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Me.dium Moves into Social Search as Yahoo Launches New Boss Platform

Posted by on in Internet Search
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What do you do with piles of data about what web sites more than 2 million people are browsing and paying attention to? If you're Me.dium, become a social search engine, with a little help from an ambitious new initiative from Yahoo called Search Boss (Build Your Own Search Engine).


Tonight, the company is unveiling an alpha of Me.dium Social Search, which analyzes data gathered from the 2M or so people who have installed Me.dium’s Social Toolbar and offers it up as a search engine. So, search for “Barack Obama” for example and you’ll get results of web pages with a myriad of data about them, based on the actions of Me.dium users. That data includes:


CrowdRank: a measurement of how many users have endorsed the content

Velocity: how hot the page is, as determined by how fast users are hitting it

Crowd Level: The current level of interest in the page, as determined by how many people are on it

Recent Activity: How much activity has been on the page in the past few days

Average Visit Duration: How long people typically spend on the page


Thus, versus traditional search engines where the top results are fairly static (a search for Barack Obama on Google will likely return his official page and Wikipedia entry from now until eternity), the results in Me.dium Social Search are dynamic, moving up and down based on attention data from Me.dium users.


While this in itself is interesting, Me.dium realizes it’s probably not enough to supplant the current search leaders. Thus, the company is turning to a new offering from Yahoo, also being announced this evening, called Build Your Own Search Engine (Boss). Boss is an open API for Yahoo’s entire search infrastructure, and can be completely private labeled, with the one major caveat being that you utilize Yahoo for your search advertising.


Me.dium is using Boss to offer a hybrid search product: clicking “search” from the Me.dium search page will yield a mixture of Yahoo results and Me.dium results, while clicking “I Feel Social” will return just the results from Me.dium. Results based on Me.dium data are denoted with an orange icon.


Search based on attention data is a nut that several companies are looking to crack – for example, fav.or.it is looking at how people interact with items in their RSS reader to determine the most relevant news. What’s intriguing about Me.dium’s approach is that there really isn’t anything users need to do to feed in data other than keep browsing the Web with the Me.dium toolbar installed, and Me.dium has already established a significant userbase. Me.dium is also first out the door using Yahoo Boss, a smart play from the beleaguered search giant that goes up against Google Custom Search, with a few advantages like more control over branding and look + feel.


Me.dium Social Search is now available at me.dium.com/search and starting immediately, all users of the Me.dium Social Toolbar. The latter gives Me.dium a very nice initial distribution for their offering that will give them tons of data to help refine the search tool moving forward.


Source : http://mashable.com/2008/07/09/medium-social-search/#5GoWRETCTiqI 

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