I’ve just come across ChaCha.com, which has an interesting approach to searching for information. You can send a query via a text message from your cell phone, or you can post you question at ChaCha’s site. It has 55,000 registered “guides” who respond via SMS to all types of questions. You can ask the name of a good pizza restaurant in Toledo, or what movies two actors have appeared in, or virtually anything that comes to mind. Some users call ChaCha just to settle a bet. ChaCha claims to answer 300,000 questions a day, with the average ChaCha user asking 10 questions per month. It shouldn’t be surprising that 80% of the users are under the age of 25.
ChaCha displays both Google Adwords ads and Yahoo ads on its website, and it has started appending ads to its text message answers. Because ChaCha is a member of the Google Adwords network, I thought I would find some Google ads when I ran some queries using highly competitive legal search terms. But I was very surprised that I got neither an answer nor an advertisement when I asked the following question: “Who is a DUI lawyer in Austin, Texas?” ChaCha is not locked into Google or Yahoo ads, but also sells ads on its “Advertise with us” page. Looks as if they still have room if you’re an Austin DUI lawyer.