Experts in a variety of topics can offer free or paid help from anywhere
Google has introduced a new service it is calling "Google Helpouts" today, and as the name would imply it is based on connecting people to help each other with a Google Hangout video call. A new page and support documentation for Google Helpouts has been released quietly tonight (we'd expect Google to make a formal announcement soon) with a lot of information about what exactly it is and how it works.
The basic idea is to build up a network of experts on different topics — cooking, exercise and mechanical help are used as examples — that are willing to help others who have a need for that specific knowledge, and link them together for either free or paid help. That's right, experts can offer their services for a self-defined fee, of which Google takes a 20 percent cut to cover Google Wallet transaction and hosting fees. Google is however offering a 100 percent money-back guarantee to the person receiving the help if they aren't satisfied.
Google is taking information from people who are interested in giving or receiving help, but that's the extent of this system at the moment. Presumably Google is interested in building up a group of experts who are willing to offer their services before making the entire system live.
We know that Google Hangouts has turned into a great system for bringing people together that aren't in the same geographical area, but this system is really going to hinge on the number of experts that are willing to provide help to others. Especially when it comes to a paid service, people are going to be hesitant to jump right in with this. What do you say, would you pay an expert for their knowledge over a Google Helpout?