2007: Social Search

I am going to try to post a quick theme (not prediction) for 2007 each day next week as I finish eating my way through Italy.

Today it’s social search, prompted by the news that Jimmy Wales’ for profit company Wikia is launching a social search engine. I am linking to Techcrunch’s story on this because Mike’s got a nice screenshot.

A "wikipedia style" approach to social search is interesting because it could be the most "mainstream" way to do it. I am aware of one other company with similar pedigree (founder and backer) that is going to launch something similar but I’ve been sworn to secrecy on it.

I still believe that Yahoo! could so something equally (or more) compelling in this category with their ownership of delicious, flickr, upcoming, and myweb. To date they haven’t created the killer social search desitination. I hope that one thing to come out of the reorg is a committment to do that in 2007.

And then there are the firefox extensions. If you look at Firefox’s recommended add-ons, about half of them include social search as one of the main value propositions. I currently use two of them, lijit and adaptiveblue. I’ve tried a number of the others. It’s hard to say if anything truly mainstream will come out of this category, but I think its an area to watch nonetheless.

One thing is clear. Lot’s of people are gunning for a slice of those 7bn searches a month. It’s a lucrative market if anyone can make a dent in it. And I believe social search is the most attractive approach of the ones I’ve seen.