Comdex was a tremendous disappointment, until Expertcity.com came along.
I don't subscribe to the view of a majority of writers on technology that feel like they have to justify the industries they cover. Nowhere was this more evident than in the past week in Las Vegas where there seemed to be some sort of desire to pain the twentieth anniversary celebrations of Comdex as the portal to the post-PC generation. For the most part, Comdex is on the verge of extinction except as a venue for Ziff-Davis to wine and dine advertisers, and plug its latest publications. A bloated, aimless show, which seemed to be more about digital cameras than anything else. I mean, it's a great place to meet and greet customers and contacts from around the world. That's why they have fleets of limousines ferrying Dell and Gateway customers to hospitality suites dotted around Vegas' resorts.
That's how I felt after a couple of exhausting days of trudging from one venue to another. Then, I sat down for forty minutes with Andreas von Blottnitz, CEO of
I can't tell you exactly what it is about Expertcity.com that has got to me. I haven't felt this enthused about a company, a product, or much else, in quite some time. Not for lack of trying either. All I can say is that I have an incredibly strong gut feel about this Web company. I'll try and explain what they do, but I suggest you go to their site and actually take it on for yourselves. My words may not do it justice because, the premise and function of Expertcity.com is about as simple as it could get.
Presently, Expertcity.com is in its beta stage of development, and it covers support for Excel, PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Windows 95 and 98, Internet Explorer, and Netscape Navigator. You go to the site, and type in your problem. Let's say, "How do I change the default line spacing in my Word document?" Once your query has been entered, you will get back a list of live "experts", sometimes with their picture attached, usually with the Expertcity.com logo. Each expert is responding to your query, and offers support for free, although the plan is to charge for services at some later date. They are bidding to support you, or help you out. First really neat thing, right there. I have a deluge of willing helpers applying to interact with me. Boy, doesn't that beat the usual technical support nightmare. "Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line and our next available operator will be with you shortly."
In this case, I get to choose my little helper. Each expert has a resume you can view, as well as a star rating. The resume contains the comments of people who have been helped by the expert in the past, and the star rating is the result of direct consumer feedback of the expert's work. In addition, you get to see how many customers they have already served, and when they are available to help you during the session. Unbelievable. It's so simple, yet, it's so bloody effective!
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