The Wisdon of Crowds Tech Support

Lynne Kiesling

OK, this is the kind of creative thinking that makes life beautiful. This CNET News article discusses a new service, Qunu, that aims to unleash distributed tech geek knowledge on tech support problems.

In my experience, the best technical support on any product will come from somebody who actually uses and likes the product, not a paid support rep following a script. That’s why people use open message boards. Message boards have always amazed me, though because so many people are willing to chip in and help people they don’t know. But they work, and whatever the topic you need help with, there’s almost certainly a group of people online willing to lend their earnest advice.

If you can’t wait for a response in a message board, you can try a new service, Qunu, which is trying to replicate the message board community spirit, but in real time. Qunu connects you via instant message to an expert on the topic you need help with.

Qunu experts register themselves and tell the system what they know about. People who need help select a topic, and the system then connects the two people via IM.

How absolutely, utterly, totally cool is that? Qunu has an embedded reputation mechanism (which the article doesn’t describe), and is in limited use right now because it does not use the more widely-available IM platforms. But the developers are working on that.

It’s only been up for 39 days, and already 1,500 experts are registered. This will be fun to watch.

Thanks to Slashdot for the link.