I Think I Just Invented The Real Search 2.0

Ignore the numbers in the title for the moment if you will and focus on these keywords: social, networking, search, community.

Web 2.0, by many definitions is all about allowing users to network, interact and the read/write web. Search 2.0 in that context does not yet exist. There are in some instances communities that happen to be built around a search engine such as Yahoo and there are new semantic search engines that let the users tag pages and documents to be found (something I’ve talked about before and pointed out as next to useless). None of these let the users actually interact with which results are returned. There is no networking or interaction that takes place with the search engine itself and this is just plain wrong.

Do you know how many people are on the internet at any one time? I sure as hell don’t but it’s a big number 🙂

Who creates all the content that ends up on the internet anyway? It’s not machines, it’s people, human beings are ultimately responsible for all the content on the internet and that’s never going to change. So why are we asking machines about content created by fellow humans when most of the humans are online anyway and know far more about their subject, and where it’s covered on the internet than any machine is ever likely to?

Enough rhetorical questions, I’m going to tell you what the real Search 2.0 is and you’re going to shout at me and tell me I should have patented and I’m a fool. However, if you don’t hire me to build it for you then you’re a fool because I get these ideas on a daily basis and I will crush you at some point in my life. Just kidding, I’m a fan of open ideas as well as open source especially when they’re for the benefit of us all.

Search 2.0

  • An instant messenger application or website with a live AJAX interface forms the centerpeice of the front end.
  • Users create accounts and select their areas of interest by entering specific key phrases for those topics they feel most knowledgeable about.
  • Users can then also select web pages that match those highly specific key phrases if they choose to.
  • The search box appears as normal, you enter your query and the fun part of search 2.0 begins.
  • Your query is analysed against users on the system, what occurs at this stage is actually a search for users with the best matching key areas against your query.
  • If these users are online they can respond directly to your query, either suggesting a web link or entering a chat with you.
  • If no users are matched online, then the suggested web pages are searched for the best matching content.

That’s the basis of it, but let’s have a look at the immense social power here.

Firstly, you get to rate the responses you receive, meaning that people can gain a reputation score for specific subjects and topics giving them an online credibility for that topic.

Sorry we just had an office fly-hunting session. Don’t ask.

Right, where was I? This system is by its nature, very low spam, it can’t be manipulated to provide results that are less useful because if you try and peddle a corporate product that’s crap, your reputation will drop very quickly and you’ll be banned. If the product is good on the other hand then who’s going to mind being directed to it if it answers their specific need and that’s better advertising than any money’s going to get you.

This concept is all about the users, no massively complicated algorithms need writing here it’s just using the very advanced and articulate knowledge of the very people who create the content you’re looking for, and to get the best answer you’ll ever get from a search engine is it not worth answering a couple of questions every now and again about the subjects you enjoy?

You can also bookmark people just like in any other IM and make friends with people holding the same interests, who you’d never meet on any other social network, and certainly would never think to find from a search engine.

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4 Comments on “I Think I Just Invented The Real Search 2.0”

  1. “Search 2.0 in that context does not yet exist.”

    It does exist. Take a look at Baidu (China) and Naver (Korea):

    Baidu
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baidu
    http://www.baidu.com/

    Naver
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naver
    http://www.naver.com/

  2. Phill says:

    I confess I’ve never seriously looked into Baidu or Naver and that’s a mistake.

    I do consistently look at foreign (to me) language search engines though and I have always believed when writing search algorithms that they should work across all languages. Today I was looking at a few Russian efforts in fact and I think perhaps it would be a good idea to include more foreign search engines in the top 100 alternatives as proposed by sites like readwriteweb.com

    I promise to read up on Baidu and Naver this weekend, thanks for your comment Dimitar

  3. It seems that you have forgotten services like LinkedIn Answers:

    “Linkedin Answers is a knowledge market service by Linkedin. It is somewhat similar to 3form Free Knowledge Exchange, Naver Knowledge iN, Yahoo! Answers, and other knowledge markets. However, three things make Linkedin Answers notable: its user base, its use of the network topology, and its ’suggest an expert’ feature.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinkedIn_Answers
    http://www.linkedin.com/

  4. Phill says:

    LinkedIn answers and other services like cha cha are not a fully integrated solution to this. They, like some other commerical websites feature people available for ‘live chat’ if needed, that’s not what I’m talking about.


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