I declare Google Helpouts a gamechanger, and here is why

Google Helpouts: A Gamechanger or a Lame Attempt at Relevancy

I’m no fan of Google. Their business model is to sell us ads, and I hate ads, so Google and I are bound to clash on a fundamental level.

I’m not a G+ groupie either. They created a Twitter-like “I-follow-you-but-you-don’t-have-to-follow-me-back” social network, with a Facebook feature-set. Well, la-di-freakin’-da!

But when I saw Google Helpouts, I have to admit. I was impressed.

What are Google Helpouts?

google helpouts

It’s a marketplace for real-time help.

You search for whatever it is you need help with; cooking a meal, playing guitar, put on makeup, and sure enough, there’s someone offering to teach it to you.

The price for this service is set by the “teacher” and it ranges from free to $40-50.

Here’s a video Google made to help explain it further.

Gamechanger or Lame Attempt at Relevancy?

I have never, EVER, said anything positive about Google. When I sit down to write a post about Google, it’s usually to rip them a new one.

But this time, it’s different.

At first, I thought that Helpouts will be a gamechanger because of the innovative brilliance that somehow creeped back into Google, probably by accident. But then I discovered a slew of companies (LivePerson is a good example) that have been doing this for years.

So, from an innovation standpoint, we have nothing to fear. Google is as lame as ever.

However, I declare Google Helpouts a gamechanger, and here is why.

They have the ecosystem to pull it off on a massive scale.

Google started cutting its video teeth in 2006 when they acquired YouTube, and they sharpened those teeth with Google Hangouts.

They introduced Google Wallet years ago, and gave absolutely no one a compelling reason to use it.

With Google’s power to control the search, their experience in video, and their ability to process online transactions (and extract a fee), this Helpouts ecosystem has a great potential.

HIPAA Compliant

Here’s the kicker. Google Helpouts are HIPAA compliant.

What will the medicine look like 5 years from now when newly graduating doctors are able to perform a “house call” on their mobile phone, and charge a patient in the process.

Google has the weight and the authority to pull this off. Remember when they illegally started scanning books and posting them online? After many lawsuits by unhappy publishers, Google won.

I think Google has an opportunity here to fix a system US government can’t, by democratizing the point of entry for newly minted physicians, and creating a competitive, scalable, and humanized experience for patients.

The Last Word

Is yours.

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Founder @Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Professional speaker with a real job | Lousy Mixed Martial Artist | Singer/Songwriter | Global Force for Badassery.

Your frankness is refreshing!!! I don't like ads either, especially on TV. But I will try this gamechanger for sure! Thx for this article!!!!!

Rick Noblett
Rick Noblett


I've got to agree with you about how this will fit nicely with Google wallet. I believe a lot of people will put more faith in the information they are paying for on Google, vs. what they might find for free on Youtube. 

Lovin' the blog bud, keep crushing it! 

Justin Germino
Justin Germino

Did people forget about eHow.com, Ask.com or any other of the help but yeah, most people will ask their social peers first if they know how to do something or get a referral, then if they have to hire someone it may be cheaper to get someone immediately in real time to show you over a hangout.  This could be something usable and a service that pairs people willing to offer services for a "section of time" they can be available for real time support, like they are "open for business" between 10am and 12pm 2 hours a day for real time support.  But the system has to track availability, who is in the pool, response times, know when a case closes and availability comes back.  I assume this will all be on the backbone of Hangout someway but it should be interesting to see how this flushes out.  


I really liked that video. I am sure that everyone's experience with this product will consist of beautifully composed, well lit, HD video with beautiful models. Right?



Hi Dino

So what bothers me here is that all that free wonderful help we could always find by searching YouTube -- I'm afraid that now we'll have to pay for it. And that seems, in a word, wrong.

Also, there have been people making money off of hangouts for a long time now, like offering cooking lessons. This is just institutionalizing a practice.

Hi! How are you? Haven't run into you for quite awhile. OK. Thx. Bai.

:) Linda

dinodogan moderator

@Rick Noblett The paying component is an interesting angle. I ALWAYS charge people for consultations and "lemme pick your brain" sessions. 

And here's the funny thing. I dont charge them for my sake. Few hundred buck here and there makes no difference to my bottom line, but it makes a HUGE difference to them. When people pay for information, they pay attention to it, and they execute. 

dinodogan moderator

@Dragon Blogger There's a segment of Triberr population that cant use Triberr comments due to a bug. I'm in that segment :-(

I will definitely be going back to Triberr comments after we update the plugin, but in the meantime, I figured I'd experiment with Livefyre. 

I know I like DisqUs, so I havent used LiveFyre in about 2 years, and I decided to see how it changed. So far I'm pleased with it :-)

dinodogan moderator

@RalphMRivera I wondered if they took real Helpouts and turned them into a commercial, or they created fake helpouts just for the ad. Google certainly has the resources to make a real commercial, so thats probably what they did.

Will be interesting to see how this plays out :-)

dinodogan moderator

@wordwhacker The killed app in this case is the real time component. So I think Youtube is safe...for now :-)

Justin Germino
Justin Germino

@dinodogan @Dragon Blogger I used Livefyre for a year before the converted me to Livefyre 3 commenting, the social media reply feature is better than Disqus and they have more flexible comment moderation rules plus the ability to let the readers flag comments for auto moderation which is AWESOME.  But the image upload feature for Disqus is pretty awesome, as is some other features, so still on Disqus.  I may switch back to Livefyre at some point.