calacanis wants to outsource ‘repetative’ (sic) tasks to ireland

Jason Calacanis showing his ignorance with a twitter last night on how he wants to outsource mindless drone work to irish or indians. I’ve often used cheap labour myself for stuff like captcha solving but I wouldn’t be sourcing anywhere local. Indian GDP per capita is $3,800. Irish GDP per capita is $44,500. A little world economy lesson for ya there Jason.

Calacanis has a web 2.0 startup called Mahalo which has a ridiculous business model. He wants to generate human edited search results for the most common queries. A few issues I have with the idea:

1) I don’t think anything human edited can keep up with the current pace of the web. A breaking blog post on a topic can be indexed and highly ranked in Google in a matter of hours these days as long as it has authority links. The authority sites are doing the human editing for Google. Real human editing could not possibly keep up.

2) OK, the Mahalo editors might be doing a good service with these result pages but it’s like something the wikimedia foundation would bring out and release completely free. Thousands of editors are writing pages for Wikipedia for free (I don’t know why, but they do) but Jason is paying editors to make pages for Mahalo. It is not a good business model.

3) If a super search engine came out tomorrow with a much vaster index than G and better relevancy, it would still take a long while for people to switch. Google’s results are ‘good enough’ to prevent people to actively look for other engines.

Do people think of something they want to read about or (more importantly) buy and load up the Mahalo homepage to start a search? I seriously doubt it. I assume the majority of Mahalo’s traffic comes from Google. It’s a crap idea, it will be forgotten in a years time when Bubble 2.0 has burst and swept away all the shite

Published by Georgie Casey

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  1. Well, I’ve heard that a lot of folks are outsourcing to North Ireland and that it’s competitive because the quality of work is greater than other regions. Obviously I was *ASKING* a question on twitter.. not stating that I know the answer to the question. It certainly not an insult to Ireland (I’m Irish fyi)… hardly, it was a hat tip if anything!

    In terms of Mahalo working you are correct that it doesn’t work to pay folks for every search result, but for the ones that are very popular (say Paris Hotels, iPhone, or breast cancer) it makes a lot of sense. Take a look at the pages we have and compare to Yahoo/Google/Ask… we’re clearly better.

    Also, not sure if you’ve seen it but we added a new no-results page. So, when we don’t have a result you get a bunch of machine search engines… nothing is lost, much is gained.

    All that being said, it’s a big project that will take years… and it’s a moon shot to be sure! 🙂

    best jason

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