Greg Sterling has a detailed write up on the much recently talked about human guided search engine named ChaCha at the SEW Blog. In short; ChaCha "offers users two ways to search: traditional algorithmic results or help from live "guides."" Here is a guided search that Greg conducted (I tried it on Safari and it did not work);
My query was "Best LA hotel to stay in with kids?"
Guide: Welcome to ChaCha! Please wait a moment while I search for your results. Guide: Please hold a moment. Guide: I will find a good result for you. You: still looking? Guide: I appreciate your patience while I find exactly what you need. Guide: I am looking for details on kid-friendly hotels. You: thanks Guide: I have found several but will soon have one that is well-suited for your search. Guide: Do you want 5, 4, or 3 stars? Guide: hotel rating that is. You: how about most stars for under $200 per night Guide: OK - one moment. Guide: how many beds? You: 2 Guide: ok. Guide: Kids stay free at these. You: okay, thanks Guide: Let me check on the rates. Guide: The nice thing is that these both have full suites. Guide: So if you are with kids, you have refridge, etc... Guide: Is that good for you?
So do you find a guided search useful?
SEW Moderator David Wallace said;
I feel it is something that may have been useful before search engines came into being. Nowadays... why would someone want to wait while someone else searches for them when search engines can deliver results in nano seconds?
Brett Tabke of WebmasterWorld said;
This is is a surpising first time human powered. No one has ever tried anything like this before. Especially someone with money and resources. Looks like they are currently bird dogging for more of the later ($$). Once this puppy comes out, I think it will be very significant. This is just day one of the story I think is going to be very big about March of next year.
It also stands to win the relevance race.
For many, the results brought back were not satisfactory but for (at least) this one user, he was happy with the result set:
Guide: Hi there. I will be helping with your search. Guide: Hello, what kind of internet marketing are you looking for? Guide: SEO, advertising, etc...? Info Seeker: internet marketing tip Info Seeker: about SEO good tip for free and effective Guide: Ok let me find some sites with tips on SEO Guide: The first listing is Webmasterworld.com Guide: A online community of webmasters with fantastic resources about SEO and everything you could want to know about marketing and building a website! Guide: Are these links of help? Info Seeker: great thanks