Friday, November 11, 2005

Social Search

So, we all know that the first version of search is Google PageRank (Y! directories are probably v.0.5...). For those not in the know, Google ranks a webpage by the number of links to it on other websites. The big idea is that webmasters would link (and refer) to the 'right' websites. Using the human element makes a lot of sense.

The next version of search starts with and 'discovery.' By getting people to tag webpages with metadata (trans. providing one-word descriptions to each webpage), searchers will find sites in the deep, dark web. You can find them through Google too, on page 2056....

There are two interesting executions of this social-powered search (Wink calls it people powered search - pretty cool). The first version is the Wink and Raw Sugar model, combining tags with Google search (there are more features, but you'll have to figure them out yourself). The other version is Rollyo. With Rollyo, you use a 'search roll' (i.e. a list of websites) made by a person for a certain topic. Here, the searcher uses experts instead of the collective mind.

It sure will be interesting on what model will work in the long-run (or before v.3 comes out). But I'm sure James Suroweicki will bet on search + tagging; he is after all behind the Wisdom of the Crowds.


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