Today, I received an email from Kasamba.com, an online information and advice company. Evidently, the site considers me to be an “expert,” although in what, I’m not sure. They encouraged me to sign up on their site, so I can begin to offer expert advice and get paid $30/hour ($.50 per minute). Not bad work for sitting in your underware and typing on your computer. While I am not looking for a job (not at $30 per hour thank you very much), I took the opportunity to check out Kasamba and the world of knowledge marketplaces.
While Kasamba is not the first, or by any means best advice service, it is one of the older services, founded in 1999. They state that more than 30,000 professionals are available to provide their services to people in need.
If you are one of these people in need that Kasamba refers to, the categories include: Professional Counseling; Coaching $ Personal Development; Spirituality & Religion; Computers & Programming; Education & Tutoring; Health & Medicine; Business & Finance; Arts & Creative Services; Legal Services; Home & Leisure
Each category has a number of subcategories that define the area of advice with greater granularity – from Family Law, to Graphics Arts – Java programming to Photography. Now what would be better than answering questions regarding which lens should I use when shooting my kid’s Little League game?
The service operates similarly to a number of other expert advice offerings that have been available for the past several years. Those in search of an answer seek out the most appropriate expert. However, with a flat $30 per hr fee, Kasamba removes the project bidding approach employed on several sites, such as Keen.com, Google’s Answers, and GetaFreelancer.com.
There are also a number of sites that offer personalized advice for free – the most popular one being Yahoo Answers, which relies on advertising revenues and “goodwill” on the part of experts. Adding a VOIP twist to the traditional online knowledge marketplace, Ether, bridges advice seeker with expert via old-fashioned telephone connection.
The jury is still out as to the true value of these services. I guess, next time my dishwasher breaksdown, I could reach for my mouse and tap into one of these expert advice platforms for my salvation. Then again, it’s still easier to pick up the Yellow Pages and call the local plumber.