Aftervote vs. Mahalo
Dave Naylor has fired a shot across Mahalo’s bow this morning. Aftervote is similar to Mahalo insofar as it is a search engine whose SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) have a social influence component.
Dave claims Aftervote is inherently superior however for a number of reasons including:
They have a few editors, we have 1000’s
If Aftervotes doesn’t have SERPs for a query, it defaults to meta search not only Google
Aftervotes offers a unique voting power wherein users can vote a site up or down with the click of a button
There is a radar logo by each result that is color coded to give you some info on it’s popularity;
Blue means one of your friends voted on the site
Red means someone in your ‘group’ voted for it
Black means that a listing is the consensus best choice
The size of the colored radar logo is indicative of the general popularity of the site.
I think using social data to influence SERPs is an interesting and logical innovation to add to the idea of ‘search’. However, I do think it has to be carefully and cautiously implemented. As we’ve seen illustrated lots of times with sites like Digg and del.icio.us there exists the potential of a pronounced downside on relying on ‘everyone’ for relevant information.