QunuQunu is a new service, claimed to be the next-generation in expertise matching, that provides users a free and simple solution to find and give real-time support covering any skill. Anyone can make a search on any skill, whether registered as a user or not, and receive a list of experts that are online at that time and are experienced in that skill. You can then choose an expert and request support using Qunu’s web-based Jabber instant messenger bringing you real-time support. Furthermore, if your not looking for help but would rather help others, you can signup and list your skills so you can appear in the expert listing.

You do not have to register with Qunu, although I recommend doing so just so you can create a profile and obtain your own unique Qunu Jabber ID (mines bbenzinger[at]qunu.com). However, if you have a Jabber account for instant messaging already, you may login with that which will get you setup with the service as well. Lastly, if you decide not to register, that is perfectly fine too because you can freely ask questions to experts as a Qunu Guest.

To start, head to the Qunu alpha site and make a search on any skill (ie: PHP, Photoshop, Linux, etc.). It will then connect to the server and find any available experts that are online in that you can request for support. When the list is returned, you click on the expert name and you will be presented with the experts profile, skill set, and amount of experience for each skill. If the expert seems to match what you’re looking for, click on the “Request live help from this expert” button at the bottom of the profile and the expert will have the option to accept or deny the request. If you did not find someone who you are looking for, you can try filtering through the list of experts by selecting more tags relating to your question on the right of the search results.

If you found an expert and the expert accepted your request for help, an instant message window will popup. The window looks very similar to your basic messaging application, so you should have no problem getting comfortable with it. Chat is Ajax powered and in real-time using the Jabber IM Client. Experts that are logged in can optionally use the Qunu web-based interface to chat or they can use their own Jabber client (supported Jabber Clients). The expert will be given the topic of discussion and then you both just have at it. Say your usual, “Hey” and “How’s it going?”, then ask your question. Remember, the experts are normal people that simply like to help, so just act like you usually would, like speaking to a friend. Also, if you’d like to include more users in your discussion, you can do this simply by clicking on invite on the message window and entering the username of your friend/expert into the text box.

When you have finished your discussion and received your answer (or not), you may save your conversation using the save button and when ready, close the instant message window. Once closed, you will then see a new window appear asking you to answer two questions regarding the expert. You rate the experts level of expertise and you say how nice the expert was when you were discussing things. As of now, I’m not sure if you can view these ratings or not, but I’m sure Qunu is planning to do something with them. If not, maybe this is Qunu’s way of moderating experts making sure they’re actually “experts.” Either way, the questions are optional and I was actually happy to see them.

Overall, I found Qunu to be a unique and helpful system. It’s like a normal instant messaging client, but without the buddy list, and to talk to someone, it’s just a search away. Qunu currently supports Firefox and Internet Explorer with Opera support on it’s way. I had no problems using the interface and everything was pretty straight forward. Also, because of the fact that searching, managing your profile, setting your online status, etc., is all powered by Ajax without redirection, you can still browse the site while having a discussion in an IM window so you won’t mistakingly leave it.

What I like about Qunu so much is that usually if I was in such a need to ask a question, I’d resort to a forum on the topic and wait for a few hours until receiving a reply. With Qunu, it’s support right when I find an expert and in real-time. It definitely saves time! But to answer the question many of you are probably thinking, why would someone be willing to help me, especially when it’s for free? As Qunu says in their FAQ section, “It’s simple. In general, people love to help. They’re doing it already, on forums, email lists and a hundred other places. What we’re doing is giving people a way to help in real time. And get thanked in real time too.” Qunu also says, “It’s community helping community” and I can’t agree more with both statement. Great work, Qunu. I’ll try to help out where I can!

View Qunu Live Support with Web-Based Messaging.

9 Comments on “Qunu Live Support with Web-Based Messaging”

  1. Mashable* says:

    Qunu Is a Killer Idea…

    Qunu is a really neat concept. As you can see on the alpha testing site, the service allows you to search for experts on technology topics and get instant answers to your questions. Qunu runs on a web-based Jabber IM client, but you can ask for he…

  2. Joel Selvadurai says:

    Hi! I run messagr.com. Messagr.com isn’t just about linux support but about any topic and lets you sign up using any IM network.

  3. Qunu - tech support of crowd at Kamal.co.in says:

    [...] Solution Watch conducts a quick review and explaining the registration process and benefits of having a jabber id. [...]

  4. Hope Leman says:

    Qunu is fantastic. I was helped massively by memeplexes with HTML problems. He is skillful, funny and incredibly generous with his time. A wonderful person and a wonderful service.

  5. Live Support Information » Blog Archive - Qunu is a new service, claimed to be the next-generation in expertise m says:

    [...] Qunu Live Support with Web-Based Messaging [...]

  6. Jim Doty says:

    I am having trouble getting firefox to allow me to play games on line, such as pogo.com. It says that my ava is not enabled, but it is. I have downloaded the latest Java and the mozilla firefox. Can you help me with this problem? All I ever get back are commuterized answers and they all say the same thing, and I have gone through everyone, but to no avail.

  7. Tom Baskett says:

    The firefox update 2.0,,,2.1 something like that causes me to not be able to open my bookmarks or tabs. I have windows xp and have to do a back date to get my computer to work again. I tried to keep it form downloading again and when I turned on my computer the next time it started downloading it again. I have sent them messages to no avail…HELP

  8. The OPLIN 4cast » Blog Archive » OPLIN 4cast #14 says:

    [...] Qunu Live Support with Web-Based Messaging (Solution Watch) [...]

  9. Tom Quilon says:

    I am trying to access Qunu, everytime I go to the web site it says that it can’t connect to the server. that my firewall may be blocking. I use AVG, after checking everything seems to be in order. I am able to go to any other site with no problem. I had a problem connecting to the internet last week, I had a so called tech look at my computer, he changed some settings, un-installed and re-installed Firefox and then I was able to connect to the internet again. However , I am not able in some instances to connect to the internet. Again, I use AVG anti virus (free version) it will no update itself, when it tries it tells me that I’m not connected to the internet!?!? I have several other programs that I use regularly that I am no longer able to use because of this connectivity issue. I understand that this may not be something that is fixable in a chat, however I am determined to figure this out myself and any other problems that come along, if anyone can send me in the right direction to learn what I need to do that would be great. By the way I run XP. Love the concept of this site, I intend to use this service if I ever get connected.
    Thank you All