Geeks and Shrinks

May 5, 2008

Mobile search

Filed under: Search — Tags: , — rvenkate @ 12:39 pm

A friend of mine asked yesterday if I could use my phone to find out how long a particular shoe store was open, expecting that since I had data services I’d use Google Search. Perhaps it’s the phone I use, but instead I just texted the question to ChaCha (242 242). I’d used ChaCha before they added the short code and wasn’t impressed, since it ended up being quicker to just use Google, but for mobile it’s perfect. When I’m at a stoplight trying to find out really quickly if I should detour to a store I need to go to, I don’t want adjacent results, only the one correct result.

I’m interested to see how they’ll monetize the service. Subscription would be the easy model, of course, but I hope they’ll try human-based contextualized advertising instead. I’d imagine it working like this, if they can (deal with someone to) get the scale:

“How long is (unnamed shoe store) open?”
“Their hours are 10-6 M-F, 11-5 S, 11-4 Su, and your coupon code A3897EIOU will get you 50% off on a second pair.”

Now that would be real value all around.


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