Some of you may have noticed a new ad on the right side of my blog the past couple of weeks. This ad indicates that I'm a BitWine Advisor.
So the question I've been asked is what is BitWine and what does it mean to be a BitWine Advisor.
First off let me state that BitWine is a Beta product that I found intriguing and wanted to explore further. It you go their web site http://www.bitwine.com you'll see a web site that looks a bit hooky and even a bit untrustworthy. Yet dig a little deeper and you’ll discover an interesting concept.
The concept is perfectly in line with the new Web 2.0 concept of a Mash-up (coming up with a good idea using API (application interface integration) with established web businesses) to develop it. In this case, they created a middle layer between Skype and PayPal.
First the BitWine middle layer is a database of people who have registered and defined a list of topics they consider themselves experts on. To find an expert on a specific topic say "WebTrends", you simply search on WebTrends and a list of those who claim to be WebTrends experts will appear along with a bio, links to their web sites/blogs and a per minute billing rate. Next, what BitWine does through Skype is monitor my on-line connection. So if I'm logged into Skype and available, they show me as available. You then have ability to simply click on my name and be connected immediately to me via my Skype connection. If I'm not on-line and you want to talk to me you can make an appointment using the BitWine calendaring service.
Of course you need to pay, so once you and I agree during our call that the billing should commence, I start the clock (you'll need to agree electronically) and BitWine calculates the charge on a per minute basis and handles the payment automatically via PayPal.
Sounds simple enough does it? BitWine has also taken a page from eBay and asks users to rate their advisor after the fact. Hence one method of building up creditability and proving you are the expert you claim to be. Well so far, no calls but the Christmas period have just ended and as business start to ramp-up again who knows. Of course, this all depends on BitWine actively promoting their service or for me to direct potential business there. This brings us full circle back to the new ad on the side of my blog.
So here is an offer to my blog readers. Just to help me test out this service, I'll give the first person who calls via BitWine and mentions this blog 10 minutes of advise no charge.