,We Google for answers, turn to Facebook for advice from friends, take classes online, so why wouldn't we turn to Pop Expert, a service that connects us with expert advice from the internet, via video sessions designed for self improvement? This is the idea behind the new site that allows users to connect with experts through one-on-one video sessions - to learn from them through live video sessions that can be scheduled with just two clicks. But would you pay a subject matter "expert" for parenting, travel, meditation, marketing, music, relationships, career mentoring, language, nutrition, productivity, and style assistance before going to your friends or family?
"I think people still go to family and friends, but choose the ones they know will give them sound advice. We all have friends and family whom we would NOT turn to in a time of need!" says Jessica Cohen, a Babble Body & Mind blogger who also writes at Found the Marbles.
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And perhaps that's what Pop Expert is capitalizing on by making thousands of "interesting and talented experts" easily accessible for users to learn from in the name of getting better at "life, work & play." And Pop Expert makes scheduling easy. Meeting with an expert is as easy as "booking a meeting in your calendar, taking away the excuses we all have for not investing in our own happiness and success." Fees begin at $25 for the first fifty minute session with a parenting expert, and seemed to top out at $500 for an Achievement Architecture session with Ari Meisel, who used health and fitness to overcome Chron's disease and now conducts productivity and health coaching sessions.
While there are experts like Ari available through Pop Expert, who are the other individuals available for hire? You and me. Anyone can sign up to be a Pop Expert, to build a client base to share their knowledge with the masses and get paid for their expertise as a virtual coach.
"Isn't that what YouTube is for?" asks Kris Cain from Little Tech Girl upon first hearing about Pop Expert. "I would probably take my chances watching a few free videos rather than paying, when I am not sure what I am going to get or if it is going to help me."
Kris isn't the only one who questioned the authority of some of the experts on Pop Expert. While I'm sure that many are highly qualified, there's not a lot of information about a majority of the individuals to make me want to book a session with them even for the discounted first time session rate.
"A healthy dose of skepticism is good," believes Hillary Chybinski (HACScrap.com), "and there should be a lot more reader beware than there is. We teach our kids not to believe everything they see or read online - that nice girl on the Minecraft game may actually be a 52-year-old from Cleveland - but we seem more gullible. We being adults."
"It's a venue for advice from people who aren't professionals who want to try and claim their expertise, even if they don't have it," scoffs A Daily Pinch's Lisa Frame.
"Can you get a coach that will help you start a blog?" Jessica asked.
From what I've seen from the site, not yet. But I think I know just the person to be that Pop Expert! Maybe I'll sign up now. Don't tell Martha Stewart.
-By Leticia Barr
For 10 pieces of parenting advice I'm sick and tired of hearing, visit Babble!
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