Dear ChaCha

adviceVirginia Hart1 Comment

After getting her new Droid and experiencing her first tech device with GPS capability, my mother was convinced that tiny little people lived inside her phone.

"How does it know where I am?"
"How does it know what I'm doing?"
"But, really - how does it know?"

Well, Mom, here's another tidbit to make you feel like you really do have a tiny little personal slave that lives underneath the screen of your phone.

Her name? ChaCha.

Yes, that's the unfortunate name they came up with. You can name it what you want to, but I do indeed have a phonebook entry in my blackberry titled "ChaCha" and I refer to it as a "she". Perhaps this is old news to some of you, but I have recently discovered the joys of ChaCha - thanks to a trendy younger sister of a close friend - and decided to pass it on.

Have you ever been somewhere and needed to know the answer to a question -- and you either don't  have a search engine on your phone or you're too lazy to sit there and wait for the page to load to try and pull up the right link that might have the information you're seeking?  ChaCha is for you. You simply text your question to 242-242 and voila - you have your answer!

It's perfect for: trivia nights (I won't tell), help in the kitchen, a debate with your friends ("how old do you think Bethenny Frankel is?"), if you need to know the score of a game OR if you're just walking around clueless wondering what everyone and their mom is talking about.

ChaCha won't judge.

Here are some sample questions from their website:

What is cytoplasm?
What is the weather in Naples, Florida?

What was last weekends Bengal’s game final score?
Where is a great Italian restaurant in Manhattan?
What is Procter and Gamble stock trading for?
What is the name of the stadium where the Cincinnati Reds play?

ABZ, did you help ChaCha with these? ;)

You can even just text weather + zipcode (ex: weather 10011) and ChaCha will give you a complete forecast. Plus, she's available 24/7.

As stated on their FAQs page , "ChaCha is free for you to use. You only pay standard text messaging rates from your carrier if they apply to you". After asking her a few questions (I know that there are multiple people that answer the questions, but I'd like to pretend ChaCha is a tiny lady under the screen, remember?), ChaCha asked me a couple things to personalize my settings  -  gender, type of phone, zipcode and age. 

The catch? ChaCha needs to make $. So she will send you 1 or 2 texts of advertisements in addition to your answer. It's just jibber jabber. Ignore.

Oh, and if you're skeptical like I am and ask the question "What came first, the chicken or the egg?", ChaCha will reply with "Science has not answered that key question, but I do know the Egg McMuffin came before the Chicken McNugget!"

Heh. So funny, ChaCha, so funny.

until next time,