Thursday, April 24, 2008

Walt Discusses ChaCha in the WSJ and on CNBC

ChaCha was featured today in the Personal Technology section of the Wall Street Journal. In this video, Walt talks about our mobile answers service. How does 1-800-2ChaCha work for you? Post a comment to let me know!


Answers in the palm of your hand, with Walter Mossberg, Wall Street Journal and CNBC's Michelle Caruso Cabrera

http://www.cnbc.com/id/15840232?video=721603319

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Aunt Bee Would Like ChaCha

I had to share this recent article. Although ChaCha is much more than a modern-day Mayberry operator (we are precisely routing questions to the optimal guide and answer delivery is facilitated in a sophisticated, scalable manner) it is great to see these real-life experiences relayed by people who are objectively evaluating the value of mobile answers from ChaCha. This writer would have saved more than an hour finding a digital camera by starting with ChaCha... Let me know what you think of this writer's take...

The Free Lance-Star - Fredericksburg,VA,USA

ONE MIGHT expect ChaCha, the new cell phone search engine powered by actual flesh-and-blood human beings, to be as slow as a choo-choo chugging up a hill. ...

ONE MIGHT expect ChaCha, the new cell phone search engine powered by actual flesh-and-blood human beings, to be as slow as a choo-choo chugging up a hill.

It's essentially a cyber- version of the Mayberry telephone operator Andy and Barney used to call up whenever they wanted to know if the diner had a special on meatloaf.
(You can actually do that with ChaCha, by the way.)

Users call, text or e-mail a real, live human being with a question and he or she quickly and carefully researches it for you, delivering a snippet of personalized advice along with the single best Web site link to your mobile phone.

The service works on any cell phone, and it's surprisingly fast--usually delivering results in a few minutes. It's also uncannily on the nose in terms of personal advice.

My cynical editor suggested that ChaCha might be pulling a fast one on us, delivering what advertisers pay it to tell us.

So I put the service to a tough test.

I spent over an hour on the Web, trying to figure out what the best digital camera would be as a gift for my 7-year-old son's birthday.

Robbie's grandmother had asked me to do this. She then turned her nose up at a few possibilities I came up with. Finally, we agreed that one looked like a good choice.

I put ChaCha to a real test by texting "What's the best digital camera for kids?"

And I posed this question at 12:15 a.m., believing I wouldn't get an answer till the next morning.

A short time later, I had my answer.

And, like some kind of magic card trick, it was the same Fisher-Price camera Robbie's grandmother and I liked after more than an hour's painstaking research.

Ask ChaCha where the cheapest gas is. Ask it where you can get the best bowl of clam chowder in town. Ask it what the weather will be like.
Aside from the human touch factor and the fact that there's dependable personal advice involved, ChaCha is special because users don't have to sift through link after link on tiny cell phone screens.

Indianapolis-based Cha-Cha recently won out over 100 other mobile software developers at the third annual Fast Pitch contest held at the annual CTIA wireless show in Las Vegas. Indianapolis-based ChaCha, won the $25,000 first prize.

ChaCha also has gotten a promotion deal on AT&T's wireless portal MEdiaNet, providing exposure to more than 70 million customers.
Andy and Barney would like it.

For more information, go to chacha.com

Thursday, April 3, 2008

ChaCha Selected as Best New Mobile Service by AT&T at CTIA


Yesterday was a big day for ChaCha at CTIA. Thanks to some outstanding work by the ChaCha team, we were selected by AT&T as the best new consumer mobile product in their fast-pitch competition. What does this mean?

We received $25,000 in prize money (giant "Happy Gilmore" style check being held by Kevin Mazzatta, VP of Biz Dev at ChaCha) and, much more importantly, we will be working with AT&T to introduce ChaCha to their customer base (about 70M folks). What a great way to kick-off the second quarter!

To win, ChaCha competed with hundreds of companies from around the world that applied. Only 66 were selected to present to the judges at CTIA and ChaCha was selected as the winner.

The Fast-Pitch program is considered the wireless industry’s equivalent of American Idol, with emerging mobile technology companies presenting their wireless applications directly to AT&T’s decision makers. Hundreds of companies applied from around the world and were judged based on the following criteria:

1. Originality / Innovation

2. Market appeal

3. Interface design

4. Number of platforms and handsets supported

This news will hit the wire tomorrow but I wanted to get the word out here. Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them! We are still working with AT&T to define the rollout plan but I will keep updating here as things progress.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Aaron Strout Interviews Me for Podcast on WeAreSmarter.org

Thanks for the great podcast, Aaron!

