An eBay for cluefullness
Google has relaunched its Google Answers service. Originally, Answers used a staff of paid researchers to answer questions posed by visitors who ponied up a buck for the privelege. This model is pretty obviously non-scalable.
The new Answers is much, much neater. Google is hosting a marketplace for answers. Visitors post questions and offer up a sum between $4 and $50. Any registered user can proffer their opinions on the question (which the poser gets to look at for free), and the researcher distills the wisdom and provides a definitive answer.
The next step, I hope, is cutting in kibbitzers for a share of the bounty if their input is used in the answer. It’s amazing how systems that rely on blessed “experts” are hard to scale, while systems that just provide a place for people to do their thing and figure out a way to extract some cash (i.e., eBay) scale fantastically well and make giant oodles of money.