Management finds a way.
When a person performs a search, often they are looking not specifically for a product or a service but an answer. Sometimes it’s just a second opinion before pulling out the wallet, but more and more often it’s an inquiry about relationships, health, or even technology that doesn’t naturally result in the immediate employ of a new device or professional. The person inquiring simply needs advice.
There is no end-all be-all in obtaining educated opinions, and the internet will often offer you content from a special interest publication or personal weblog as a cure to what ails you – consider yourself lucky if you get a good answer without pouring through pages and pages of search results. Meanwhile, in step the advice sites – Yahoo! Answers, WikiAnswers, Answerbag, etc. – internet venues where questions can be asked and everyday folks can throw in their two cents too. Rather than leave your inquiry to search devices, these Q&A sites aggregate common (and some not-so-common) questions and allow other users of the sites to provide the answers – you absorb and contribute as you see fit. Communities of people seeking advice, and dishing it out.
I stumbled upon one of the lesser known sites in the Q&A arena not too long ago, FunAdvice.com, and was immediately curious as to what they were up to. I’d bumped into many sites before that seemed like so much MySpace/Facebook half-baked knockoffs that I wondered how a “no name” site like FunAdvice could survive unless it was simply a “bandwagoner” parsed together for a quick exit. I’ve since had a chance to chat with one of it’s owners, Jeremy Goodrich, and am now in state of slight shock – without as much as a single mention in the ‘major internet media’ FunAdvice has managed the following (1):
- More than 100,000 registered users;
- Over 2,000,000 monthly visits;
- Almost 200,000 private messages exchanged between members;
- The site has surpassed financial breakeven without the help of third-party capital.