Why Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google's butt in four years

The only reason you’ll watch these two videos is because you trust me to add value to your lives and not sell links.

I explain how SEO-resistant technologies like Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are about to upend the search industry.

Part I of Social Graph Based Search. 14:41 minutes.

Part II of Social Graph Based Search. 15 minutes.
And a bonus round III. 6 minutes.

Oh, and the only way you’ll watch these videos is if someone tells you to watch them. No Google. No TechMeme (this post is too short to show up there).

Comments

  1. Assuming Google doesn’t do anything(even with orkut) but simply wait and watch. Oh yes, Vint Cerf and the gang up there sure have some stuff up their sleeves!

  2. Assuming Google doesn’t do anything(even with orkut) but simply wait and watch. Oh yes, Vint Cerf and the gang up there sure have some stuff up their sleeves!

  3. Great post!

    SEO is the whiz kid of the marketing set and the bane of everyone else. It wouldn’t be so bad if most of what was being marketed was actually remotely worthwhile, but sadly most of it is useless friction in our online lives.

    I’ll be anxious to see what happens in 4 years, but meanwhile, I’ve lately found blog searching trumps Googling for many topics and wrote about it in my blog:

    http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/stop-googling-and-search-for-blogs-aka-web-20-to-reduce-spam/

    Cheers!

    BW

  4. Great post!

    SEO is the whiz kid of the marketing set and the bane of everyone else. It wouldn’t be so bad if most of what was being marketed was actually remotely worthwhile, but sadly most of it is useless friction in our online lives.

    I’ll be anxious to see what happens in 4 years, but meanwhile, I’ve lately found blog searching trumps Googling for many topics and wrote about it in my blog:

    http://smoothspan.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/stop-googling-and-search-for-blogs-aka-web-20-to-reduce-spam/

    Cheers!

    BW

  5. seo resistant sounds like youe been listneing to Jason Calacanis a bit to much.

    I think say covering the fiasco with Vistas TCP/IP stack might be of more interest.

    network performance drops by 90% when you play sounds/audio.

  6. seo resistant sounds like youe been listneing to Jason Calacanis a bit to much.

    I think say covering the fiasco with Vistas TCP/IP stack might be of more interest.

    network performance drops by 90% when you play sounds/audio.

  7. Robert

    Sorry for off topic comment but I had problems with your e-mail.

    I would like your feedback (and maybe your vote) on my ‘Just over 50 and not Dead yet’ Panel Idea for ‘South by Southwest 2008′.

    Outline is: “Online Participation is not just about 20 Somethings. A bunch of people
    Just Over 50 have planted their tent online either as actors or consumers.
    They buy books, music, watch movies, travel and eat out, have money and
    brains.”

    Let me know what you think of the theme
    http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/633

    Thank you

    Have a great week

    Serge
    ‘The French Guy from New Jersey’
    Blog:
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com

  8. Robert

    Sorry for off topic comment but I had problems with your e-mail.

    I would like your feedback (and maybe your vote) on my ‘Just over 50 and not Dead yet’ Panel Idea for ‘South by Southwest 2008′.

    Outline is: “Online Participation is not just about 20 Somethings. A bunch of people
    Just Over 50 have planted their tent online either as actors or consumers.
    They buy books, music, watch movies, travel and eat out, have money and
    brains.”

    Let me know what you think of the theme
    http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/633

    Thank you

    Have a great week

    Serge
    ‘The French Guy from New Jersey’
    Blog:
    http://www.sergetheconcierge.com

  9. Just leaving this post behind to say that I wouldn’t click the links in your post because I simply don’t trust you to add value to my life.

    99% of the bits that come through my Google Reader from your blog end up as little more than a waste of my time. For weeks I’ve been contemplating unsubscribing because of the pointless, useless stuff you post about you and the wine country, and the Half Moon Bay region.

    Don’t care.

    The over-the-top posts with titles like this one…just a waste of time.

    The endless Twitter/Jaiku and boring Soc.Network sites that are little more than this year’s fad. Had Freindster been around at the cusp of 2.0 bloggers going mainstream they’d be Facebook built on the foundation of blogger hype.

    This post title was just the straw that broke the camels back. I’m sure it’s little more than speculation and what-ifs that could happen…in 3 years. In 3 years? Tech moves too fast for anyone to have some sort of concrete way to change the competitive landscape and bank on it.

    You’ll have to earn ad revenue off some other unsuspecting rube that’ll get lured in to your site with over-hyped headline.

    I’m gone and your unsubscribed from Reader.

    Tom

  10. Just leaving this post behind to say that I wouldn’t click the links in your post because I simply don’t trust you to add value to my life.

    99% of the bits that come through my Google Reader from your blog end up as little more than a waste of my time. For weeks I’ve been contemplating unsubscribing because of the pointless, useless stuff you post about you and the wine country, and the Half Moon Bay region.

    Don’t care.

    The over-the-top posts with titles like this one…just a waste of time.

    The endless Twitter/Jaiku and boring Soc.Network sites that are little more than this year’s fad. Had Freindster been around at the cusp of 2.0 bloggers going mainstream they’d be Facebook built on the foundation of blogger hype.

    This post title was just the straw that broke the camels back. I’m sure it’s little more than speculation and what-ifs that could happen…in 3 years. In 3 years? Tech moves too fast for anyone to have some sort of concrete way to change the competitive landscape and bank on it.

    You’ll have to earn ad revenue off some other unsuspecting rube that’ll get lured in to your site with over-hyped headline.

    I’m gone and your unsubscribed from Reader.

    Tom

  11. Power to you for taking such and bold position and defending it in a nice presentation.

    Here are some thoughts/arguments against the position you are taking.

