Yahoo Social Search, Act I

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At Supernova 2005, Jeff Weiner, SVP Yahoo! Search crunches the numbers on social search. When regular people can share their knowledge, on subjects like how to buy real estate, and enough of them do…

10 pages per subject -> 5k subjects per person – > 50 pages per person -> 7b people = 350 trillion pages … you get orders of magnitude increase in searchable knowledge. Today’s search is a representative democracy without a fair election process. The problem is not everyone blogs, but if they had a way to participate, make it easy for people to public and “vote” — with personal, social and economic incentives — Yahoo Music has 5 billion ratings, so just imagine feedback at that scale augmenting search (James notes in ITVC that HOTorNOT has 18B ratings, hardy har har).

They view the web as a play with three acts.

  • Act I: Public (e.g. Web Search)
  • Act II: Personal (e.g. Desktop Search)
  • Act II Social (e.g. search communities)
  • Talks about their FUSE concept. Highlights the role of Trust. Demos My Web: saving a web page to My Web, then returning to Yahoo Search, where there is a second button to search what you have saved. Demos search combined with Yahoo 360 reviews. In other words, Our Web, with shared annotations between 2 degrees of separation. Talks about Flickr and social discovery. Marrying search and community.

    I’m under embargo on something related to Jeff’s talk. Not sure if I am even allowed to say it is related, but there is an Act II and III to this play.

    Links: Social Search

    Reader Comments

    Ross Mayfield is CEO and co-founder of Socialtext, an emerging provider of Enterprise Social Software that dramatically increases group productivity and develops a group memory.

    He also writes Ross Mayfield’s Weblog which focuses on markets, technology and musings.

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