A young woman in Chapel Hill, N.C., wakes up sweating. Her air conditioner has died. She knows she wants a new one, but she wants one that will be energy-efficient, easy to install on her own, reliable and not too expensive.
She hops online and types, “I need a new A/C today; I have $250 to spend — help!” into Twitter, which in turn feeds automatically into her Facebook status. She immediately begins to receive replies in both channels from friends with advice on retail outlets, air-conditioner brands and how to stay cool with no A/C. She also sees an @ reply on Twitter from a national big-box retailer letting her know its Chapel Hill location has new air conditioners in stock, as well as a link to the section of its website that shows air conditioners for under $250.
This is the new face of the “search” experience online.
— Peter Hershberg (via betaworks)
That sounds like hell.
And it’s too optimistic: it ignores the reality of what really happens when the internet offers easy ways for people to make small amounts of money.