One of the most frequent questions I get is: “why do you use / like Mahalo?” Well, I figured it was time to address this in some more depth.
First, those that discover (for the first time – and maybe beyond) that I use the product over Google are quite surprised. It’s almost like a “how could you abandon Google?” type response. Well, the truth is, I’m not. But we’ll get to that in a little bit.
Really, it comes down to believing in what Mahalo is all about as a product more than anything. Sure I use Wikipedia. Could I rely on it for day-to-day information? No. Sure I read a ton of RSS feeds, but can I rely on those to provide with answers about a bunch of stuff (really, anything) throughout the day? No. Does Google mesh both of those things (current + news) — yeah, kinda.
But not in a way that completely satisfies me.
Let me fill you in on what I deem to be the secret of Mahalo. It’s not trying to be all information to all people (Google), and their guide notes.
This little blurb of text provides me with Wikipedia type information, but in a fast and easily referenced way. This is especially true when you get to the homepage. This is human-monitored and managed information, folks.
So this should cover why it’s better than Wikipedia, even though Mahalo makes no promise to be a Wikipedia replacement. It it did, I’d surely be less interested. But I see these two things I’ve mentioned already as key time savers throughout my day.
Now, if you look at the screenshot above carefully, you’ll notice a section called “Help Build.” I’m not going to get in to the intricacies of the Mahalo Greenhouse. But certainly, one of the best ways I got hooked as a user was when they rolled out Mahalo Social. Yes, I contribute regularly.
I actually started, and contributed, several links to help build the product management page, as I’ve mentioned on this blog before. And you know what’s funny? I actually want to submit content. When I see a spelling error on a guide note, for example, I want to draft a quick message on the message board for that page to let the guide that created it know. Why? Because I’ve actually received timely responses that are well-spoken and seen results.
You don’t get this from Google. Mahalo knows it’s capital intensive to run a people-driven content business like this, but it’s imperative. Regular old, unimportant users like me actually get to see there is stuff going on behind the scenes and they really do care about the quality of the content they are creating.
One of the other great things is their browser plug-ins that make it drop-dead simple for shmoes like me to easily supply them with content.
Now, this is only the direct and immediate type stuff that you get when interacting with the product. And I can’t lie – I know there are certainly critics out there. Any product will have them. But anything that really saves me time and helps me to find the content I’m looking for quickly is a big winner in my book.