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ChaCha for Now!

I view myself as being technologically inept. Taking this class, I was hoping to get some basic knowledge so that I can avoid sounding stupid when technologically based conversations arise. I can get to some basic websites, send a few emails, and text, but that’s about us far as my cyberspace abilities go. So never would I expect to have a job through my computer.

Okay, so it’s not exactly a real job, but this year I have officially become an expeditor for the well-known question answering service, ChaCha. I’m not raking in tons of money, or even making minimum wage, but as a college student, procrastination seems to always force its way to the top of my to-do list.  Instead of my usual facebook stalking or stumble upon time wasters, I decided that for the new year, I would try to focus my time on something more beneficial. (Not that I haven’t learned interesting things on stumble upon- like that there’s a website of beat boxing horses, or from facebook- like the cute boy in my Physics class likes cats, meaning we’re clearly soul mates.) After a while of procrastinating on signing up for my new form of procrastination, I eventually applied to be a ChaCha guide. I had to watch some videos and take some tests, but overall, it was pretty simple. Three days later, my fateful email came telling me I’d have a job at ChaCha!

People are constantly asking ChaCha questions about their personal lives.

At first, my enthusiasm was tremendous. I answered lots of questions at my low 2 cents a questions rate, slowly earning money. My ChaCha drive has dwindled, but I still get on and slowly earn some cash. But it’s not just about the money. The questions I answer (or sometimes comments I respond to) can be interesting, funny, thought provoking and adorable. I have heard things I would have never thought of. Someone once asked if it’s illegal to yell at butterflies in California, or if the ocean was made of chocolate syrup, how many calories it would be. People like to ask for advice or even share secrets. And through this job at ChaCha I have realized how interconnect our personal lives and technology can be. I thought I would have a job of searching for information, while instead, most the time I am just communicating with people, talking about their lives or giving love advice. For me to get this technologically centered job showed how unavoidable it is for cyberspace and the Internet to creep its way into every facet of our lives. This, at least to me, is a predictable path our future will take, but I didn’t expect so much “meat space” to enter its way into this world.  To me, this shows their coexistence and reliance on one another. We live in a technological world, but that doesn’t mean that our personal troubles and need for human connection are any less.

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  1. alexiepoch
    January 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    As I looked further into Cha Cha, I noticed that they are not the only web provider with this service. There are others, such as Weegy, that have you interact with just one guide of your choosing. As a Cha Cha guide, do you think having one guide is more or less beneficial, or do you see the sense in having a computer generate an automatic response? This would be quicker, but not necessarily more accurate. If so, how long do you think this transition would take?

  2. katiepons
    January 31, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I can see the benefits of having one guide when it comes to the more personal side of answering questions. But at the same time, one of my favorite parts to working for ChaCha is I can get on and off whenever I please. If I was in the middle of talking to someone, I would feel obligated to continue that conversation. I feel like a computer generated response could have many benefits as far as time and efficiency go, but it would lack the personal touch I know I love in my ChaCha answers!

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