Bloomberg Anywhere Remote Login Bloomberg Terminal Demo Request


Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.


Financial Products

Enterprise Products


Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000


Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Bloomberg Customers

Out in the Ether?

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 2, 2006

First flagged by TechCrunch, Ether has just launched as a sort of eBay for services. You can sign up, get an Internet phone number, and start offering your expertise over the Net.

If this sounds familiar, it should., the precursor to Ingenio, which is the company launching Ether, tried the same basic idea in the late 1990s—and it devolved into an Internet psychic line. After that, the company morphed into Ingenio, which offers pay-per-call services. Except at Keen, you can click a link for “professional services” and get what looks like yet another service that looks similar to Ether, provided by … Ingenio. Yikes. Are you confused too?

Although I can see the potential value in an easy way for people to offer (and find) expertise with a simple phone call, I’m not sure that somewhat slicker technology will overcome the basic obstacles: Why would I want to pay in advance to talk to someone or get content from them if I don’t know who they are? And under what circumstances will I want this over the phone?

Apologies to Ingenio/Ether if I’m missing something before having talked to them about it. Mitch Ratcliffe offers some interesting possibilities for it, and so do Robert Scoble and Pete Cashmore. Ether’s blog also explains that Ether is much more distributed than Ingenio’s related services, potentially contained right inside blogs and other Web sites. Maybe that’s the key to the reputation problem. But I don’t know if this will end up being the killer Web app for services that has so far eluded so many.

Post a comment



Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



BW Mall - Sponsored Links

Buy a link now!