Marian University and ChaCha, the online and mobile answer service, have partnered to create a custom widget for the Marian University web site. This is the first deployment of the “Powered by ChaCha” Q&A service on a web site anywhere in the U.S. The new widget launched on December 7, 2011, on the university’s Clark H. Byrum School of Business web pages. Visitors to the site will be able to interact with the “Powered by ChaCha” widget to ask questions about the university. Answers will be provided by ChaCha’s database and its team of trained guides who respond to users in real-time.
“We believe that visitors to the Byrum School of Business web site expect to see interaction and engagement, especially those who are prospective students,” said Dr. Russ Kershaw, dean of the Clark H. Byrum School of Business. Faculty in the business school have additional enhancements already planned for the “Powered by ChaCha” application.
“The next innovation will be the addition of advertising to the widget, which will allow us to establish an advertising agency for our students to manage,” said Kershaw. Students will develop the ads, set the pricing, sell the ad space, and then manage the customer relationships. The advertising agency is another dimension of the innovative curriculum and experiential approach to teaching business that the Byrum School is developing.
“We believe that this partnership with ChaCha will be an enhancement to the university’s site that is both efficient and relevant for our target audience of prospective students,” said Bob Golobish, Marian University’s vice president for marketing communications. Marian University’s web site, like most university sites, is extremely large with many thousands of pages. The ChaCha widget is an enhancement that will create a better overall user experience.
“When we started ChaCha, our emphasis was focused on getting the technology right and making sure we were providing the absolute best, most reliable answers to our users,” said Scott Jones, ChaCha’s CEO. “We’re very excited to work with Marian University to roll out an expanded model that broadens ChaCha’s reach to thousands of websites around the world. It’s particularly exciting to have ChaCha involved in the expanding curriculum involving digital advertising on Marian University’s campus.”
ChaCha officials were intrigued by the university’s new approach to teaching business. The partnership creates a challenging, “real world” experience for students, who have to develop and manage the revenue model, which ChaCha will be able to deploy with advertisers around the globe. “The partnership with Marian University is truly a win-win,” said Kershaw. “Students get the benefit of an authentic experience and ChaCha can hone its marketing strategy,” he continued.
ChaCha is the leading source for free real-time information and answers. Through its unique "ask-a-smart-friend" platform, ChaCha has answered nearly 2 billion questions since launch from more than 25 million unique users per month via online (ChaCha.com), mobile text (242-242), iPhone app, Android app, and voice ( 1-800-2- ChaCha(TM)). ChaCha is one of the fastest growing mobile and online publishers according to Nielsen, comScore, and Quantcast. Follow ChaCha on Twitter: @ChaCha, @ChaChaMan, @ChaChaCMO.