Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Social Search

The SDForum Search SIG pulled together an A-List panel for their July meeting on Social Search. Moderator Safa Rashtchy hosted Bret Taylor of FriendFeed, Ari Steinberg of FaceBook, Jason Calacanis of Mahalo and Jeremie Miller of Wikia Search. Of the panelists, Jason Calacanis had the most to say, was arguably the most interesting and definitely the most opinionated. He also recorded the event with the camera in his MacBook Air. Vallywag has a better and more concise video excerpt of Jason in action shaded by their desire to capture controversy.

Facebook and FriendFeed are working on automated search within their social networks, while Mahalo and Wikia Search are working on improving general search by using people to curate the results. Mahalo is paying people, while Wikia Search is trying to use the Wikipedia model of free community involvement.

Most of the audience questions to the panel were about their business models and monetization. I tried to tried to get into technicalities by asking a question about Search Quality, there was a question on privacy, and one audience member argued that none of the panelists companies were doing social search as he defined it.

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