    > I found the Mahalo idea simple (and intriguing). I forced myself to used it for a week but then quickly rolled back to Google. Are you using Mahalo as your default search engine? For how long have you been using it? Do you use Mahalo Follow or have you completely switched to Mahalo?

    > I think that you are under-estimating (by a large factor), the ability of Google to improve their results. Do a search on a health care term “Di George Syndrome” and you will see both topical and more traditional search results.

    > You claim that I would not have found this page through Google. But the truth is that I found it through Google Reader. I think that with Google Reader and Feedburner, Google understands a lot about authority, reading patterns and quality of content: your blog roll and your shared items log is a great picture of who you trust regarding various topics (and it is a network). I do not know if Google already integrates the stats from Google Reader in their search but this is probably a small step.

    > Google already understands correlation of information (ala TechMeme): see Google News.

    > I think that in the use cases you are describing in the video, you should draw a stronger line between people reading pages and looking for inspiration (editorial content/blogs), people looking for recommendations (is A better than B, who are the best X in this area. like insider pages or yelp) and people searching for information (Google, Yahoo, etc.).

    Summary: I think that Mahalo might be able to create a few high quality editorial pieces of content (how is this different from about.com???) and get some traffic to them (most likely through Google – it would be interesting to see Mahalo start buying Google keywords :-)), but I do not see it grow to anywhere close to “kicking Google’s ass”.

    Note: I think that it would be great for you to do a video of Jason and get him to really articulate how Mahalo is different from Y!/DMoz directory and why he thinks that Mahalo will succeed where those other attempt failed.

  12. Power to you for taking such and bold position and defending it in a nice presentation.

    Here are some thoughts/arguments against the position you are taking.

    > I found the Mahalo idea simple (and intriguing). I forced myself to used it for a week but then quickly rolled back to Google. Are you using Mahalo as your default search engine? For how long have you been using it? Do you use Mahalo Follow or have you completely switched to Mahalo?

    > I think that you are under-estimating (by a large factor), the ability of Google to improve their results. Do a search on a health care term “Di George Syndrome” and you will see both topical and more traditional search results.

    > You claim that I would not have found this page through Google. But the truth is that I found it through Google Reader. I think that with Google Reader and Feedburner, Google understands a lot about authority, reading patterns and quality of content: your blog roll and your shared items log is a great picture of who you trust regarding various topics (and it is a network). I do not know if Google already integrates the stats from Google Reader in their search but this is probably a small step.

    > Google already understands correlation of information (ala TechMeme): see Google News.

    > I think that in the use cases you are describing in the video, you should draw a stronger line between people reading pages and looking for inspiration (editorial content/blogs), people looking for recommendations (is A better than B, who are the best X in this area. like insider pages or yelp) and people searching for information (Google, Yahoo, etc.).

    Summary: I think that Mahalo might be able to create a few high quality editorial pieces of content (how is this different from about.com???) and get some traffic to them (most likely through Google – it would be interesting to see Mahalo start buying Google keywords :-)), but I do not see it grow to anywhere close to “kicking Google’s ass”.

    Note: I think that it would be great for you to do a video of Jason and get him to really articulate how Mahalo is different from Y!/DMoz directory and why he thinks that Mahalo will succeed where those other attempt failed.

  13. I’m in the ‘this is a bit over-the-top’ camp. Seriously, all of those apps are interesting for sure, but to say they’ll kick Google’s ass assumes (pun intended) a bit too much about inaction by Google. Don’t count on that.

    greg

  14. I’m in the ‘this is a bit over-the-top’ camp. Seriously, all of those apps are interesting for sure, but to say they’ll kick Google’s ass assumes (pun intended) a bit too much about inaction by Google. Don’t count on that.

    greg

  15. And BTW, I think the video presentation is pretty interesting and it’s nice to see you putting complete thoughts into a presentation form like this, even as old-skool-er-ific as a whiteboard and a geek (on camera) may be, heh.

    greg

  16. And BTW, I think the video presentation is pretty interesting and it’s nice to see you putting complete thoughts into a presentation form like this, even as old-skool-er-ific as a whiteboard and a geek (on camera) may be, heh.

    greg

  17. In addition to the comments that point out you’re assuming Google is just going to sit pretty and watch, once again you’re assuming the world is a piece of land formed by 50 states.

    I am one of those who agree that Mahalo’s survival depends precisely on implementing good SEO.

  18. In addition to the comments that point out you’re assuming Google is just going to sit pretty and watch, once again you’re assuming the world is a piece of land formed by 50 states.

    I am one of those who agree that Mahalo’s survival depends precisely on implementing good SEO.

  19. Newbie,

    Enjoyed your video! Some of it was over my head; however,I got the gest of it. Google needs to work on it’s formating – too much peripheral stuff. As to kicking it’s ass, well that might be wishful thinking and a bit unrealistic. In an case competition is good for all involved.

    Ag

  20. Newbie,

    Enjoyed your video! Some of it was over my head; however,I got the gest of it. Google needs to work on it’s formating – too much peripheral stuff. As to kicking it’s ass, well that might be wishful thinking and a bit unrealistic. In an case competition is good for all involved.

    Ag

  21. “in order to perform this internet search, a facebook account is required! Please try to deciper the follwing scribble in order to get past our anti-spam filter!”

    I’ll pass.

  22. “in order to perform this internet search, a facebook account is required! Please try to deciper the follwing scribble in order to get past our anti-spam filter!”

    I’ll pass.

  23. Nothing prevents others from commenting on these two videos, at length, linking to this post, and Google will be able to make sense out of that, and people will therefor find this via Google.

  24. Nothing prevents others from commenting on these two videos, at length, linking to this post, and Google will be able to make sense out of that, and people will therefor find this via Google.

  25. I consider SEOs one step above spammers on the sleaziness scale. The right way to build traffic is with quality content, not by gaming search engines.

