Jyve is another search engine trying to use online collaboration to answer your questions.
It is like Cha-Cha, which does something similar, letting real people answer your questions. But Jyve says it is better because it can link you with experts in the topic area you are asking about. It gives you a way to IM/chat with the people answering your question, and if it merits in-depth research, the person providing the answer can ask for a fee. The fee is negotiated. The site itself will remain free for you to use.
Other services are emerging to facilitate searching for answers to tough questions. Yahoo Answers, the leader, is giving you a way to track people who provide good answers, in part to combat spam. There’s also the Techcrunch-profiled Uclue, started recently by some ex-Google employees, which also charges for giving answers.
Like these services, Jyve doesn’t focus on providing answers quickly. It takes its time to do the proper research.
VentureBeat tested it with several questions, including “How to install Xubuntu on an old IBM Thinkpad 380XD?” Jyve put us in touch with someone who gave us a link about how to do this after two minutes.
For simple questions, this site is inferior to other options, such as Google. We tried: “Where can I find information about Faith No More?” (this is a 1990’s rock band). Jyve took over a minute to get an answer back.
One reason for delay is that your question gets forwarded to groups of regular people already logged into the site. They are interacting with each other, apparently often having fun hanging out. When they see a question arrive in the system that applies to their particular specialty, the members discuss who is best fit to answer. The most knowledgeable person initiates a chat session with you to help find an answer.
Sometimes, you get more then just your answer. In one test, we asked: “Where can you find business plan templates?” The person continued to interact with us for minutes after they answered the question. They have an incentive to be friendly. In addition to negotiated fees, there’s a “tip jar.”
Jyve started as a company in 2004 based out of San Francisco. The company has an angel investment of $600,000 which they received back in June of 2006. The search site officially launched February 20th.
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