Check it out here

Here is another podcast that also offers more detail on ChaCha's mobile answers service.

See the post and podcast

1-800-2ChaCha Officially Launched at CTIA

We are having a great show at CTIA so far. Please take a look at the following release from ChaCha regarding our 1-800-2ChaCha service (800-224-2242). Let me know what you think once you try it!

Regards,

--Brad

-------------Press Release-----------------------

ChaCha’s Industry Breakthrough Makes Searching Easy

from Mobile Phones

Call 1-800-2-ChaCha. Ask in your own voice. Receive free answers by text.

LAS VEGAS, April 1, 2008 — From the scoop on the hottest martini bar on the Vegas strip to advice on where to buy the cheapest gas in Manhattan, ChaCha’s ingenious new

1-800-2-ChaCha (800-224-2242) mobile answers service allows mobile phone users to ask an extensive range of questions in conversational English while on the go — and the free answers are texted back within minutes.

The online and mobile search company is announcing its free new voice service today at the CTIA Wireless 2008 global convention in Las Vegas.

You can ask ChaCha almost anything:

· How much sodium is in a McDonald's Big Mac?

·What hotel in downtown Austin has a business center?

·Who won the last Boston Marathon?

·Where can I get the cheapest gas in Orlando, Florida?

·Who stars in the new movie “21”?

ChaCha’s valuable new service instantly routes each question to a human guide — dramatically expanding the questions you can ask well beyond simple phone numbers or addresses. The guides utilize powerful tools to search the Web and quickly return a succinct, relevant answer in a text message with a Web reference link.

“On mobile devices, traditional 411 has been the only easy to use option and it is limited to the basics of only finding a phone number or address,” explains ChaCha CEO Scott A. Jones. “More recently, desktop search engines have attempted to enter the mobile market by forcing users to enter a restricted query with their thumbs on a tiny keypad in a specific way, which causes most people to find other ways of meeting their information needs, such as calling a friend or waiting until they get to a computer, or, worse yet, making less-informed decisions. Using ChaCha is like having thousands of informed friends available by phone to help answer your questions 24 hours a day.”

Moreover, ChaCha works on any mobile phone — from simple flip phones to sophisticated smart phones — with no voice recognition prompts or menus to muddle through.

“With our innovative combination of human intelligence and sophisticated technology, ChaCha’s mobile answers service does the work for you,” explains ChaCha President Brad Bostic. “Another groundbreaking feature is that you can easily reply with follow-up questions, as you might do in a conversation, further demonstrating how superior our new service is compared to 411 or algorithmic search engines.”

ChaCha’s new voice capability further expands upon its award-winning text service launched in January of this year. After only two months of deployment, ChaCha demonstrated at the “My Search is Better than Your Search” competition at the Search Engine Strategies conference in Manhattan that it dominates the mobile search arena by taking top prize for its service’s technical efficiency, relevance and practical functionality.

Additionally, ChaCha was ranked as the “No. 1 Alternative Search Engine” in February — beating out hundreds of companies — by Charles Knight of the blogging network, ReadWriteWeb. Last month, out of 70 promising start-ups presenting at Dow Jones’ “Web Ventures”, ChaCha was selected as a “Top Ten” company by VentureWire’s judges.

"ChaCha's new voice capability pushes the boundaries of mobile 411 beyond its historical name and address limitations," says Greg Sterling, principal of Sterling Market Intelligence and the Program Director for Local Mobile Search. "It represents a next step in the evolution of the industry from directory assistance to voice search."

About ChaCha: ChaCha, a mobile answers service, allows users to call 1-800-2-CHA-CHA (800-224-2242) or text questions to CHACHA (242-242) on mobile phones and receive answers within minutes. ChaCha guides — trained and skilled individuals — use ChaCha's powerful internal search tools to respond to any query. Created by serial entrepreneur Scott A. Jones and Brad Bostic, ChaCha is funded by Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Jeff Bezos; Morton Meyerson, former President and Vice Chairman of EDS and former Chairman and CEO of Perot Systems; Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer; and Jack Gill, well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist. For more information about ChaCha’s newest features, go to http://www.chacha.com/.

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