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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Amazon NowNow: Get Mobile Answers

Amazon NowNow lets you use your mobile to ask questions and receive three answers by email from Amazon Mechanical Turk workers. It's free during the beta period, but afterwards, it'll cost about 25 cents a question. Only problem: the service isn't open to the public yet.

Looking at some answers, quick trivia questions are usually answered in about 5 to 10 minutes at least for the first answer with the remainder trickling in possibly hours later. More tricky, analytical questions take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to even get one reply. Humorously, one question about the origin of french fries received three identical answers, naturally, each was the relevant Wikipedia entry.

How useful is NowNow? I'd say that it's a truly useless service. Why pay to get a trivial answer? In addition, more complicated questions take too long to answer, and it's a pain to read through them. Unless guaranteed response times are set, you can't count on getting a timely answer to an urgent question, or even a trivial one. Tags: , , ,


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