Friday, March 18, 2005

SearchFox Beta - The Personalized Web Experience

My name is Esteban Kozak, product manager for SearchFox. I want to introduce SearchFox and give you the chance to test drive it.

Let me start by posting the problem we are trying to solve. Search algorithms, like Page Rank, have grown broad, overwhelming and generic. Still good at finding the needle in the haystack, if you know enough about the needle, but not helpful when you are trying to accomplish any of the following tasks:

- Go back to useful content you visit all the time,
- Get interesting content about a topic,
- Learn from people and communities you care about.

So we decided to add context and human intelligence to the search world. In order to do so, we developed a social bookmarking tool that overcomes three of the biggest challenges in this area:

1. A way for individuals and groups to define vertical search spaces (you are starting to see this with A9's "Open Search", and

2. A way to converge folksonomies into a coherent index inside those vertical spaces

3. A way to leverage human intelligence in order to let users drive the ranking algorithm

We are already delivering on #2 ("real-time search" and "keyword suggest") and #3 ("sort by use" and much more to come on this). In a few weeks, we'll be launching "My World". "My World" will allow you to define your vertical space, you'll be able to group individuals and join communities. Your personal groups will remain small and relevant to your interests, although some will develop into bigger topic driven communities.

Let me pause here and let you try SearchFox first.

To get started, sign up at: We'll send you an username and password right away.

Alternatively, you can try SearchFox using the following "guest" credentials:

Username: visitor
Password: myguest

We encourage you to sign up and get the toolbar to unlock SearchFox full potential.

We are looking forward to get your feedback on our current product. Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions,

Esteban Kozak