Social Search?

18 July 08

TechCrunch wrote a post the other day on “The Future of Search,” which includes a video walk-through of some of the search features with which Google is apparently experimenting. The highlight of this “experiment” is a layer of social functionality (much like Digg) that Google may add to its standard page of search results.

Basically, this world of search allows users to vote search results up and down, move things to the first page, and comment on individual results. What this means is that Google may be turning to “the wisdom of crowds” to enhance it’s world-famous (but ever-mysterious) algorithm. What’s more, it appears that users will be able to create rich Google profiles (Facebook, anyone?), which will be visible to other Google users through comments made on specific search results. Could this all be part of Google’s master plan to take over the internet? We already know they’re getting into virtual worlds. Keep an eye out for new experimental features in Google’s ever-active Labs.

To see a very, very cool demo of this functionality, be sure to visit TechCrunch.


The Crowdsourced Business

23 January 08

While many companies are beginning to realize and trying to learn from the wisdom of crowds, others are using crowds as the business itself. First, we saw the crowd-written book We are Smarter than Me, which was published late last year. Now – the crowd-sourced company: nvohk (pronounced en-voke).


Simply stated: nvokh is a clothing company that’s “managed by the people who wear it.” The Los Angeles-based company aims to recruit between 20- and 40-thousand members to contribute $50.00 each per year to develop the brand and its line of clothing. Members will contribute to clothing design, web design, major business decisions, logo design, and advertising. Here’s the sticky part: members will get 35% of the companies profits paid out in the form of points. The points can be redeemed to purchase nvokh products at a 25% discount. Members will only have to pony up once the company has recruited 2000 people, and new members will receive an official nvokh t-shirt, a membership sticker, and a plant-a-tree seed pack to welcome them to the flock.

An interesting idea, for sure, and a welcome new spin on crowd-funding. Learn more at nvokh.