Posted by: Marshall Sponder | August 5, 2008

ChaCha on the Rocks

I was never a fan of ChaCha either – and got some grief from them when I posted about it at, but I was surprised when they kept on getting Venture Capital money –  but according to a post at TechCrunchChaCha Cuts Pay Rate In Half, Prepares For Implosion

After a year of trying to make the ridiculously flawed system work, the company abandoned the chat sessions in favor of one-off question and answers, primarily targeting users through a mobile service.

Despite its glaring issues, ChaCha has managed to ring up $16 million in funding, which is probably why it has survived this long. And to the company’s credit, it has amassed a following of loyal “guides” – the people who do the heavy lifting and find the search results for visitors to ChaCha.

Many of these guides are only interested in making a quick buck, which is why there are so many laughably bad search results. But for some, ChaCha is an extension of the workday, offering some relatively easy money to help supplement their incomes. And now ChaCha is going to screw them.

Yesterday ChaCha sent out a message to its guides explaining that it was introducing a “Pay-For-Performance” system that was designed to improve search quality – not a bad idea, given the shoddy results we’ve seen before. Unfortunately, it seems that ChaCha has blundered this plan too.

Having been through successive miscalucaltions via Know More Media – I can well understand the frustration of people who work for ChaCha and get shafted because management miscalulated (I guess it’s their porragitive to mess things up – but everyone else suffers).

My feeling is that people who work for enterprises like ChaCha, do the best they can, but they’re really not in control – it’s the people running ChaCha that dropped the ball – but … who gets to suffer the most … people working for peanuts.

Sick of this bullshit.

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