What makes eBay special? To me it’s not the technology, although that’s pretty damn impressive, especially now. But what sets eBay apart is the community of buyer’s and sellers. I was wondering when we’d see a search engine that’d add both a community of recommenders with an indexer like the one Google has and I just saw what could become just that in Evaal.
It’s very raw, and very early, but I like the impulse of Timothy Anyasi, founder of Idpact, Inc. who makes Evaal, a search engine that matches the power of an indexer , along with the community power which makes a better search experience (in theory).
He called me and asked what I thought. Here’s the scenario. You want to search for a Rolodex Watch. Go to Google and instantly get lost. Too many choices. There’s no way for you to pick out who is good, credible, or who won’t steal your money.
So, instead you go to Evaal. Here’s a search on Evaal for “watches.”
Why won’t someone game this and send me to their brother instead of sending me to a good retailer who’ll treat me well? Well, same way you can tell eBay sellers who are good or not. The community rates them.
The problem? There aren’t enough community members. So, most pages don’t have experts to ask.
The other problem with Evaal? The base index isn’t nearly good enough for me to take it seriously and the UI isn’t good enough to get my recommendation (I HATE frames, for instance, and it doesn’t have the polish that a modern Web site requires for a mass audience — they need to hire a designer who can at least get them up to parity with, say, Digg’s UI).
But, this is an interesting idea and one I’d like to see explored.
The advantage for you to get involved early is that if they fix the UI and index issues they’ll start getting an audience and if you’re the first “recommender” on a page you’ll have a lot of power to help refer search users elsewhere.
Why is that important? Well, say you refer someone to a realtor. Did you know that many realtors will pay a referral fee? Same with Amazon. Same with hosting companies and a whole host of businesses.
Interesting idea! I wonder why anyone hasn’t put an eBay style community onto a search engine before?