Yotify: A Social Search Engine
October 15, 2008
Technology Review, a publication with the imprimatur of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, analyzes Yotify.com with some able help of the Kelsey Group. Andrew Freiburghouse’s “Making Search Social” reveals quite a bit about Yotify.com and about what the MIT-endorsed publication finds newsworthy. First, click here to read the full text of the October 10, 2008. You will have to dismiss the MIT-endorsed pop up advertisement and then you can read the full-text of the Yotify.com review. Man, I hate those pop ups, but if MIT likes them, what’s the opinion of an addled goose matter? No a whit I assure you.
Mr. Freiburghouse explains that a Yotify query is an alert with smarts. Yotify.com uses the word “scout”. Users provide information about their interests, and Yotify combines ads, collaboration, and search. To be fair, Mr. Freiburghouse notes that Yotify.com is skewed to shopping. And, towards the foot of the article, Mr. Freiburghouse quotes the Kelsey Group regarding Google’s market share. A consumer oriented search system, even with the lift of social search and software agent technology has its work cut out to gain market share.
I gave Yotify.com a quick look to refresh my memory. I ran a query for “quad core processor” and the system at 8 10 pm Eastern displayed:
A user can share results, get alerts hourly or daily, and use the related searches feature to refine the query.
This type of system will appeal to an individual who wants to obtain shopping, travel, and articles listed in classified ad systems. I fiddled with the Web log function, but it was less useful than the shopping content. Over time, the Yotify.com index will add poundage.
Why did Technology Review rev its engine when it learned about Yotify.com? My speculation is that Yotify.com is different from Google. Yotify offers social and collaborative functions. Yotify has lots of buttons, controls, and options to make the user feel as if he or she has control over the results. I think an hourly update on a “quad core CPU” might be just what the doctor ordered for a Technology Review editor needing a break from the intellectual cage match at the publication.
I am waiting for Yotify.com to create an enterprise version. Granted the Craigslist.org content may have to be swapped out for something more substantive. Procurement teams and information technology professionals looking to deploy a search system that works may find the Yotify.com technology applied to a regulated industry like pharmaceuticals just the cure for ails information access. Until there is an enterprise version, I like Yotify.com as a system that offers some interesting features for consumers. If you are intrigued by consumer search systems, give Yotify.com some attention.
Stephen Arnold, October 14, 2008