  26. I consider SEOs one step above spammers on the sleaziness scale. The right way to build traffic is with quality content, not by gaming search engines.

  27. While your theory has some merit and is well thought out, I think if it’s going to happen, it needs to happen much sooner than within four years. You’d probably have better luck predicting next year’s presidential winner than the tech landscape in 4 years. For example, “podcasting” was barely relevant in 2003.YouTube was two years away in 2003. The point is, in 2011 the tech landscape will be unrecognizable by today’s standards. Much like today is to 2003.

  28. While your theory has some merit and is well thought out, I think if it’s going to happen, it needs to happen much sooner than within four years. You’d probably have better luck predicting next year’s presidential winner than the tech landscape in 4 years. For example, “podcasting” was barely relevant in 2003.YouTube was two years away in 2003. The point is, in 2011 the tech landscape will be unrecognizable by today’s standards. Much like today is to 2003.

  29. Interesting videos, Robert. You brought up a lot of interesting issues.

    Personally, I look at Google’s analysis of link popularity and PageRank calculations and think, “they’re already doing what you propose, but on a much larger scale.” They’re already measuring link popularity, and – as you know – give more weight to links from trusted sources.

    They also adjust their mix of results based on the type of results, so you’ll see a different mix on a commercially focused search such as a product search than you will for a research based search.

    So, with that in mind, I fail to see a breakthrough for web search coming out of the companies you mentioned. They all provide valuable services, but in no way threaten Google’s web search dominance.

  30. Interesting videos, Robert. You brought up a lot of interesting issues.

    Personally, I look at Google’s analysis of link popularity and PageRank calculations and think, “they’re already doing what you propose, but on a much larger scale.” They’re already measuring link popularity, and – as you know – give more weight to links from trusted sources.

    They also adjust their mix of results based on the type of results, so you’ll see a different mix on a commercially focused search such as a product search than you will for a research based search.

    So, with that in mind, I fail to see a breakthrough for web search coming out of the companies you mentioned. They all provide valuable services, but in no way threaten Google’s web search dominance.

  31. This is a comment on the choice of using a video post instead of blog post.

    I’ll admit, your headline baited me into watching this video. I’ve refrained on clicking on any video links in the past because they’re usually pretty long and I don’t have time to sit through a 20-30 minute video presentation. However, because of your intriguing headline I clicked and listened.

    Your point was interesting enough, but very long winded. You could’ve condensed all of that into a blog post. You were rambling. There were too many examples of “this guy is mark cuban, this guy is guy kawasaki”, etc. Your written posts are usually very concise and I can figure out the point relatively quickly. Here, you took over 30 minutes to convey one major point.

    I think if you’re going to continue doing vlogs, then to force yourself to do so in a consumable amount (say 10 minutes).

  32. This is a comment on the choice of using a video post instead of blog post.

    I’ll admit, your headline baited me into watching this video. I’ve refrained on clicking on any video links in the past because they’re usually pretty long and I don’t have time to sit through a 20-30 minute video presentation. However, because of your intriguing headline I clicked and listened.

    Your point was interesting enough, but very long winded. You could’ve condensed all of that into a blog post. You were rambling. There were too many examples of “this guy is mark cuban, this guy is guy kawasaki”, etc. Your written posts are usually very concise and I can figure out the point relatively quickly. Here, you took over 30 minutes to convey one major point.

    I think if you’re going to continue doing vlogs, then to force yourself to do so in a consumable amount (say 10 minutes).

  33. Rob…keep in mind there’s MANY companies who have tried to outdo google and they have not succeeded in getting MARKET SHARE which is what matters. If Mahalo has 10 people on it – it’s failed. The only way to “beat” google is for these companies to get a sizable market…I’m a good and I don’t yet have it in my brain to use Mahalo much less others.

  34. Rob…keep in mind there’s MANY companies who have tried to outdo google and they have not succeeded in getting MARKET SHARE which is what matters. If Mahalo has 10 people on it – it’s failed. The only way to “beat” google is for these companies to get a sizable market…I’m a good and I don’t yet have it in my brain to use Mahalo much less others.

  35. Ramon: me neither, believe me. But I’ve seen this play out before. Finally I have something that does something better than Google. And, remember, I give these things two more years to mature and another two years to gain enough market share.

    Of course, Google could always buy Facebook, integrate the social graph into search, and end Jason’s dreams of making a company that upends Google.

  36. Ramon: me neither, believe me. But I’ve seen this play out before. Finally I have something that does something better than Google. And, remember, I give these things two more years to mature and another two years to gain enough market share.

    Of course, Google could always buy Facebook, integrate the social graph into search, and end Jason’s dreams of making a company that upends Google.

  37. “…I’m tired of typing and I didn’t want to get into TechMeme.”

    If so, that didn’t work — As I got here through TechMeme listing this post.

  38. “…I’m tired of typing and I didn’t want to get into TechMeme.”

    If so, that didn’t work — As I got here through TechMeme listing this post.

  39. For that matter, if one Googles the string, scoble “upend the search industry”, this post shows up, both as being on your home page, and as an individual post.

    So I’m not sure if you were exaggerating, or if your understanding of SEO is incomplete, or if the SEO for TechMeme and Google works in ways that’s contrary to documentation you’ve read… Or all of the above. :)

  40. For that matter, if one Googles the string, scoble “upend the search industry”, this post shows up, both as being on your home page, and as an individual post.

    So I’m not sure if you were exaggerating, or if your understanding of SEO is incomplete, or if the SEO for TechMeme and Google works in ways that’s contrary to documentation you’ve read… Or all of the above. :)

  41. I’m really skeptical. It’s all very dynamic and Google will incorporate what it needs to make great search. TechMeme’s greatness is shown by how they picked up this great (but wrong) post, but it won’t beat out the big G. I’d suggest Facebook will continue as one of two dominant Social Networks, Techmeme will grow and explode as excellent blog search tool, and Mahalo will just grow slowly.

