few minutes for me to get connected to my wizard, \"Shawn.\" The initial wait depends upon the number of people using the service at the time and the number of Webhelp employees online. But if you\'re willing to pay $9.99 a month or $0.99 cents each time you use the service, you can jump to the head of the line and connect with a Webhelp wizard within a minute, Adler says.\"