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Tue 6 Mar 2007 - 11:04 am UTC
I'm curious how your new service compares to ex-Google Answers. What are the key differences to that service (if any)?
Tue 6 Mar 2007 - 4:18 pm UTC
Thanks for your question, and I must say, it's very nice to see you here.
Let me start with something a bit intangible, but significant, nonetheless. Google Answers was a small piece of large international company with multi-billion dollar assets. uclue is a large piece of a small international company with multi-thousands in assets (but the Big G better watch out....we're gaining fast!)
While there are certainly advantages to having deep-pockets, I think users and researchers both will find uclue to be a very nimble, very responsive outfit. Already, the suggestions that you have made regarding graphics and button-placement are receiving attention from the top level of uclue management, and I wouldn't be surprised if some changes to the site come about as a result.
Of course, there are some very concrete differences as well:
Listing fee: GA charged 50 cents to post a question. There is no listing fee at uclue.
Price range: uclue accepts questions ranging from $5 to $250, compared with GA's $2-200 range.
Payment: Payment at uclue is in advance, and can be made via Paypal or with a credit card (as long as that feature is enabled...depends a bit on the customer's country). GA was credit card only, and payment was processed when the answer was posted (NOTE -- the 'payment in advance' feature is the result of our current software configuration, and may be changed down the road).
Scope: uclue won't venture into anything that is patently illegal, and we won't write student essays or do their tests for them. Other than that, though, pretty much every topic is fair game. We'll even answer questions about uclue itself (as this current answer demonstrates). GA had some built-in limits in this respect.
Languages: GA was EO -- English only! uclue can field questions in three languages, English, German and Spanish, and might add more down the road.
Hot Bot: There is no autobot roaming the uclue site and automatically locking questions that contain certain terms.
Ratings: Customer ratings can be revised at uclue, a feature that was not available at GA.
Identities: I think you'll find uclue much more casual when it comes to the true identities and/or whereabouts of individual researchers.
The differences shouldn't mask an important similarity, though, which is the quality and commitment of the researchers. For now, all the uclue researchers were formerly contracted with GA, and so bring the same set of dedication, skills and experience, not to mention their ineffable verve and charm. As additional researchers are added in the future (as I suspect they will be), uclue will certainly keep to that same wonderfully-high standard.
And lastly, at uclue...as at GA...the customer is what it's all about. Answers to your questions are fully guaranteed, and if you're not satisfied, we'll gladly continue working on it until it suits. And if for some reason it doesn't, you have 30 days to request a full, no-hassles refund.
So, if there's anything more I can do for you with this particular answer, just hit the old "Clarify" button and let me know.
Tue 6 Mar 2007 - 9:19 pm UTC
One other thing comes to mind. uclue does not, at present, have a mechanism in place to allow a customer to tip a researcher, as used to exist at GA...and, No!,I'm not soliciting ;-)
This is something that may be added down the road.
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