  42. I’m really skeptical. It’s all very dynamic and Google will incorporate what it needs to make great search. TechMeme’s greatness is shown by how they picked up this great (but wrong) post, but it won’t beat out the big G. I’d suggest Facebook will continue as one of two dominant Social Networks, Techmeme will grow and explode as excellent blog search tool, and Mahalo will just grow slowly.

  43. “I thought I had reverse engineered Techmeme enough to know that it wouldn’t put up short posts that had no real content in them.”

    One person’s “no real content” is another person’s evocative haiku. :)

  44. “I thought I had reverse engineered Techmeme enough to know that it wouldn’t put up short posts that had no real content in them.”

    One person’s “no real content” is another person’s evocative haiku. :)

  45. Ramon makes a good point, one that may not be lost on you but is missing from your argument. None of these products, except for maybe Facebook, can begin to compare with Google in terms of marketshare. Worse yet, two of the three fail an even more important test, mindshare.

    Your average web user knows what Google is. Your average web user -probably- knows what Facebook is. Your average web user neither knows, nor cares about either Techmeme (and its related products) or Mahalo. That is the problem.

    With the exception of Facebook, these other two products are tech toys that will only really achieve traction if there is a substantial change in the way “normal” internet users do business.

    Techmeme provides value, but when you compare the popularity of its sister products with tech.memorandum you see my point. When you leave technology out the equation most everyone stops caring. Is that a problem? Not really, it’s still a great product. It just isn’t a Google killer.

    Until Malhalo can stop using Google results to cushion it, calling it a “Google killer” is absolutely ludicrous. Even afterwards, people have never been particularly drawn to Guide based search when they are looking for information on say, “Finding the state space model of a transfer function for digital signal processing.” People with this kind of expertise generally won’t sit down and pontificate for $20 an entry.

    My point is that you did write a compelling headline, and even made some very solid points;however, I must respectfully disagree that they jive with the way that the world actually functions.

  46. Ramon makes a good point, one that may not be lost on you but is missing from your argument. None of these products, except for maybe Facebook, can begin to compare with Google in terms of marketshare. Worse yet, two of the three fail an even more important test, mindshare.

    Your average web user knows what Google is. Your average web user -probably- knows what Facebook is. Your average web user neither knows, nor cares about either Techmeme (and its related products) or Mahalo. That is the problem.

    With the exception of Facebook, these other two products are tech toys that will only really achieve traction if there is a substantial change in the way “normal” internet users do business.

    Techmeme provides value, but when you compare the popularity of its sister products with tech.memorandum you see my point. When you leave technology out the equation most everyone stops caring. Is that a problem? Not really, it’s still a great product. It just isn’t a Google killer.

    Until Malhalo can stop using Google results to cushion it, calling it a “Google killer” is absolutely ludicrous. Even afterwards, people have never been particularly drawn to Guide based search when they are looking for information on say, “Finding the state space model of a transfer function for digital signal processing.” People with this kind of expertise generally won’t sit down and pontificate for $20 an entry.

    My point is that you did write a compelling headline, and even made some very solid points;however, I must respectfully disagree that they jive with the way that the world actually functions.

  47. I don’t know why a post from an indexed source that’s linked to by multiple other indexed sources in the requisite timeframe (short) isn’t going to appear on techmeme. Especially on a Sunday night. Am I missing something?

  48. I don’t know why a post from an indexed source that’s linked to by multiple other indexed sources in the requisite timeframe (short) isn’t going to appear on techmeme. Especially on a Sunday night. Am I missing something?

  49. So, having watched the first video, here’s one problem I see:

    No one ever really knows all the smartest people.

    What that means is, if you’re going to rely on searches vetted by one’s trust network, you’re going to miss out on huge amounts of the net. The net — and search — is inherently a long tail phenomenon.

    Contrast this to Mahalo’s own statement at the bottom of their page: “Mahalo’s goal is to hand-write the top 20,000 search terms.”

    20,000? That’s it? And they’re not even there yet?

    One estimate I’ve seen is that Google handles about 200 million searches per day. Even if one is generous and says the top 20,000 search terms account for half of the searches entered, that still leaves a huge number of terms unentered (since, long tail wise, the remaining search term could easily run in to the tens of millions).

    So I guess my question would be, can trust-based searching ever scale to a level of comprehensiveness that spidered, automated searches do?

    Because if not, then one runs into Joel Spolsky’s observation about 80/20 rules and program features — my useful 20% probably doesn’t match your 20%, which is why programs with more features (covering more potential uses) win. If my “top 20,000″ doesn’t equal Mahalo’s — or yours — then no matter how good those 20,000 they do have may be, the service is useless to me.

    As, in fact, it’s always been whenever I run test searches on it.

    {shrug}

  50. So, having watched the first video, here’s one problem I see:

    No one ever really knows all the smartest people.

    What that means is, if you’re going to rely on searches vetted by one’s trust network, you’re going to miss out on huge amounts of the net. The net — and search — is inherently a long tail phenomenon.

    Contrast this to Mahalo’s own statement at the bottom of their page: “Mahalo’s goal is to hand-write the top 20,000 search terms.”

    20,000? That’s it? And they’re not even there yet?

    One estimate I’ve seen is that Google handles about 200 million searches per day. Even if one is generous and says the top 20,000 search terms account for half of the searches entered, that still leaves a huge number of terms unentered (since, long tail wise, the remaining search term could easily run in to the tens of millions).

    So I guess my question would be, can trust-based searching ever scale to a level of comprehensiveness that spidered, automated searches do?

