Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Google, Yahoo, and AMAZON?!

Holy destabilization of the search landscape Batmen and Batwomen!

Amazon's ALEXA.com has been ranking and archiving the web for some time, creating what may be the web's largest archive of old site info plus a ton of current info. Google guards their algorithm and data stores as trade secrets, as does Yahoo.

NOT SO ALEXA who has announced they are opening up the data store, adding advanced programming routines for the grabbing, and opening up to anybody with a .com and a prayer.

I'll test the beta soon hopefully, but this could be big. REALLY BIG if the routines are powerful. Some have suggested this will be a sort of IBM Webfountain for the masses. Webfountain is arguably the world's most powerful and best search, so if Alexa can scale that power to mass information retrieval some really interesting stuff may happen in search.

This is yet another step to users ruling the roost as they rightly should.

JoeDuck's Blog

Yahoo's database of ... wisdom

Yahoo is collecting a "database of wisdom". I wonder what they'll do with it?

In his book "The Search", John Battelle talks about the "database of intentions" that Google has collected and can now mine to get a sort of "human interest model" and use it to hone services, predict outcomes, serve advertising, and much more.

Yet in addition to analysis of regular search results, Yahoo is certainly going to integrate information pouring in via the new Yahoo Answers plus the new Yahoo del.icio.us tag farm. Taken together these create more than a database of intentions, they create a database of collective wisdom. Yahoo is getting it big time, thanks in no small part to the very clever Jeremy Zawodny and his fellow team members.

What is the critical mass of participants for such information to be useful and relevant?
I'm guessing they are past that point already. Analysis and reporting could be a challenge, however.

Yahoo Answers is a very clever concept:

1) Engage Yahoo's very large search community in the answers without much Yahoo editing needed.

2) Let that large community value the info.

3) Reward very helpful people.

Wondir's mechanics are similar to this model, but this concept had to be embraced by one of the big players with their millions of potential participants.

I have a feeling the Yahoo combination of search and wisdom will be a success. I count a new question approximately every 6-10 seconds. The geek buzz around del.ici.ous has been increasing for some time.

Google will copy this soon and that's a great thing about good ideas - they proliferate fast.

JoeDuck's Blog