A few years ago, everyone wanted to find websites that would be interesting and fit a specific criteria. Sites that came along and fit this mold included Ask.com, AltaVista, Lycos, Yahoo, and Google. But now times are changing–people just aren’t interested in searching under specific keywords and phrases. No, they want more relevancy and filtering. Anyone can put up a website and game the system to have their site listed on a major search engine–so how does one simply point out what is important to their friends or even find useful content shared from a trusted source?
In order to make this happen, a social search engine is needed. Google and Bing have made some inroads into trying to become the de facto search engine that integrates traditional search along with social aspects, but they’re still far from getting it just right. The trick has got to be with finding a process or a way that would tie in with all the major social networks–Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Sadly nothing has been realized quite yet–in fact, Bing and Google are starting from a more traditional search strategy and are adding social layers on top of their results, almost like it’s the icing on the cake. It would probably make more sense for me that social search begins with the social part of it, and then further filters it by using traditional search parameters.
That’s where YourTrove enters the picture–this new startup is launching this week and is the latest attempt to create the first real social search engine. Imagine you’re interested in purchasing a new camera, or you want to find content relating to something like streaming TV devices, the one place you might go would be to your social graph–you have specific questions and you’re going to want to ask your friends for help in making a decision. Why? Because they’ve probably already been there and shared something about it–traditional search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing don’t give you that relevancy. It’s emotionless and without regard for the stage of the purchasing behavior you’re in. The opportunities for a real social search engine are ripe for the picking. Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said it during last week’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference:
There is something to be said to striking when the opportunity is there. For startups and new companies, the best way to get noticed is by doing something daring and bold that everyone will want to pay attention to. In the technology industry, that means getting on stage and demoing your product to the audience in the hopes that there’s some appeal to the masses. And quite frankly, one of the best places to get your product involved with has to be anything TechCrunch is involved in. Over the past few years, the events put on by one of the industry’s leading publications has promote some of the most popular startups that are used in the world today: Mint.com (acquired by Intuit), Yammer (acquired by Microsoft), RedBeacon (acquired by Home Depot), GetAround, Shaker, and now Uberconference.
It seems that one of the most known things about winning at a TechCrunch event is that it will grant any company instant celebrity status–almost like the publication is a “king-maker” where mere-minutes after touting the success and accolades of a startup, the company goes into overdrive and reaps instant benefits to the news. The track record speaks for itself…after all that notoriety (in a good way), companies are stepping out into the world and entering their beta phase much wiser and with more interest in being funded. And for the lucky few that have successfully navigated their ways through the maze of competition at a TechCrunch event, the future rewards are immeasurable. But don’t take my word for it…let’s look at one recent winner: Uberconference.
Brace yourselves Charlotte…the world is coming to you this week in honor of the 2012 Democratic National Convention. Election season is in full swing and the Republicans have already nominated their choices: former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan accepted the nominations just last week at the Republican National Convention. And it was definitely a rather interesting convention…perhaps one of the strangest thing that could have emerged from there was when renowned and celebrated actor and director Clint Eastwood took the stage to introduce the Republican nominee and addressed an empty chair with an imaginary figure befitting President Obama. That itself wound up creating a brand new meme called #Eastwooding, and even got Obama involved in the whole thing. So now that the Republicans have had their say, this coming week is the Democrat’s turn and people must wonder what will take place–just how will the Democrats one-up the GOP?
Well, if social media has their way, the Democrats could potentially have a megastar walking into Charlotte and the Bank of America stadium where 70,000 will witness the president accept his party’s nomination. Just who could potentially overshadow the leader of the free world? Why, the Golden Girl herself: Betty White. A petition is already circulating on Change.org in order to garner enough signatures that the Democratic National Committee will see it and follow through on the request.
Have you ever wondered what people were talking about when they were saying “Honeybadger don’t care” or “Double Rainbow!” or perhaps are at a loss when people as you if you saw the Internet blow up when Congressman Todd Akin made a controversial statement or what people are talking about when they refer to #NBCFail? Well one clear source for the latest trends happening on the Internet just happens to be the original web series “What’s Trending” hosted by television personality, actress, and blogger, Shira Lazar.
Each week, this one-hour program airs to share with the Internet community the latest and greatest things happening so you’re aware of the trends that technology is having on our lives. Sure, it might not affect you directly, but let’s face it, the world is moving at much faster pace with the increased usage of the Internet and one simply cannot reply on watching the regularly scheduled news at 10 or 11pm to find out what’s happening…so it falls to services like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and other creative services to help fill that goal to share the wealth of knowledge in order to get you up-to-date on the happenings affecting your life. Would the world known so much about the internal conflicts of the Arab Spring had it not been for the Internet? What about results and news of the London 2012 Summer Olympics? Occupy Wall Street movements? A lot more have become aware of not only world events, but also cultural and societal news that have helped to shape the world as we know it.
The world needs a better understanding of what events are taking place and to find a way to coordinate with each other to see who they want to meet up. Plancast was probably going to be that. Started by former TechCrunch writer, Mark Hendrickson, and Jay Marcyes, there was some great hope for the startup, but somehow it just never managed to gain traction past the tech startup scene. The idea was simple: if you wanted to find out what events were happening around the city or state you were living in, you could just look up Plancast and find the information you want. The beauty was that it wasn’t just idle promotion by startups, but rather events that were curated by friends and people you think are interesting. I won’t write up a review of the site because I’ve already done it before. However, in the end, it seemed that the service’s adoption was never meant to be and Mr. Hendrickson penned a beautiful post on TechCrunch explaining his unfortunate decision.
But today is the dawn of a new day with Plancast, as rumors have started to grow that the event service has been recently acquired by The Active Network, and has finally been relaunched with a brand new design and a whole heck of a lot more features. That’s right folks…your favorite event calendar service is back and badder than ever! No word yet on the acquisition deal but it might not be much…judging from who The Active Network is, they probably would have spent a few million on the deal? From what I can gather, the acquisition went down in the Spring of this year and is being entirely run by The Active Network–the founders have all since departed for greener pastures, with Mr. Hendrickson, himself, leading the product charge at Obvious’s Lift startup. If you take a look at the Plancast site now, you’re going to see much more emphasis on the outdoors and active events compared to something much more tech focused.