    Because if not, then one runs into Joel Spolsky’s observation about 80/20 rules and program features — my useful 20% probably doesn’t match your 20%, which is why programs with more features (covering more potential uses) win. If my “top 20,000″ doesn’t equal Mahalo’s — or yours — then no matter how good those 20,000 they do have may be, the service is useless to me.

    As, in fact, it’s always been whenever I run test searches on it.

    {shrug}

  51. Read Mahalo’s FAQ carefully, especially #2 “What sites will I find / not find on Mahalo?”. Question : do you really accept that someone is deciding what’s good and what’s not for you ??? What you should read and what you should not ? Which info you could get and what you can’t ??? Hey Guys, time to wake up : don’t you think this kind of universe looks familiar ? What a “Brave New World”…

  52. Read Mahalo’s FAQ carefully, especially #2 “What sites will I find / not find on Mahalo?”. Question : do you really accept that someone is deciding what’s good and what’s not for you ??? What you should read and what you should not ? Which info you could get and what you can’t ??? Hey Guys, time to wake up : don’t you think this kind of universe looks familiar ? What a “Brave New World”…

  53. Mahalo can’t be the next google unless that offer collaborative services like google. Second, I do 75% of my searches in advanced search mode, and I don’t think Mahalo has the depth. Third, searches are about information. Google has google books, which means it subsumes Mahalos search by a long shot.

  54. Mahalo can’t be the next google unless that offer collaborative services like google. Second, I do 75% of my searches in advanced search mode, and I don’t think Mahalo has the depth. Third, searches are about information. Google has google books, which means it subsumes Mahalos search by a long shot.

  55. @Robert : I understand your point, of course. You need a personal assistant doing press review for you, that’s fine with me. In this case – read individual/personal use -, TechMeme and al. can do the job, even if I’m convinced that you can build your own customized/fine-tuned search engine today using Yahoo!Pipes.

    What I don’t like with Mahalo’s concept is that they aim at delivering selected content TO THE MASS. I can ask my personal assistant to search/filter information based on my own goals/habits/taste/whatever. I don’t want someone else push pre-filtered information to me when this information has been selected by people I don’t even know. Because the main question is : what if they tweak this information ?…

    To me, as a European, this is a very dangerous path. Sure, misinformation didn’t wait for the Web 2.0. Disinformation neither, which found new means with the Net since 15+ years. This is not a reason to create new tools to help Disinformation spread its arms around the CyberSpace…

    post-scriptum : look at what recently happened to Wikipedia.

  56. @Robert : I understand your point, of course. You need a personal assistant doing press review for you, that’s fine with me. In this case – read individual/personal use -, TechMeme and al. can do the job, even if I’m convinced that you can build your own customized/fine-tuned search engine today using Yahoo!Pipes.

    What I don’t like with Mahalo’s concept is that they aim at delivering selected content TO THE MASS. I can ask my personal assistant to search/filter information based on my own goals/habits/taste/whatever. I don’t want someone else push pre-filtered information to me when this information has been selected by people I don’t even know. Because the main question is : what if they tweak this information ?…

    To me, as a European, this is a very dangerous path. Sure, misinformation didn’t wait for the Web 2.0. Disinformation neither, which found new means with the Net since 15+ years. This is not a reason to create new tools to help Disinformation spread its arms around the CyberSpace…

    post-scriptum : look at what recently happened to Wikipedia.

  57. Mahalo is google bait and SEO like nothing I have ever seen- It will never be the first engine you use but it will be on the first page of Google results.

  58. Mahalo is google bait and SEO like nothing I have ever seen- It will never be the first engine you use but it will be on the first page of Google results.

  59. [...] For Robert Scoble, Facebook Web domination is a given–who needs Google, even! Facebook deserves even more, though: Next Facebook step, the real world. After lunching with a Facebook exec, Scoble was inspired to dream big. Welcome to Scoble’s Facebook Hotel, really: Think about how a business would change if it knew every one of its customers had a Facebook account. [...]

  60. I’m still of the personal opinion that the whole business plan of these sites is to sell their index to a major search engine (read: Google, Yahoo, MSN). Give it a year or two, and you’ll see Facebook search integrated into one of them as the new “phone book”. Some sort of rev-share agreement. There’s a reason they keep everything as anti-search engine as possible. They could easily open up really basic profiles to search engines and keep all the private info private. They op out intentionally.

    They have a valuable asset, they want to cash in on it. Just wait.

  61. I’m still of the personal opinion that the whole business plan of these sites is to sell their index to a major search engine (read: Google, Yahoo, MSN). Give it a year or two, and you’ll see Facebook search integrated into one of them as the new “phone book”. Some sort of rev-share agreement. There’s a reason they keep everything as anti-search engine as possible. They could easily open up really basic profiles to search engines and keep all the private info private. They op out intentionally.

    They have a valuable asset, they want to cash in on it. Just wait.

  62. My student friends all say to me “we dont have the time in the day” to start doing all this web 2.0 stuff. and i’m kind of starting to think they have a serious point: 24 hours a day is not going to grow! Is web 2.0 for unemployed / people with little to do or tech people who earn a living off talking about these sites? OR, is there some idea that we all suddenly can ditch work and live playing abuot on Facebook all day long? One without the other doesnt seem to play long term ball.

  63. My student friends all say to me “we dont have the time in the day” to start doing all this web 2.0 stuff. and i’m kind of starting to think they have a serious point: 24 hours a day is not going to grow! Is web 2.0 for unemployed / people with little to do or tech people who earn a living off talking about these sites? OR, is there some idea that we all suddenly can ditch work and live playing abuot on Facebook all day long? One without the other doesnt seem to play long term ball.

  64. I think you should do some research before you post. If you look up “pagerank” and how it works, you will see Techmeme is pretty much identical in concept, except purely for blogs.

  65. I think you should do some research before you post. If you look up “pagerank” and how it works, you will see Techmeme is pretty much identical in concept, except purely for blogs.

