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When Google snapped up Slide last August, most were predicting that the search engine would look to use the acquisition to expand its social gaming and app development business. However, it would appear that the first fledgling steps of a Google-owned Slide have been in an entirely different direction.
Yesterday, a new site called Prizes.org was launched. Not massive news in and of itself, sites launch almost every day. However, this new crowd sourcing reward site is something a little bit different. Almost like a grown up version of Google Answers, it allows users to pose questions and offer financial rewards for those who provide the best response. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that this is a Google/Slide venture too.
This causes obvious interest on its own of course. As we’ve seen time and time again, if the Big G releases a new product, it gets lapped up globally – at least in terms of initial interest. Having shelled out $200 million+ on Slide last year, many industry commentators have been looking for the results of this collaboration. Therefore Prizes.org, as the first visible action, has already got its own PR machine in place, now ably assisted here.
Anyway, onto the nuts and bolts of the site. Essentially, it is a socially orientated Q&A platform, almost without limitation. But rather than dolling out points and badges, the best response is given cold hard cash. Therefore it is more of a competitive exchange, providing freelancers and experts with a forum to provide valuable ideas.
For instance, if I had created a new blog but couldn’t come up with a catchy name, I could throw it open to the community. A little advert, a $10 reward and I could have a fantastic crowd sourced title in no time. Perhaps my organisational skills are limited and I want somebody to draw up an itinerary for my forthcoming trip to Germany; again, this could be blasted out to the wider public for their opinions.
The concept is actually very interesting and offers a genuine step forward in social crowd sourcing and the rather stale Q&A format. Experts can share knowledge and earn genuine rewards, whilst users can enjoy the benefits. Now whether it ever truly takes off will be dependent on public uptake. As with any social platform, it needs an active community to survive. Sign up seems simple enough, with users able to use Twitter or Facebook profiles (I would assume that Google + profiles will also soon be usable), giving it a very open feel.
It will certainly be interesting to watch how this concept develops and the site grows – if indeed it does. This could also represent something of a new direction for the partnership between Google and Slide, so the next step – assuming other products will be launched – should be equally interesting.