Answerland is a new venture from Oregon’s public libraries that lets users submit a question, and have it answered by a Real Live Librarian (often within 10 minutes for simple inquiries). (They’ve got a blog too, if you want to follow them up close and personal.)
Unfortunately you have to be logged in from one of their participating libraries to use it, which I suppose is necessary to keep the workload down but which nonetheless seems to dampen the potential of the idea somewhat. Here’s an idea: I bet that there are people out there who’d be willing to pay $1 per query to use such a service — that’s cheaper than Google Answers by a long shot, and you could waive the fee for people logged in via a library (to encourage users to come on down). That way, if enough folks outside a library wanted to use the service, you could use the dough to hire more librarians.
Attention State of Oregon: that’s the last free advice you’ll get from me, from now on I’m charging my standard hourly consulting rate :-) [Seen on The Shifted Librarian]Posted by Jason Lefkowitz at May 14, 2003
If you think anything I write here represents the opinions of anybody but myself, you need more help than I can give you. The opinions are all mine, folks. Nobody else's. ESPECIALLY not my employer's.
If that's too hard to understand... well, I'm sorry. There's only so much I can do. I'm not a therapist, and I'm not a miracle worker. (Unless you consider staying employed in this economy a miracle.) I wish I could help you work through your delusional belief that I'm speaking for anyone else but myself. Honestly, I do. But in the end, that's a monkey you'll have to get off your back on your own. Sorry.