A few hot buttons in tech these days are user generated content, Web 2.0 and of course Google. But what happens if you are to combine Google with live user generated content? Well, you might get Jyve, a search engine that gives live answers to questions on various topics.
I tested the system on Monday, February 19th and asked “What is Aspirin?” In response I received the following answer in under a minute:
Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid (acetosal) is a drug in the family of salicylates, often used as an analgesic (against minor pains and aches), antipyretic (against fever), and anti-inflammatory. It has also an antiplatelet (“blood-thinning”) effect and is used in long-term low-doses to prevent heart attacks and cancer.
I then hit the “live” search engine at 8:00 am the next day and asked “Which is better, the University of Connecticut or Yale?” This result wasn’t coming back as quickly so I lost patience after a few minutes and decided to open another window and I shot off the following question – which I marked consumer electronics. “Which is the smallest iPod?”
So as I wait for the these queries to be returned I figure I would explain more about Jyve. You see the service started out a s Skype Extra allowing those with knowledge to share that knowledge with those who are seeking it. Think of the site as Match.com for information but without the dating, chocolates on Valentine’s day and potential for disappointment.
Jyve users who are knowledgeable in their fields agree to answer questions and then can be hired if needed for more information and analysis. Jyve gets a 10% cut when money changes hands and also has a tip jar capability allowing you to show your appreciation after you receive a free answer.
So does the idea work? I would say yes. It can also help you with technical problems – let’s say if your software isn’t working right. So just as the web has democratized data, it now will democratize real-time knowledge via what we could call diverse on-demand human knowledge stores.
Is such an idea a Google killer? Probably not but when you think about all those fruitless searches you have done in the past, you realize that the answer to some of your questions could have been just finding the right person to ask. Going forward, Jyve.com may just be the vehicle for the fastest possible results for complex queries.
Oh and if you are wondering if my last two questions got answered before I finished this article, they didn’t. But then again I only waited 10 minutes. So it seems there will likely be scaling problems with this service as it becomes more popular. Then again if you aren’t paying, you probably can’t expect a legion of experts to be at you beck and call. Ask a question, grab a coffee, hit Google and Wikipedia and then check back later to see if your question is answered. If all this searching talk is giving you a headache just sit back, take a couple of acetylsalicylic acid tablets and hit Jyve in the morning.

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  • ColinH
    July 24, 2007 at 9:56 am

    Though aspirin is the commonest used drug in case of migraines it could induce gastric ulcer. That’s because it is an acid based pill. On the other hand there are pills much better for headache’s treatment (like fioricet for instance) with no known side effects what so ever.

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