Friday, 18 January 2008

Wanted: A Social Network Tagging System To Reinvent Search

This idea started for me a while back. At oponia, we had the idea of creating a new way of organizing and searching a document system through tags (that we never got funding for *sigh*). I wrote about it in my post tag and flow: connecting the end points.

And then Fraser and I started a conversation about hierarchies and friendships that has continued over at the Adaptive Blue blog.

The concept is relatively simple. I have this ever growing network of social connections, both implicit and explicit. But as with everything in life, people have different meaning to me and if I get really utilitarian about it, they also have different value.

My friend David Chant as an example, owner of the Electric Company. You might go to Dave's site and think, Dave is a motion graphics expert based on his company. But because I personally know Dave, I know him as the gadget guy. You want to buy a new tech toy? David is the guy to talk to. And if I was going to "search" through a search engine about a new gadget, I wouldn't want to search like Leigh (because I wouldn't know the first thing about new tech gadgets, bc I just go ask Dave), I would want to search like Dave.

...What if I could somehow connect my search to Dave? What if I could tag to explicitly define our relationship - Dave as 'friend' and also tag what I think he's an expert in - in this case, 'technology' 'gadget'? It would allow me to potentially then use Dave's search intelligence for my own.

Well, that's great. But what if it could then get even more interesting and we could connect Dave to all the other people who have been tagged as experts in 'technology' and 'gadgets'? Wouldn't I theoretically be able to have a socially created vertically brilliant search engine?

Ok, I don't have time now to do this start up (other than continued oponia activities, I have a doll company i want to start which will never get or require VC money), but I think someone else should get to it because I need a new and better search engine.


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