Any Question Answered


Any Question Answered

Infobox_Company
company_name = IssueBits Ltd
company_
company_type = Limited company
foundation = August 2002
location_city = London
location_country = United Kingdom
key_people = Colly Myers - CEO
Bill Batchelor
Stephen Williams - CFO
Paul Cockerton
area_served = United Kingdom, Ireland
num_employees = small permanent staff
1450+ self employed researchers | industry = Search
products =
services = SMS-based question answering
homepage = [http://www.aqa.63336.com www.aqa.63336.com]
intl = yes

Any Question Answered, or AQA 63336, is a premium-rate SMS mobile question and answer service based in the UK, operated by Issuebits Ltd. Mobile phone users can text AQA with any question and get a reply, on a charge per question basis. Launched in April 2004 by former Symbian CEO Colly Myers, the service has gone on to receive widespread media coverage, and has answered over 15 million questions. Spin off publications have also been produced based on a selection of the answers sent.

History

Former Symbian CEO Colly Myers founded Issuebits Ltd in 2002, which publicly launched the AQA service on 22 April 2004 [ [http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/04/22/what_colly_did_next/ Former Symbian, Psion boss answers all your questions | The Register ] ] . AQA was the first SMS text based spontaneous and generalised question and answer service using a only premium rate shortcode number, although other services already existed in different forms.

Since launching, AQA experienced steady growth in the number of questions answered. By June 2007, 1 million customers had sent 7 million texts to AQA. On 6 October 2008 AQA announced it had answered 15 million questions from 2 million customers. [ [http://www.63336.com/news/pr_081006_15million.htm AQA Press Release 6 October 2008] ]

In March 2008, the AQA Club was launched, expanding the service available to users above the basic one time interaction model.

ervice

Basic

The basic AQA service is spontaneuous, involving a single user interaction. Users are only charged for each question sent, they do not require a subscription to use the service or to adhere to a set number of texts.

The service is available for UK mobile phone users on shortcode 63336 for £1 per text, and in Ireland using the number 57275 for €2 per text. AQA can also be used by UK or Irish mobile phone users in foreign countries subject to network roaming charges.

AQA charges the user per text message sent (per 160 characters) and replies, which are free to the user, are always in one text message. The AQA service will answer any question on any subject, limited only by set terms and conditions covering certain competence/moral/legal obligations. A

AQA Club

This optional opt in service allows users to register a member profile therough the website, allowing researchers to use this profile to tailor answers to the member. Members also receive free texts and books, and can view their previous questions and answers throught the website.

Operation

The AQA service operates through a network of home-based researchers who connect with AQA's text messaging system. Researchers receive questions, and use their own sources which can include the Internet, published materials or a telephone inquiry, to compose answers. Operation is augmented through use of a database of all past answers provided to previous questions, and if applicable, through a user's AQA Club memeber profile.

Researchers are recruited from English-speaking locations around the world to provide 24-hour coverage. [ [http://www.aqa.63336.com/press_061124.htm AQA 63336 news - Aussies answer Brits text googlies ] ] By using home based researchers, AQA takes advantage of relatively untapped portions of the workforce, such as students and stay at home parents. Researchers operate as piece workers paid 30p [ [http://www.itv.com/Lifestyle/ThisMorning/features/Howtomakemoney/default.html ITV.com] How To Make Money, 5 February 2008] per answer, and set their own work schedule. All researchers must pass an initial acceptance test and are subject to continual reviews to ensure quality of service. A small central company staff maintains service quality.

Marketing

A number of AQA publications have been produced using previous questions received and answered. The AQA service has received publicity through its use by various celebrities and media personalities, and by appearance at public events such as the Edinburgh Fringe in its trademark orange colour scheme.

Passing the 15th million question mark was assisted in part by a rush of use, after past user Graham Norton used AQA to settle the issue, "Are baboons evil?", after an argument on his television chat show in October 2008 [ [http://www.mobile-ent.biz/news/31645/15m-questions-answered-by-AQA 15m questions answered by AQA] Mobile Entertainment, 9 October 2008] .

AQA's freelance researchers are often roped in to help in marketing events, which tend to be focussed on the London area. The company has "launched", among other things, an AQA bikini, cocktail, and necklace to promote the number and increase brand recognition.

AQA has also received coverage in the mainstream and internet media through various story angles, such as strange questions, researcher back-stories and the commercial or technological aspects of the business. AQA also provides services to third party companies such as MTV, which has a specialised version of the service called "Mr Know-It-All" that shows the questions and answers on TV over the music videos, and various magazines.

The AQA website publishes a list of the best 5 questions and answers processed each day. New users are provided one free initial question through the website.

Regulation

The AQA service is promoted as being spam free for basic users, who will not receive any texts other than requested answers. The service also promises not to use a user's mobile number for any other purpose than the AQA service. AQA operates within the UK PhonepayPlus (formerly ICSTIS) and Irish Regtel premium rate service regulators codes of practice.

Awards

* AQA was named best mobile service at the Mobile Choice Consumer awards held on 30th September 2004
* As of January 2008, AQA are ranked the number 2 shortcode service in the UK by Hutchison 3G Telecommunications, operator of the Three network. [ [http://www.three.co.uk/personal/help_support_/useful_information_/shortcodes.omp 3 - Help and Support - Useful Information - Shortcodes ] ]

Bibliography

* "The End of the Question Mark" (2006) Profile Books Ltd ISBN 1-86197-869-3
* "Any Question Answered" (2007) Profile Books Ltd ISBN 1-84668-082-4
* "Brilliant Answers" (2008) Profile Books Ltd ISBN 1-84668-216-9

References

External links

* [http://www.63336.com/ AQA website]


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