Google Helpout is the newest feature from Google that aims to help small businesses, experts, and the "little guy." As the name suggests, Helpout helps people that have a skill sell that skill to others. But that's not very clear, is it? Here's a better way of looking at Google Helpout.
A Helpout Example
Let's say that you are an experienced chef with a proven track record. Using Google Helpout, you can sell your knowledge to the highest bidder in the form of a video chat. Google handles the payment process, scheduling, and the part where you have to find people that actually want your help (no more cold calling!).
All you have to do is sit back, chat with some people, collect your set fee, and give Google a flat 20% on whatever fee you collect.
It's one way for experts to share knowledge while also making a bit of a profit. It's also a way for Google to connect with experts, and for the company to generate some revenue. Sound good? Where can you sign up? Not so fast - Google is being very picky about the types of experts allowed to participate in Google Helpout at the moment.
At the time of this writing, Google has only created a few Helpout expert categories including Home & Garden; Cooking; and Computers & Electronics. In addition, if you want to be considered for one of the Helpout positions, you will have to show Google an impressive resume.
If Google choose you to be a Helpout expert, you can decide what your time is worth, or you can give away your services for free. Helpout is a great way to share your services with the world, and Google can make that happen quite easily. It's also possible that Google may be adding some major corporations to the Helpout expert database too.
Combining Corporate Experts
According to a recent TechCrunch article, Google has been working with Weight Watchers and Sears on the Helpout venture. So, you may see experts from Weight Watchers or Sears join the Helpout ranks. Combining corporate experts with smaller experts is an interesting idea, and it's one that's already generating a lot of interest.
Do you fancy yourself an expert in your field? You'll have to show Google that you know your stuff, and you have to fit into one of the categories listed above, for now. Google will be adding some additional categories to the mix later this year, but Helpout is largely in beta mode right now.
Google hasn't offered up an official launch date for Google Helpout yet. However, the service is well underway, and Google has been contacting certain experts in some fields. Is this a way for Google to help out people across the land? It certainly seems that way, but we will have to wait and see if Helpout catches on.
Google isn't the first company to try and connect experts with the Internet, but it's one of the few companies poised to actually make this type of service successful.