The Q&A app, Jelly has relaunched with a with a pledge to bring “humanity” back to search. Jelly originally launched in 2014, meeting with just a limited adoption. But now, a few years later, has been reworked and refreshed, and reintroduced to a wide audience.
Basically, the idea behind Jelly is the idea that people can do a better job of answering questions than any search engine. Even though the idea behind is admirable, there has yet to be any search engine that has been able to pull this idea off. This includes even the biggest names in search, such as Yahoo Answers, Answers.com, Askville, ChaCha, Keen, Quora, Rewarder, Vark and Facebook Questions.
Biz Stone, the founder of Jelly, as well as the co-founder of Twitter, sees Jelly as a marriage of Technology and human altruism. Biz believes Jelly can be more efficient than search:
The average person likely has several if not a dozen or more ordinary questions every day. Think about the time you spend “searching” each day. Those minutes easily turn into hours. Jelly gives you your time back. Enter your question, then return to your life. In its early phase, it may take minutes for Jelly to get you an answer, but Jelly is doing the work.
This special kind of search engine uses a “routing algorithm” to determine who receives questions. The intention of this is algorithm is so that the best suited types of people will be getting your question. This way, you’ll probably get the best kind of answers possible.When you join, which isn’t required by the way, you can identify different areas of expertise and interest. This way, you’ll be able to do some of your own answering as well! There’s a chance that historical response times and a number of different factors might also be factored in as well.
As Greg Sterling stated, “It’s somewhat surprising to me that despite years of trying, nobody has really developed one of these ‘help engines’ or ‘question engines’ that can go toe to toe with search.” I would have to agree. I’ve seen my share of search engines, and sure, they can lead to answers, but these answers lead to specific websites and web pages. Plus, they don’t always lead quite to you’re looking for.
The big challenge is the scale of users behind Jelly. In order to be able to answer and get answers yourself, you’ve got to have a lot of people behind this sort of operation. The more the people, but better experience each user will have with the search engine.
You might find that AI and chat bots might be able to help address the basic challenge with curated content and archived answers, assuming that those answers exits. Biz even says that Jelly is using some AI, although the notion of chat bots is in conflict with the idea of making search more “human.”