  66. am i the only one who didn’t watch the links because i don’t have 45 minutes to snore through video when i could skim a text post explaining why these guys will kick google’s ass?

    m3mnoch.

  67. am i the only one who didn’t watch the links because i don’t have 45 minutes to snore through video when i could skim a text post explaining why these guys will kick google’s ass?

    m3mnoch.

  68. Bookstores that target only the top portion of the long tail never succeed because they do not meet their customers needs. People do not want to buy bestsellers 100% of the time, much to the dismay of such stores (unless they are located in a place where customers are cornered, such as an airport terminal.) This is why Mahalo also must fail. It does have hype, but that still gets you FAIL.

  69. Bookstores that target only the top portion of the long tail never succeed because they do not meet their customers needs. People do not want to buy bestsellers 100% of the time, much to the dismay of such stores (unless they are located in a place where customers are cornered, such as an airport terminal.) This is why Mahalo also must fail. It does have hype, but that still gets you FAIL.

  70. Why oh why do I get the impression that you’re simply trolling with this hypothesis Robert? Could it be because SEOs will collectively knee-jerk at this? Could it be because Jason did a highly-successful bit of anti-SEO trolling within the last 6 months with this?

    It’s an interesting concept, and I’d love to see Google’s dominance reduced somewhat. But those results link to mostly mainstream outlets – how are less established websites to get attention?

    Plus, a number of the searches I did (on Mahalo) rely on results from Google News and Images for supplementary information. I don’t think they’re going to kill Google when they’re legitimising them as a source of information.

  71. Why oh why do I get the impression that you’re simply trolling with this hypothesis Robert? Could it be because SEOs will collectively knee-jerk at this? Could it be because Jason did a highly-successful bit of anti-SEO trolling within the last 6 months with this?

    It’s an interesting concept, and I’d love to see Google’s dominance reduced somewhat. But those results link to mostly mainstream outlets – how are less established websites to get attention?

    Plus, a number of the searches I did (on Mahalo) rely on results from Google News and Images for supplementary information. I don’t think they’re going to kill Google when they’re legitimising them as a source of information.

  72. I think this opened a fantastic discussion, made for some good weekend linkbait and proved the point to anyone paying attention that just because something seems “cool” doesn’t mean it’s a “Google Killer” (whatever that is).

    Until you get the brand presence (“Do No Evil”), the win-win (“Adsense”) and the advertising chops (“Adword”) of a Google I don’t see anything toppling Mountain View’s current search dominance.

    It has never been about the features, it very rarely is about application quality, it’s almost always about distribution and packaging. Google does this part better than anyone I’ve ever seen (for better or for worse).

  73. I think this opened a fantastic discussion, made for some good weekend linkbait and proved the point to anyone paying attention that just because something seems “cool” doesn’t mean it’s a “Google Killer” (whatever that is).

    Until you get the brand presence (“Do No Evil”), the win-win (“Adsense”) and the advertising chops (“Adword”) of a Google I don’t see anything toppling Mountain View’s current search dominance.

    It has never been about the features, it very rarely is about application quality, it’s almost always about distribution and packaging. Google does this part better than anyone I’ve ever seen (for better or for worse).

  74. One reason why Microsoft couldn’t compete with Google, to get to Scoble’s premise, is that they underestimated Google. Remember, this is the same company that didn’t have a web browser when Netscape went public and thought the internet was a joke at the time.

    It also underestimates the scale that Google is operating and what they’re trying to accomplish. Google’s search results will only get better as they complete the build-out of their infrastructure and upgrade their algorithms. Of course they can include social network results. Google has only really scratched the surface of what it can do with its results. Remember, Google isn’t run like Microsoft; it’ll compete much better than Microsoft ever could.

    The problem with Mahalo is that it doesn’t scale–it can’t cover the breadth of the internet and to do so would be much more expensive than what Google has devised. There are tens of billions of web pages–Mahalo will only address a tiny fraction of them.

  75. One reason why Microsoft couldn’t compete with Google, to get to Scoble’s premise, is that they underestimated Google. Remember, this is the same company that didn’t have a web browser when Netscape went public and thought the internet was a joke at the time.

    It also underestimates the scale that Google is operating and what they’re trying to accomplish. Google’s search results will only get better as they complete the build-out of their infrastructure and upgrade their algorithms. Of course they can include social network results. Google has only really scratched the surface of what it can do with its results. Remember, Google isn’t run like Microsoft; it’ll compete much better than Microsoft ever could.

    The problem with Mahalo is that it doesn’t scale–it can’t cover the breadth of the internet and to do so would be much more expensive than what Google has devised. There are tens of billions of web pages–Mahalo will only address a tiny fraction of them.

  76. I absolutely agree with you Bob. I am not saying Google can’t be beaten, I am saying it would take someone like Yahoo or something that “shifts paradigms” to do it.

    Mahalo is great for what it is, so is Techmeme but neither of these are -exactly- right.

    Great link by the way.

  77. I absolutely agree with you Bob. I am not saying Google can’t be beaten, I am saying it would take someone like Yahoo or something that “shifts paradigms” to do it.

    Mahalo is great for what it is, so is Techmeme but neither of these are -exactly- right.

    Great link by the way.

  78. I’m with Robert on this one: I found this article via our Blog Friends facebook application… that is to say I used keywords that were contextualized and filtered via my social network to find something for me that is interesting and relevant.

    Or to put it another way, we are already successfully doing social search of sorts, and it works!

    Jof Arnold
    COO, i-together.com

  79. I’m with Robert on this one: I found this article via our Blog Friends facebook application… that is to say I used keywords that were contextualized and filtered via my social network to find something for me that is interesting and relevant.

    Or to put it another way, we are already successfully doing social search of sorts, and it works!

