Sunday, January 6, 2008

Doing the ChaCha

There's been a certain amount of buzz around "human-powered search engine" ChaCha's latest text search service for mobile phones. Not only is it unique (well, sort of), but it will be the official text messaging service for this year's Sundance Film Festival.

I met ChaCha founder Scott Jones last spring. In fact, he posted the article I wrote about his company on his own blog. He's had a slew of coverage since then. The odd thing about all this is that my article, like so many others, points out that ChaCha is hardly the "magic" search engine he promises it to be. I found it nearly impossible to use, with search after search turning up results that were less than helpful, and many involving unforgivable wait times.

So, why would Bob Redford (or whoever runs Sundance these days) put his trust in this wonky, unpopular search engine? I can think of only one answer: Scott himself. The man's a dynamo of the pre-bubble variety. As I can attest, he has what author John D. Gartner calls the "Hypomanic Edge" that makes even the most hardened reporter start to dance (or should I say cha cha?) to his beat. Kinda makes you wonder what he's doing running a company out of a shopping mall in Indiana.


Scott said...

But did you *try* ChaCha's new text service? We're getting a more positive reaction than we did with our desktop-only ChaCha. Our hard work building our infrastructure is starting to pay dividends. And, remember, Google was still "figuring things out" on their 2nd birthday.

I'm glad you appreciate my enthusiasm... I think.

If you try ChaCha (242242 from your moible phone) for a month and don't like it, I'll personally give you a refund. ;-)


Sunshine said...

Scott, I rest my case. You *are* hypomanic. :)

OK props for a very cool demo: