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Web Investigator Service

Provide a service where you get paid for finding things on the Internet.
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
  [vote for,

With the vast hugeness (is that a word?) of the web, would people or companies pay to have someone find information for them?

Some of us just seem to have information-gathering oriented minds.

It would be kinda like an "Ask Jeeves" concept, but with a real person being paid real dollars doing the work.

Offer a 1 hour service, guaranteed, or your money back.

eagle, May 08 2000

Looksmart-Live http://live.looksmart.com/
Existing service, as suggested by "magnetbox" [eagle, May 08 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

baked http://answers.google.com/
[egnor, Oct 04 2004]

Experts Exchange http://www.experts-exchange.com/
users offer points for tech solutions from other users... what we're discussing is a similar but much wider ranging concept [intellimat, Oct 04 2004]


       America is getting lazier and lazier......
NOFX, May 09 2000

       It seems to me like it would be better to compile a more comprehensive public search engine.
dontthink, May 09 2000

       Several ongoing efforts and many failed projects have attempted to do exactly this. Some of them were free; some of them required the user to pay; some of them had their own funny money.
egnor, May 09 2000

       I don't think it's a matter of people being lazy.   

       Convenience, i.e., time saving, is the reason behind the success of fast food, convenience stores and the eventual success of Internet shopping. People are willing to pay a premium for convenience.   

       If you're good at doing something, and that something is what people want done, then it's marketable.
eagle, May 09 2000

       Bit late to the discussion here (maybe it'll get picked up again), but how do you determine the guarantee? This is a service we've thought about, but this is a stumbling block. I don't want to pay someone to find stuff I've already found, but that may be all that's out there. This service just spent an hour research stuff I've already done - they want to get paid, but I don't want to pay, because I already HAD that info. What could you be guaranteeing? Accuracy? Or simply the fact that the task was performed?
mgkimsal, Jun 22 2000

       It would work best, I think, as a service you offer on a long term basis to a client organization, such as a law firm, municipal/gov. office, etc., or perhaps a publishing company or individual author.   

       You would develop a business relationship with the organization where you do all of the research needed for a monthly fee. If they're not satisfied with your services, then they don't renew the contract or pay you for the next month.   

       Publishing houses already employ such people -- and with the size & confusion of the Internet, the service is perhaps now useful to other organizations.   

       You could specialize in certain areas -- law, medicine, computers, history, art, etc.
eagle, Jun 22 2000

       http://live.looksmart.com - You don't get paid for it (unless you work at Looksmart), but if you're really good at finding things on the net and want to share the wealth...
magnetbox, Jul 11 2000

       Looksmart-live, as suggested by Magnetbox, is a pretty good free service.   

       But I question whether or not the "points" offered by looksmart to the researchers is enough incentive to make them do thorough research.   

       If I ask "What's a dung beatle?", I want more than "A bug." for an answer.   

       Have you ever posted a difficult question to a newsgroup and then received no reply, or incomplete reply? My feeling is that the other members are too busy to _really_ think about and research the answer. But if it was their highly-paid job, the research would be done.
eagle, Jul 11 2000

       as soon as you figure out how to charge for it, Yahoo! will do it for free.
raisin, Dec 08 2000

       Tried, failed. Numerous sites attempted to do this back in the dot-com craze.
Almafeta, Dec 08 2002


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