When I need a brief distraction, I occasionally surf my incoming visitor stream on HitTail. With an emphasis on searchers, this service shows where your site visitors are coming from, in (more or less) real time. For example, in last two minutes, five visitors showed up at DB.com from these searches:
- “friend has baby for gay couple”
- “What Planet would you be able to live on why?”
- “what is 300 dpi”
- “sextoy Remote via Mobile”
Each of these searchers is asking a question. That’s what every user of Google, Yahoo et al are doing–seeking answers to questions.
Sometimes the page they find on this site will help them, and sometimes it won’t. That’s also a universal experience.
There’s a person behind every website. Many times, they can answer a searcher’s query better than their website can. Wouldn’t it be cool to connect searchers and site owners in real time?
Imagine Two Widgets
Imagine two widgets. If you’re a blogger or site publisher, you have the first one on your computer’s desktop. Like HitTail, it shows a real time stream of searchers and their search terms.
The other widget lives on every page of your website, probably in a sidebar. It looks like a little real time chat box (these have been around for a few years).
If you want to connect with a particular searcher, you click the particular search terms in your desktop widget and (using some Ajax magic) it automatically broadcasts a message to the widget on the page the searcher is currently viewing. For speed, there’s a default message that looks something like “You found this page by searching for friend has baby for gay couple–can I answer a question about that for you?” You can also type your own custom message.
A Quick Chat With the Searcher
Then you could have a quick chat with your searcher. Depending on what kind of site you have, this might result in a new RSS or newsletter subscriber, an ad click, a product sale or just some good karma.
It’s not really much different from the current live chat widgets, except that it’s specific to the searcher, talks to a desktop app and sets some very specific parameters for the ensuing conversation. This seems like a pretty obvious idea–maybe this thing exists already?