Sunday, October 05, 2008

ChaCha--a legitimate work at home job

So--you're looking for a legitimate work at home job?

I have had some questions, both privately and publicly here about working for ChaCha, so I thought I'd answer the questions so you all can make a decision about whether or not it's for you.

What is ChaCha?
It is a human powered search engine, in a text message service. People text in their questions to ChaCha's mobile number from their cell phone (242242) or they can call 1-800-2CHACHA(242242). ChaCha employs guides (that's what I do) who receive the question on their computer, search for the answer online, source that web page, formulate a concise (130 characters or less) answer and submit it. The answer is then sent to that person's mobile phone.

Here's an example of a question and answer:

Q: Who is the actress who played Rose in Titanic?

A: Kate Winslet played Rose in Titanic. Her latest movies are Revolutionary Road and The Reader. Thanks for using ChaCha!

Source page: IMDB on Kate Winslet

I get questions about everything under the sun. Homework questions. Song Lyrics. Directions. Address/phone number look-up, random weird questions, gas prices, jokes, election questions, sports scores, zillions of "Who is Jane Smith from Provo, UT?" etc.

For ever answer, a guide gets paid either 10 cents or 20 cents. The base pay is 10 cents, but if a guide completes 200 questions/answers a week with 95% accuracy (there are QA people who check) and 95% completion (you can't abort questions all the time just because the answers are difficult to find, this makes your completion rate go down), then for the next week, you get paid 20 cents. That person is called a Top Guide.

I have been a Top Guide for many weeks in a row now, ever since I completed my first week, so I make 20 cents a question.

Most questions take me between 40 seconds and 1 minute to answer. If I'm fast and get fairly easy questions, I can make around $6-$8 an hour. If I'm slow, it hovers more around $4. But the longer I do it, the faster I get, because there are some very standard questions that TONS of people ask, and some are just conversational questions that don't require research at all.

The Pros:

1. I can work any time, day or night, for any length of time. If I just have time to answer one or two questions, I can do that, or I can sit here for hours answering. It's my call.

2. It is really fun. I love being a sleuth and finding answers to questions on the internet. That's actually why I started doing it in the first place.

3. My goal is to make $500 a month, and that is pretty easy to achieve with my schedule. I rarely work Friday-Sunday, and those are the days where ChaCha provides incentives and bonuses due to high traffic, so if you are able to work those days, you could make more, faster. Weekends are our family time, so I don't take away from the family working on the computer most of the time.

The Cons

1. You have to answer every type of question, including sexually explicit questions. This is not something for someone who is easily shocked or offended. I can usually answer these types of questions clinically, but if you are opposed to them, this is NOT something for you. If you aborted all of these types of questions, you would never make Top Guide money.

2. Some of the questions are very difficult to answer. You have to be creative and able to think of ways to answer questions like: how many professional photographers in the world actually make any money doing their job? or what is the all time top song purchased on itunes? (I searched a long time for this one)

There are other roles other than a guide. There are also voice transcribers--people whose job is to listen to the questions people call in and transcribe their questions to be sent to guides, and expeditors--people who clean up the questions, make them easier to read, and put them in appropriate categories to make searching easier. Both of those roles pay less than being a guide, but they are also slightly easier.

If you're interested, you can go here: http://becomeaguide.chacha.com/
If you do sign up, I would really appreciate you putting me down as your reference:
parcelhome at comcast dot net.
I get a bonus for referrals, and every little bit helps in today's economy!

You're not going to get rich doing this. But it certainly pays better than surveys and other things you could be doing at home without any skilled training!

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