Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Internet, but with tea and biscuits
  [vote for,

Take a typical sterotype: your granny, for instance. She wants to know something. The time of the next train to your town, why the sky is blue, anything. She hasn't got that new fangled Internet thing, no computer for a start, and she's worried it might set the house on fire anyway. So what does she do? She could go to the library, but by the time she had got her coat on and caught the bus into town, it would all be too much trouble.

Enter GrannyNet (name pending). A single telephone call to a premium rate number; at the other end, quite possibly another old lady, but an IT-savvy one who knows how to Google, with broadband access and a PC paid for by the company. The question is explained to the sympathetic ear, an answer is found, and read out over the 'phone there and then. Longer answers are printed out and posted in a proper envelope, with hand written address and a stamp which is stuck down slightly askew. There may be paw prints on the back.

An ideal cottage industry for those in rural areas, or looking to supplement a pension.
English Bob, Aug 31 2004

New York Library Desk Reference http://www.nypl.org...ations/deskref4.cfm
In days of yore, you would call the public library and ask the Reference Desk for the answer to your questions. In days of financial cutbacks to all public services, now you buy the Desk Reference. [jurist, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Infone http://www.infone.com/index.xwt
Looks very close. [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Granny Bears http://www.halfbake...idea/granny_20bears
Not a similar idea, it just has stereotyped grannies in it. [English Bob, Oct 05 2004]

Sensis http://www.sensis.com.au/
Sensis in Aus will give you details on anything for a small fee. Website search checks white and yellow pages as well as other reference areas. You can also call the easy to remember number of '1234' to get someone to do it for you, when you don't have web access. [reap, Oct 05 2004]


       I love this idea. It's so quaintly written, too. Warms the cockles of my heart. [+]
Machiavelli, Aug 31 2004

       Please don't make it a premium rate number!. I should be made a free service IMHO.
p.s. I don't think I dare type 'GrannyNet' into my search engine of choice!.
gnomethang, Aug 31 2004

       try silversurfers.   

       this is awfuk patronising...
sorry, Bob.
po, Aug 31 2004

       I must be getting old. I swear we've done this one before, but with a different market focus.
Worldgineer, Aug 31 2004

       Yeah, it's the Internet Secretary (working title: "chick with a browser") service again, except the chick's old.
jutta, Aug 31 2004

       I thought it was yours. Wayback didn't have it though. Definately a good one.
Worldgineer, Aug 31 2004

       Come to think of it, last time this came up it was in the context of checking your e-mail via phone, and someone mentioned that infone included that.
Chick with a browser has been a pet project I had been thinking about and may have mentioned as shorthand for these kinds of services, but it's not something I posted as a halfbakery idea.
Problems include: billing (I'd like this better as a subscription service); getting good searchers; gatewaying into an infrastructure of real professionals (handing off to 911; handing off to plumbers, computer professionals, etc.).
jutta, Aug 31 2004

       Well, the worse the searchers, the lower the rates and the longer the calls. Still, anything would be better than my grandmother trying to effectively use boolean.
contracts, Aug 31 2004

       Tea, biscuits & a croissant for you.
energy guy, Aug 31 2004

       And [po] - I'm guessing awfuk was not a typo earlier. Does it mean what it sounds like?
energy guy, Aug 31 2004

       This idea would also work being turned on its ear. Grannies are an underutilized resource and should network to provide their wisdom everywhere to the adolescent population and granny-less folk. A central granny call-in and distribution hub with a fleet of Buick LeSabres could do it. They could become as essential as the police and fire departments.
RayfordSteele, Aug 31 2004

       I swear there was dial-a-granny as well. Does this mean I've been here too long? As I recall the issue was in turning retirement homes into slave labor camps.
Worldgineer, Aug 31 2004

       Well, [po], I did say it was a stereotype. In mitigation, I offer a link to an idea called granny bears.

I also found an industry standard granny among a lot of granny-related ideas on the HB, but I too remember a dial-a-granny, or possibly adopt-a-granny. Perhaps we've all been here too long.
English Bob, Sep 01 2004

       how is granny-bears any kind of mitigation? you are quite right about stereo-typing though...   

       I am told that the fastest growing group on the net are the silver-surfers.
po, Sep 01 2004

       Yeah, I remember dial-a-granny. Not certain if that was the title.
RayfordSteele, Sep 01 2004

       Its mostly been done. I the UK we have a service called 82ask. you text any question from your mobile to 82275 (82ask) and they get googling and txt you back with the answer or atleast where you can find out more information.
Cambridge Dave, Oct 12 2005

       If Granny had a cellphone with texting capabilities, I think that she might know how to Google by herself.
Shadow Phoenix, Apr 27 2008


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