ChaCha search engine with live guides
ChaCha, which describes itself as "the world's largest live search engine," is now available in beta form. The interesting feature is the defining one - ChaCha can supply "a human guide who assists you in real-time via an instant-message chat."
"Even expert searchers don't always have the answers," reasoned CEO Scott A. Jones. "ChaCha's search-with-a-guide process connects you to a live person who has knowledge about your particular topic and who knows the best resources on the web for that topic."
Search Engine Watch's Greg Sterling has reviewed the site in both its alpha and beta forms, and writes that "there have been some significant improvements." He provided a transcript of his experience with one guide, though, and it's not overly encouraging - Sterling's inquiry about non-toxic household cleaning products led to what he called a "philosophical argument."