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Search to get a social Sproose up?

Wednesday, 6 June 2007 — by

If I had more time, I’d have written a similar web application to Sproose myself. It’s that next logical step, and it’s got that immediate it’s-about-damn-time factor about it. What am I talkin’ about? I’m talkin’ about search with a splash of democracy about it, that’s what…

I happened upon Sproose, the user-powered search engine while rummaging through Ariel’s ‘blog, who’s more commonly known as The Brown Baron.

I’m not sure if he’s going to be happy with me revealing his real name, but I think it’s a cool name. Better than mine, anyway.

Here’s some initial thoughts from a Webware article on Sproose:

“Sproose is a relatively young search engine that now allows its users to control search results via voting. Each search result gets its own vote count and the option to click ‘I like it,’ which brings the result up to the top of the heap. The obvious comparison here is Digg.”

But then I read on.

“The obvious concern with sites like these is gaming results. Sproose deters some of this by removing votes from unregistered users after a limited time and requiring registration, although savvy spammers can usually find a way to circumvent whatever verification processes exist. Sproose’s results are only as good as its users, and if security fails, so does the site.”

Remember how my immediate thoughts turned to: “it’s about damn time someone did something like this?!”

Well, what I had in mind is not what Sproose is. My immediate thoughts were that Sproose would be pulling together content from those major social bookmarking services, like Digg, del.icio.us, Reddit, StumbleUpon et al.

But no, Sproose is it’s very own self-contained social search engine. Thus the prone position with regards to gettin’ gamed.

Gaming aside, there’s still value in Sproose, if somewhat massively reduced when compared to my immediate thoughts of what Sproose might (should) be.

When stuff is voted on, that stuff inherits trust, and trust as a currency is incredibly difficult to beat.

It’s a recommendation, and if you’re dealing with social web services, then you have people talking up stuff in ways that actively endorses the aforementioned stuff.

Of the big players, Google is the one with the resources and the smarts to make something like social search fly. But do they? Do they heck!

But this is me talking, and I know nothing of Google’s broader plans, or their true mission, which might not include social bookmarking.

But somehow, I think Google are open to anything, what with their recent purchase of FeedBurner, as one example.

In the short-term, Sproose has a good idea to run with, but without wanting to sound too boastful, my idea is better.

But let’s get all unilateral about it. This is a democratic issue we have here, so let’s vote on it, eh?

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Brown Baron → Wednesday, 6 June 2007 @ 12:01 BDT

No problem with revealing my true name haha. Great read. This concept does have a lot of potential.

Wayne Smallman → Wednesday, 6 June 2007 @ 12:37 BDT

Hi Ariel (tee hee) and thanks for the comment.

Yes, there’s the socialization of search, but I think someone will probably go and do what I thought Sproose was going to do in the first place…

Brian Heys → Wednesday, 6 June 2007 @ 22:41 BDT

I really like the idea of Sproose. I have it in my del.icio.us favourites to check out in depth sometime. Digg meets search. It’s got to be a winner.

I know you have concerns about gaming, but Digg is self-regulating when it comes to people gaming it. So long as there is some kind of option for people to ‘bury’ items in Sproose, it should be workable.

Wayne Smallman → Wednesday, 6 June 2007 @ 22:55 BDT

It’s also possible that certain stuff never sees the light of day because no one is interested in it.

So that’s opposite to gaming. It’s topic neglect…

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