Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thing 57. ChaCha: Mobile Answer Service

Almost all of us have cell phones and we all have questions -- important questions, trivial questions, situational questions, directional questions, bar bets, and questions that result from idle speculation. Often we need information quickly, and while we’re on the go. For a quick and easy way to get answers to these questions, ask ChaCha!

ChaCha is like having a smart friend you can call or text for answers on your cell phone anytime for free! ChaCha works with virtually every provider and allows people with any mobile phone device - from basic flip phones to advanced smart phones - to ask any question in conversational English and receive an accurate answer as a text message in just a few minutes.

What’s your question?
 Simply text your question to 242242 (spells ‘ChaCha’) or call 1-800-2ChaCha (800-224-2242) from your mobile phone to ask any question.

You will get an immediate response from ChaCha that your question is being processed -- and there will be an ad (which is what makes ChaCha free to you). Within a few minutes -- but often less than 30 seconds -- you will receive an answer to your question as a text message.

Behind ChaCha answers are Human Guides (over 50,000 of them) who actually respond to your query. And behind those Human Guides are librarians when questions get really tough. Questions/answers are retained in a ChaCha database which you can access via their website.  ChaCha reaches over 15 million unique users per month who are primarily teens and young adults, but many of us older folks rely on it as well.

Try it! It is much easier to use ChaCha than to read about it, so simply call 800-224-2242 or send a text to 242242 with your questions from your mobile phone and take ChaCha for a spin!

If you are interested, there is more you can do at the website: you can become a Human Guide (for pay), you can follow @chacha on Twitter, or find them on Facebook, explore their Q/A database, or look at their business model, but the best part of ChaCha is the simplicity, the immediacy, and the convenience of having questions answered on the go, for free!
by Ruth Solie, Northern Lights Library Network


minnemom said...

Wow! This is very interesting. Thanks for including it in the Things.

LeAnn said...

Very cool, Ruth! I think I'd heard about ChaCha before but I never really looked at it. Very interesting!

It makes me want to sign up to be a Guide so I can see how it all works. I may just do that!

PatriciaP said...

Last year, around a campfire, my family needed the assistance of ChaCha. There, by firelight, we got the answer to our "burning" question!