    Jof Arnold
    COO, i-together.com

  80. Sigh. So many things come and go in online marketing, search engines, PR and the like. Those of us who come from a strong marketing background know one thing: you go with the market. So, ask yourself, where is the market? That is where you (and your clients) should be spending their time. Peace!

  81. Sigh. So many things come and go in online marketing, search engines, PR and the like. Those of us who come from a strong marketing background know one thing: you go with the market. So, ask yourself, where is the market? That is where you (and your clients) should be spending their time. Peace!

  82. 1. The community is not infinite. Mahalo has no traction. GigaOm, a tech blog gets more traffic than Mahalo which is supposed to be a “search engine”. Search engines are supposed to be the highest traffic draws. Mahalo’s results in certain areas are decent, but most of the “cute information” is something that Google could pull just by scanning the Wikipedia entry for that title. Traffic to Mahalo is stagnating – it’s not quite the hockey stick for such a supposedly “social” site.

    2. Social news and bookmarking sites do not have broad appeal. Digg has been out for quite a while. It has stagnated and traffic is not growing. After a few people with too much time on their hands dominate a network, others lose interest.

    3. Passive technology is more rapidly adopted than technology that requires thinking and interaction. The inherent scalability issue with sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon is that there are only a limited number of people who really care about a topic and even fewer care to influence the search results for that topic. This is why Digg sucks – it’s dominated by a bunch of idiots. Do we really want our search results being influenced by pimply 25-year old geeks who still live in their mother’s basement?

    4. SEOs will infiltrate this to an even higher degree than current search engines. Social networks are already overrun by spam. A tremendous percentage of pages on Myspace are spam. Many Facebook apps are spamming. Most social networks spam to grow big (ahem, Flixter). Web 2.0 is all about spam. Robert Scoble is spam.

    5. Yahoo does not have “mojo”. Yes, it is true that Yahoo owns delicious and Flickr. So what? Flickr is mostly used by people in the San Francisco area – most of us don’t want our photos to be openly available to everyone. Then again, most of us aren’t desperate for attention. He argues that Google and Microsoft are screwed but Yahoo might be okay. Give me a break. Yahoo may be doing some interesting things, but delicious and Flickr aren’t part of the discussion there. The very fact that even extremely popular sites owned by Yahoo don’t have over 3000 bookmarks on delicious shows how worthless it is (and let’s not forget that it’s slow).

    Scoble: 0

    TechDumpster: One Googol

  83. 1. The community is not infinite. Mahalo has no traction. GigaOm, a tech blog gets more traffic than Mahalo which is supposed to be a “search engine”. Search engines are supposed to be the highest traffic draws. Mahalo’s results in certain areas are decent, but most of the “cute information” is something that Google could pull just by scanning the Wikipedia entry for that title. Traffic to Mahalo is stagnating – it’s not quite the hockey stick for such a supposedly “social” site.

    2. Social news and bookmarking sites do not have broad appeal. Digg has been out for quite a while. It has stagnated and traffic is not growing. After a few people with too much time on their hands dominate a network, others lose interest.

    3. Passive technology is more rapidly adopted than technology that requires thinking and interaction. The inherent scalability issue with sites such as Digg and StumbleUpon is that there are only a limited number of people who really care about a topic and even fewer care to influence the search results for that topic. This is why Digg sucks – it’s dominated by a bunch of idiots. Do we really want our search results being influenced by pimply 25-year old geeks who still live in their mother’s basement?

    4. SEOs will infiltrate this to an even higher degree than current search engines. Social networks are already overrun by spam. A tremendous percentage of pages on Myspace are spam. Many Facebook apps are spamming. Most social networks spam to grow big (ahem, Flixter). Web 2.0 is all about spam. Robert Scoble is spam.

    5. Yahoo does not have “mojo”. Yes, it is true that Yahoo owns delicious and Flickr. So what? Flickr is mostly used by people in the San Francisco area – most of us don’t want our photos to be openly available to everyone. Then again, most of us aren’t desperate for attention. He argues that Google and Microsoft are screwed but Yahoo might be okay. Give me a break. Yahoo may be doing some interesting things, but delicious and Flickr aren’t part of the discussion there. The very fact that even extremely popular sites owned by Yahoo don’t have over 3000 bookmarks on delicious shows how worthless it is (and let’s not forget that it’s slow).

    Scoble: 0

    TechDumpster: One Googol

  84. [...] Scoble on why Mahalo and Facebook will eventually beat Google in search. Scoble argues that Google is in trouble because they are unable to adapt their algorithms and business model in the face of social search sites such as Mahalo and even Facebook; Techmeme is thrown in for good measure as well. Here’s a counter point to that article. [...]

  85. Jamie, tempting as it is to start on Web 2.0++, I think the original definition by O’Reilly of Web 2.0 as collaboration fits this paradigm just fine. In fact, all of these related sub-threads are nothing more than ways of involving people to collaborate (conspire even) to reduce the sway of SEO’s over our search results.

    BW

  86. Jamie, tempting as it is to start on Web 2.0++, I think the original definition by O’Reilly of Web 2.0 as collaboration fits this paradigm just fine. In fact, all of these related sub-threads are nothing more than ways of involving people to collaborate (conspire even) to reduce the sway of SEO’s over our search results.

    BW

  87. Robert-Could you do a video showing how you use Facebook. I really don’t get the hype. Seems like a enhanced Twitter to me. I just don’t see the there there as they say. Perhaps a video of expert usage would illuminate. Thanks-Jim..

  88. Robert-Could you do a video showing how you use Facebook. I really don’t get the hype. Seems like a enhanced Twitter to me. I just don’t see the there there as they say. Perhaps a video of expert usage would illuminate. Thanks-Jim..

