My Web 2.0: Social Search

    June 29, 2005

You know, life would be a bit less crazy for me if we weren’t trying to launch new stuff at work when I’m supposedly out on vacation. Thankfully, the world doesn’t revolve my schedule.

Over on the Yahoo! Search blog you can read about My Web 2.0, our new “social search” product. When I was tring to figure out how to explain it to other folks, I came up with this. Luckily, I wrote it in advance and can post it while I’m not supposed to be working. :-)

I’ve been collecting links to interesting, useful, or funny stuff on the web for quite a while now. In the “old days” I would email them to friends of mine. But we all get too much email nowadays, so I just post them on my linkblog and let anyone subscribe.

That works great for friends, family, and the hundreds random strangers who want to see what I’ve recently discovered on-line. But it’s a one-way process. There’s no easy way for me to see what they have discovered. Most of ’em don’t have linkblogs and really don’t want to go down that road.

So what’s the big deal?

Well, everyone I know is an expert… in something. If I have questions about electronics or radios, I’d ask my Dad. He’s always looking at that stuff on-line. Astronomy and Astrophotography? My Uncle. Construction and remodeling? My brother in law. Real estate? A couple of my old college friends. The list goes on.

The point is that for most topics I might want to know more about, I already know someone that’s smarter than me on the subject. I have my very own community of experts (we all do). I just need a way to tap into their accumulated experience.

My Web 2.0, the latest release of our My Web service might just be what they need. It gives *them* an easy way to bookmark, annotate, tag, and share sites they discover. And it gives *me* a way to get at their stuff. I can subscribe to an RSS feed of someone’s newest bookmarks, or maybe just those sites they tag as “funny” or “real estate.” I can search my entire community’s bookmarks. Or I can just start tag surfing to see what turns up.

Best of all, when I’m search the web and run across a site that someone I know has already annotated, it’s labeled as such.

Oh… And if I ever manage to find enough spare time, I can use the Web Services API to do even more.

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Jeremy Zawodny is the author of the popular Jeremy Zawodny’s blog. Jeremy is part of the Yahoo search team and frequently posts in the Yahoo! Search blog as well.

Visit Jeremy’s blog: Jeremy Zawodny’s blog.