January 11th, 2007

Personal network search

For my thesis, I am working on interfaces for the socio-semantic web. How can we exchange structured information snippets (“microcontent”) and metadata in small communication cliques via RSS – and what interfaces do we need for that?

One really hot perspective here is the search for information from a network of trusted sources, and this is exactly what the people at Stanley James’ company lijit do. They provide you with a personalized search engine, which returns google results only from

  • – your own published information (via your blog, public bookmarking tools, flickr, photo sharing, etc.)
  • – plus information published or marked as “good” from people you trust

So in a nutshell, you can search your own network (“What have people I know bookmarked or published about the new iPhone?”) or other people’s networks (“Stan is the expert on social networks – let’s see what he and his friends have bookmarked or published about it.”)

This is definitely quite stimulating. It still has to turn out in which situations a personal network search is far superior to the global web search or a personal, local search on my own resources and if people will adopt it. But I have the strong intuition that they are filling a huge gap here: connecting people and contents on web scale independent of individual bookmarking or publishing tools. This is kind of a meta-service for what comes after Web 2.0.

You can try searching my network here:

Lijit Search