“How do I change this?" "Something's wrong with that?" Why can't I download this software?" These cries for help -- all sorts of cries for help -- are being helped on Fixya.com.
It's a free question-and-answer site. Fixya has more than 150 categories, ranging from welding tools to bridal attire.
Right now, there are, in fact, quite a few startups that are offering this kind of live service. The promise of a live person is great in a world of toll-free support, that after a long wait in line, connects you with inexperienced helpers and online tutorials. According to IBISWorld, the U.S. computer and electronic repair industry alone is worth $20 billion annually.
Otobots, a Chicago-based company delivers certified mechanics to people’s driveways. Techy, based in Washington, D.C., has provided same-day laptop repair-service, with couriers picking up and returning the machine. Fixya is going further -- it is also offering a paid app service -- 6ya.
The smiling man in the picture promises guidance from experts in six minutes or less. $6 per month is the cost for unlimited audio or video calls to gurus who give advice and are able to fix things remotely. All the available experts -- in computers, smart phones, autos and home appliances -- have at least two years of professional repair experience.
The smiling guy, a former Apple staffer, fields the phone calls. He hires other experts who work on a freelance basis, and get paid $3 by fixya for each support call.
Here's the fixya ad that touts various areas it supports.
Wow, whoopee, whew -- this is what I need, my husband, John Cullum, often needs, our son JD occasionally needs, is desperately needed by friends and acquaintances who phone me from time to time, when they are stuck, frustrated, tearing out their hair with an unfixable something-or-other.
NEW! ... Emily Frankel and John Cullum offer lively, provocative video commentary on YouTube once a week. Click image above to go.
HOW I GOT HERE
I'm a writer, writing things that haven't brought me fame, but continue to involve me, inspire me to find an audience.
I started out as a modern dancer, contemporary, but balletic. I didn't want to be a swan, or a barefoot dancer. I wanted to dance to the music that thrilled me as a child, and made me want to be a dancer.
I began writing in the truck my first husband, Mark Ryder and I bought, in order to carry our set, props, and costumes for a long one-night-stands tour -- eighty-eighty performances in eighty-eight cities.
We were performing "Romeo and Juliet" nightly, but our marriage was breaking up. Every day while our stage manager drove us two-hundred miles or so to the next booking, I'd type a detailed description of last night -- what we did well, what we argued about, and a travelogue about the town, and comments from the people at the nightly party.
Recovering from the trip and the divorce, I sent my "car book" to a friend who said -- "Em, it's great, but ..." And that became rewrites, and another book. Then, my marriage to actor John Cullum, and then a play that got produced, and another book, big hopes because a famous agent loved it. The title and concept changed five times -- now it's been published, finally, as "Somebody, Woman of the Century." You can buy it, or read about it and my other five novels on Emily Frankel.com