Remember this phone number!

1-866-WEB-4111

If you are away from your computer and need a question answered here’s a service that will do it for you. The company is Look Up Web for Me. It’s a toll free call and a free service. You name the question and they look up the answer.

I decided to test the service out. I called and was put on hold while a “Search Maestro” was located for me. By the way Search Maestros get paid $10-15 per hour and work from home! I was on hold for a few seconds then Jen answered my call. Pleasant and easy to understand Jen was willing to look up pretty much anything I asked. When I first read about the service through a question posed by founder Altaf Boghani on LinkedIn, I was a little suspicious. It sounds too good to be true. Right now the service is privately funded and I wonder how they will generate income in the future. Maybe it will be via phone ads as Google 411 plans to.

In all it’s a great idea. I can’t tell you how many times I have called home, a friend, or even the library to have someone do a quick Internet search for me, and that’s exactly where the idea for this business came from. According to a Jan. 11, 2008 press release, Boghani researched and found that people call family and friends to look up a wide range of information on the Web.

The most frequent categories were directions, store hours and locations, train times, traffic jams, weather, address confirmation, hotels, flight information, phone info from an organization’s web page, and doctor’s number from an HMO Web site.

Heck, my mom called me tonight to ask how many calories are in a potato!

I’m curious to see how librarians view this service? Do we have some competition? Or is this just another great resource? I’m also curious to know why people, my mom included, don’t call their libraries for information like this.

About Lori Reed

Lori Reed, coauthor of Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Non-Profit Trainers, is a learning and communication strategist with more than twenty years experience in learning and development. A 2009 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2010 "One to Watch" for paralibrarians, Lori graduated cum laude from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication. Lori is a certified Synchronous Learning Expert and a North Carolina Master Trainer and has traveled across North America speaking about libraries and training.

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