Question of the Day: Making Money from the Interwebs

My good friend Jaime is a good listener. No, a GREAT listener. She makes reassuring/outraged noises when need be. She'll even ask a poignant question or two when you're faltering. She rarely gives advice though. She believes that people are fully capable of making great decisions themselves only if someone will hear them out. She'll even top off the great listening with a big hug. I can tell she learned to hug from somebody's grandma. People our age just don't hug like that.
She wants to create a website where she listens to people. Which I think might work. I mean, people don't talk like they used to. I know I'm more prone to texting/emailing than calling someone. If you can't text or don't email, then sadly I rarely talk to you. I think it's 'cause I'm awkward on the phone but I digress. The flip side to this is that she wants to charge people a small fee for doing so. Like $5 for 30 minutes. If you want her to listen on a more consistent basis she'll give you her google voice number. For doing that she said she'll charge around $10 for 30 minutes.

My questions are: Do you think this would work? Would you pay for someone to listen to you?

Forums: 
Tigger's picture

Supplicant

but I have people who are willing to listen to me rant. Not that I'm sure they wouldn't mind having someone else handle me for a while... Smile I have a blog I rant on if I really need to get something out of my head, and I often solve my own issues while typing it all out.

For those who aren't fortunate to have someone to talk to, this might be a good thing. I just hope she's prepared to hear all SORTS of weird, wacky, crazy stuff. There are always people who are going to take advantage of this sort of thing, not just those who actually use it for it's intended purpose.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

told her. I specifically told her to watch out for people trying to have phone sex. That and she might get burned out. I know I would.

MeiLin's picture

Most High

She's going to get creepy guys looking for phone sex. I'll think about this some more.

V's picture

Embodiment

If she wants to do this to give back to the community/country/world, then the price is really just there to weed out people who would take advantage of her/it.

If she wants to make a living - that's not much of a living. She's not likely to put in solid 8+ hour days, either.

Another question - what does she really hope to provide that a social worker/counselor/therapist wouldn't? The passivity? That might be helpful to some people, but not necessarily to others. If she's really set on the "no advice, no feedback" thing, recognize that she might be put in situations where she's legally or morally required to take action.

So, I guess...it might be helpful, for some people. I'm a bit cynical, but I'm seeing more drawbacks and half-measures than advantages.

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

V wrote:
If she's really set on the "no advice, no feedback" thing, recognize that she might be put in situations where she's legally or morally required to take action.

she'll just get bored housewives, and the people stuck in jobs that they hate. I realize that she can get people from all categories, but I think she's also planning on just telling people she's not a counselor or trained professional. I think she's honestly just desperate. She's been out of a job for a while like I am.

Laureril's picture

Supplicant

I think it's a clever idea to turn a gift into making a couple bucks, but there might be some serious legalities involved (see arguments above). There's a reason people pay psychiatrists/-ologists big bucks.

Why not work for an established group? There's a lot of hotlines out there that I'm sure could use some help - just off the top of my head, I can think of suicide prevention, runaways, pregnancy, veteran's... Admittedly these are on a volunteer basis since they're non-profit, but they do come with training and the proper legal support.

Personally, I've always had enough of a support group that I could turn to for listening to me, so I don't think I'd call the number except out of curiosity, and probably not even then if it had a fee. I think you're much more likely to get really desperate people who need to be speaking to some kind of trained or licensed councilor or else people looking for phone sex.

Wittyscreenname's picture

Petitioner

Laureril wrote:
I think it's a clever idea to turn a gift into making a couple bucks, but there might be some serious legalities involved (see arguments above). There's a reason people pay psychiatrists/-ologists big bucks.

This. The liability exposure for worst case scenario callers would be scary, and there might also be licensing concerns, depending on how her listening project works out in practice. (Liability insurance alone could eat up the entirety of the fee schedule outlined up there.)

The listening thing is something she could turn into a really great career, but this idea seems rather risky to me. (both for the internet weird that will turn up and for the potential legal issues)

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