Google Helpouts will change the world (or not)

Rule 34

But what about Rule 34?

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launches Helpouts: A way to offer your expertise on the Internet and get paid for it. Or, conversely, a way to buy a little of an experts' time, to solve your problem.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if it'll catch on.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

John Ribeiro croaks:

People can choose help from others, instant or scheduled, on the new Helpout service based on their qualifications, availability, price, ratings and reviews. ... Google has also launched an Android app. ... All payments for charged services are done through Google Wallet [with] a full money-back guarantee. ... Helpouts charges providers a flat 20 percent transaction fee.


Users will have access to a variety of tools including the ability to take a allow the provider access to the user computer remotely to help fix a problem, or to access Google Drive documents, photos, and presentations.  MORE

Rolfe Winkler sits on it: [You jumped the shark -Ed.]

The new service...has been in quiet testing for months. ... [It] joins a more niche group of services like LiveNinja that offer people live one-on-one advice sessions. ... A stranded biker could get personal roadside advice on fixing a flat tire, for example.


With Helpouts, Google follows dozens of companies like Uber, Airbnb and OpenTable that are building online marketplaces to grease the wheels of offline commerce, from taxi rides to overnight apartment rentals to restaurant reservations.  MORE

Google's Udi Manber annunciates an announcement:

What if you could get someone knowledgeable to get you “unstuck” when you really need it? ... Our goal is simple: help people help each other.


With Helpouts, you can choose who you get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews. ... Today is just the beginning. We’re starting small and in a few categories.  MORE

And Alex Wilhelm clarifies and wonders if it'll catch on:

Google is fond of calling Helpouts a platform and telling you that its team is separate from the Hangouts group. ... Helpouts uses your Google+ identity, Wallets payment features, and Hangout’s video technology. ... Google is working on an API for Helpouts, though it remains unclear to what end.


Would you pay $2 per minute to quickly speak with a cooking guru about your under-construction dinner? ... YouTube how-tos. Yahoo Answers. Facebook friends. Real friend over the phone and text. These are free, and constitute Helpout’s competition.


But whatever happens in the end, we can still Google things. And so far that’s worked out pretty well.  MORE

Meanwhile, Masatake Wasa makes this "flippant remark":

When will we see helpouts used for pornography?


I'm fascinated how the market will form over time. Would this product erode further into the prices that...people who often work in skill or knowledge based industry in a self-employed capacity...can currently charge, because of competition?


There is probably a first-mover advantage at the moment: if you could get in, and establish a presence...then you'll have a head start, and may be able to command better prices and conditions later.  MORE

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