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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Social Search: My Web 2.0 and Del.icio.us

Gordon Gould writes, Yahoo’s My Web 2.0 is their first serious stab at "social search". My Web 2.0 is a big deal because as Y! is attempting to add a new axis to search, namely making it social and incorporating personalized, community-shaped search results via their MyRank. The idea, is to let users tap the collective brains of their social networks to help answer their search-related questions. The benefits are :
1. Theoretically more personalized search responses; and
2. The searchable knowledge universe is dramatically increased.

My Web 2.0 as a "social search" engine might be a bit too ahead of the curve.Gordon thinks that My Web 2.0 seems to be doing right so far as compared to Del.icio.us in the following areas:
- Structured tagging- while this may look antithetical to fiercely grassroots folksonomic ideals, but a priori structure and folksonomy are really not mutually exclusive. My Web 2.0 has location- and time-specific tagging. Better UI- Y!'s interface is much more consumer-friendly. Del.icio.us is great once you figure it out, but it could really be a whole lot easier to find users, tags, and related data. The value proposition is a bit opaque for non-power-users.
- Distribution- My Web 2.0 obviously has a big advantage here. Del.icio.us needs to work with blog networks, ISP’s, commercesites etc.

Del.icio.us has some significant advantages over My Web 2.0:
- Getting crushed by Y! - Like Google, Y! is seen as potentially encroaching on many people's biz.Fearing disintermediation or other competitive issues, partners may prefer to work with a less threatening partner like Del.icio.us than with Y!
- More flexibility in biz models- as partners have less to fear from Del.icio.us than Y!, Del probably has more latitude to create flexible win/win biz models and deals.
- Installed base- Del.icio.us is growing rapidly and has the goodwill of the leading edge Net community.
- Not limited to existing social networks-. Del does not bother w/layering on social networks just yet. Don't segment the overall Del.icio.us network until it really needs to be. Tagging is already complicated enough-don't get too clever by half just yet.
- Not conceptually limited to search per se-Packaging My Web 2.0 as "search" is going to be somewhat confusing for general users.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"