Vertical Search Engines

Business 2.0 writes:

At the dawn of the new century, the toddler known as Google had about 1.5 billion webpages in its index, a manageable enough size to satisfy the curious with its accurate results.

In the six years since, Google’s search index has grown to include an estimated 8 billion pages, and there are no signs of a slowdown. Obviously, with so many pages to sift through, finding exactly what someone’s looking for on the Web is far from an easy task, even for Google

Sites like Mobissimo are following the path of the leader, Google, and are flying high as a result.

That’s why vertical-search-engine startups, each focusing on a narrow slice of the Web, are sprouting up like mushrooms after a fresh monsoon shower.

Semantic Web

Nova Spivack writes about what his company Radar Networks is doing:

we are building a next-generation Web-based online service that will bring the Semantic Web to consumers and professionals across the Web. This application is focused on enabling the next generation of social software (note that social software is not necessarily social networking — that is subset of social software). It is an example of what “the Intelligent Web” will be like. We are very excited about this service and what it already does, but there’s still more to do before we release it.

Our app is based on the Semantic Web. It will enrich and facilitate more intelligent online relationships, community, content, collaboration and even commerce. It will help to bring the Semantic Web from research to reality by making it user-friendly, accessible and most of all, directly useful and valuable, to ordinary people. We are focused on providing value to consumers — not just developers or early-adopters.

Mobile Data

Digital Evangelist writes:

– at least 95% of mobile data revenues come from SMS

– interestingly, global SMS business is worth 3x the total, global music industry (including CD sales, DVDs, licensing, publishing, etc)

– yet operators think music downloads will transform their businesses!

– getting the basics right is still a valid objective – email, instant messaging, photo messaging, internet access/browsing, presence, location-sensitive search)

– not a single operator has managed to address these areas successfully yet (though cite Vodafone Spain with Real Mail as example of progress)

– Instead, most are focused on contrived nonsense – mobile TV being the best example

Web 3.0 Formula

Sraman Mitra writes:

3C = Content, Commerce, Community | 4th C = Context | P = Personalization | VS = Vertical Search

This, I submit, is the formula for the future: Web 3.0 = (4C P VS).

Web 2.0 has been a nichy phenomenon with hundred and thousands of microcap efforts addressing one of the Cs, lately, Community being the most popular force, producing companies like MySpace, Facebook, Piczo, Xanga, and Flixster.

Personalization has remained limited to some unsatisfactory efforts by the MyYahoo team, their primary disadvantage being the lack of a starting Context. More recently, Netvibes has raised a lot of buzz, but also lacks the same organizing principle: Context.

In Web 3.0, I predict, we are going to start seeing roll-ups. We will see a trunk that emerges from the Context, be it film (Netflix), music (iTunes), cooking / food, working women, single parents, and assembles the Web 3.0 formula that addresses the whole set of needs of a consumer in that Context.

Web 2.0 Myth

Gilman writes:

Last year, more than 1,500 Web 2.0 companies were started in Silicon Valley, according to the January 22 edition of The Guidewire Report.

We believe the number: We see a lot of Web 2.0 pitches from young entrepreneurs. The basic pitch: for an investment of $2 to $5 million, they can build a company that Google, Yahoo or Microsoft will buy. And, in under two years, we can get 5-10 times our money back. How could you not like that?!

We dont. We always decline to participate in deals like that. We think this is a kind of disease, often caught by these youngsters in business school. They are looking to cash in on Web 2.0 fever and flip their companies quickly for a nice tidy sum.

These entrepreneurs confuse a feature for a company.

TECH TALK: Demo 2007: Read/Write Web

Read/Write Web picked its top 10 companies (in alphabetical order):

eJamming: The eJamming web site and desktop software allows musicians to play in sync over the internet. The intricacies of channeling music, let alone synchronizing it, over the web are well known. eJamming’s secret sauce allows musicians across the globe to connect and seamlessly play together as if they were in the same rehearsal room. eJamming seems to be a great addition to our virtually connected lives.

Jaman: Less than 1% of the movies made in the world are available to the US public. Jaman is about to change that by delivering these movies straight to Windows and Mac Desktops with innovative, better-than-DVD quality software. On top of getting us these unique movies, Jaman software creates instant social networks by placing an interactive control bar to the right of the movie window.

MyDesignIn: Social networking has gone vertical in recent times and this app is an interesting twist. MyDesignIn allows users to collect home design ideas and artifacts online using browser buttons. The users then can apply collected information and images to the blueprints of their house and get design advice from their friends and family.

OurStory: Just when we thought there is nothing left to do in the online photo and media sharing market, Our Story proves us wrong. They take the simple idea that media exists in time, and come up with an end-to-end photo organizer, storage and sharing experience. The photos are organized around events and timelines, and they can be shared and contributed to by multiple users via site or email.

Sentinel: We live during exciting times, when self-expression on-line and particularly blogging is on the rise. Protecting the copyright of our blogs is as important as protecting the copyright in print. Sentinel monitors the web and pin-points blog plagiarism.

SplashCast: Splashcast allows users to remix photos, video and audio to create personalized channels. These channels are then available to play in any SplashCast player installed on a web site, blog or social network profile.

Total Immersion: Total Immersions software enables the real-time integration of interactive 3D graphics into live video flows. In is quite impressive and certainly is the most fun DEMO video that I watched.

TrailFire: TrailFire is an annotation technology that allows any user to attach notes to web pages. By naming the notes with the same name, this software allows users to create trails. Each trail represents an individual or collective navigation path, centered around a topic.

Whisher: When was the last time 128-bit encryption stopped piracy? Certainly not when it comes to WiFi. Spanish company Whisher helps you to navigate the entire WiFi network, without worrying about what network you are connected to.

ZoomInfo: ZoomInfo offers a vertical semantic search engine, focused on companies and people. It is an impressive technology that turns the web into a database of corporate and personal information; and organizes it in an intelligent way.

Tomorrow: GigaOm and Webware

Continue reading