Mahalo, Jason Calacanis’ latest venture which you’ll be no stranger to if you’ve been reading his blog (i.e. the last 12 or so posts!), launched a new program called Greenhouse today. The idea behind Greenhouse is to let outsiders (meaning not full-time employed Mahalo editors) submit their search result pages and pay them for it.
The program involves 4 steps. You submit an application to be a part-time guide (or PTG) as they call it, which gives you submission rights to the search result pages you want to create. Your search results are looked through by Mahalo full-time guides (FTGs) and once accepted, you get paid anywhere from $10-$15, and the search result page is published.
Jason Calacanis is no stranger to ‘paying’ mass amounts of people to write content for his ventures — he did it with Weblogs, Inc, with Netscape, and he’s now using the same principles with Mahalo. For Mahalo, which has received a lot of venture capital so far from Sequoia — enough, Calacanis claims, to keep them alive for the next five years — the $10-$15 per-SERP is not a dear price. It’s a fair incentive for the PTG as well, and of course, you always have the opportunity to convert into an FTG if your true talent is in writing 15-30 SERPs a week.
So far, Mahalo has been widely critiqued for their arguably unrealistic ambitions and the whole ‘going back to the future’ thing with human-edited search. With the introduction of Greenhouse, this makes their goal (to hit 10,000 search results in the next few months) much more achievable and since there are likely to be people from all over the world involved, they’ll be able to get started in building a strong core community — think Wikipedia.