But now, a number of researchers who previously worked on Google Answers have started their own new service: Uclue. The team has also posted on the TechCrunch Forums looking for people to help out with the project.
Like Google Answers, people asking questions are charged. The model is a little different, though. Google charged 50 cents to post. Uclue will be free to post. Google had answer fees between $2-200 by credit card upon the question’s answer. Uclue will be in the range of $5-250 paid in advance by PayPal. Whereas Google was English only, Uclue will also support question in Spanish and German.
The site is in a rough beta form right now, with PayPal payments temporarily going to an oddly named account “Everything Eiffel”. To get your question answered, you post it to their board along with the bounty you’re willing to pay. Your question will be answered by a Uclue researcher, who receives 75% of your question price (the uclue service receives the remaining 25%). Questions can be canceled and refunded if you find the answer unsatisfactory or if they go unanswered for 30 days.
J Philip asks the question we’re all wondering, “How does Uclue compare with Google Answers?”. Uclue responds by saying the smaller startup will put more effort into the product than Google did with Answers, the tangentially related product of a multi billion dollar conglomerate. There are some differences in the business plan as well.
Apart from Uclue’s highly motivated staff, it doesn’t seem like Uclue will offer anything radically different from Google’s model that failed after 4 years. Uclue seems doomed to follow down GA’s path, while other services like Ether and Bitwine have at least differentiated themselves by enabling pay-per-call consulting. We already saw another paid answers service, Tinbag, launch last month. Tinbag is a distributed answers service, relying on self-promoting researchers to drum up business on their own Tinbag powered sites.