  89. Wow Robert… Looking for smart readers and looks like your note which is why you are out of here? That is over the top… even for you. Because someone is not interseted in what you post they are not smart? Is that what you are saying

  90. Wow Robert… Looking for smart readers and looks like your note which is why you are out of here? That is over the top… even for you. Because someone is not interseted in what you post they are not smart? Is that what you are saying

  91. Scoble, you do realize that Mahalo can’t exist without Google, right? Pretty much renders your mention of it in this article pointless. Hell, they are building their service AROUND and WITH Google results.

    So, you strike out there bud. Sorry.

    Can’t talk about techmeme, never even used that site before.

    And then there is the constant bashing of SEO. SEO doesn’t have to be evil. Then again, I guess i am the only one in the world who hasn’t been affected by link and ad spam on Google. I trust them to solve this “huge” issue before I’d trust Jason Calacanis to. Give me a break. Mahalo is a solution for something which isn’t even really a problem.

    Usually enjor your posts but this one was way off the mark.

    [x] the mark ——————-> [your point landed over there]

  92. Scoble, you do realize that Mahalo can’t exist without Google, right? Pretty much renders your mention of it in this article pointless. Hell, they are building their service AROUND and WITH Google results.

    So, you strike out there bud. Sorry.

    Can’t talk about techmeme, never even used that site before.

    And then there is the constant bashing of SEO. SEO doesn’t have to be evil. Then again, I guess i am the only one in the world who hasn’t been affected by link and ad spam on Google. I trust them to solve this “huge” issue before I’d trust Jason Calacanis to. Give me a break. Mahalo is a solution for something which isn’t even really a problem.

    Usually enjor your posts but this one was way off the mark.

    [x] the mark ——————-> [your point landed over there]

  93. I’m laughing at the assumption that an engineered technology can simply be replaced/improved by throwing millions of human-hours at it. Google search is prone to corruption by good (but biased) SEO algorithms, therefore the search algorithm should be replaced by throwing tons of man-hours at it, further assuming that the results will somehow be unbiased. Here’s an idea: improve the search algorithm.

  94. I’m laughing at the assumption that an engineered technology can simply be replaced/improved by throwing millions of human-hours at it. Google search is prone to corruption by good (but biased) SEO algorithms, therefore the search algorithm should be replaced by throwing tons of man-hours at it, further assuming that the results will somehow be unbiased. Here’s an idea: improve the search algorithm.

  95. william wrote:
    “And then there is the constant bashing of SEO. SEO doesn’t have to be evil. Then again, I guess i am the only one in the world who hasn’t been affected by link and ad spam on Google. I trust them to solve this “huge” issue before I’d trust Jason Calacanis to. Give me a break. Mahalo is a solution for something which isn’t even really a problem.”

    Hammer, meet nail. LMAO

  96. william wrote:
    “And then there is the constant bashing of SEO. SEO doesn’t have to be evil. Then again, I guess i am the only one in the world who hasn’t been affected by link and ad spam on Google. I trust them to solve this “huge” issue before I’d trust Jason Calacanis to. Give me a break. Mahalo is a solution for something which isn’t even really a problem.”

    Hammer, meet nail. LMAO

  97. Robert, there is a lot of truth to what you say, but I’m not quite convinced for a consumer search engine. Scalability issues with human editors is a problem and the onotech blog (http://onotech.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html#7202777925834821189) gives some compelling reasons why even the candidates you list are subject to their own “SEO mechanisms” and are, therefore, not SEO-resistant.

    Rather than “SEO-resistant” I like to say that with all these channels you can “buy or lie your way to the top.” And yet I agree with you that a transition will happen, namely because value is lost when results can be gamed by SEO or other schemes. So when the transition occurs, and I think it will, I predict it will go first with B2B search and my lead candidate to make it happen is LinkedIn. Here’s why:

    1. All search is not equal: B2B will lead the way
    People search for different reasons and expect different results. When you can narrow the expectations you can better satisfy them. B2B search is simple. They are looking for someone with a product or service to solve a business need. They want matches that fit their criteria (budget, location, reputation, etc.). A specific, filtered search makes a lot of sense for B2B.

    2. Hard to game: former customers
    As onotech pointed out, all the candidates listed are not SEO-resistant. Furthermore, they are limited in their scope. The “fabric” in each of the examples is only so big. If you want a big fabric, consider past customers of any given company. Now you have a fabric of millions and they can provide timely reviews second-by-second. And being former customers, they possess the insight that we most want to hear. I wouldn’t care that Michael Arrington, Jason Calacanis (no offense) or anyone else thinks a company’s website is acceptable for me to view. I want to know the company’s track record with former customers. A legacy of happy customers is the best indicator I have of being treated well myself.

    3. Going a step further: Making it personal
    As oxymoronic as it sounds, B2B is far more personal than B2C. While the “C” in B2C sounds more personal (it is “consumer” after all), B2C is actually much less personal than B2B. In B2C it’s all about getting you to make an online transaction right now without human intervention. Have you ever been able to get someone from Amazon on the phone? B2B is hardly ever instantaneous and human handholding is the norm. In fact, they offer white papers, webinars, etc. all with the hope of getting you in touch with one of their *people* so they can see if and how they can business with you.

    4. Which leads to LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is my front runner because it is a network of business *people*. It is not a network of businesses. Businesses have reputations to be sure, but people will be far more careful to protect their reputation (which travels with them) than they will to protect the reputation of their employer.

    Thanks for putting a stake in the ground Robert. I’m standing with you!

    Cheers!
    ~ Rick Heggem
    CEO, MyHandshake.com

  98. Robert, there is a lot of truth to what you say, but I’m not quite convinced for a consumer search engine. Scalability issues with human editors is a problem and the onotech blog (http://onotech.blogspot.com/2007_08_01_archive.html#7202777925834821189) gives some compelling reasons why even the candidates you list are subject to their own “SEO mechanisms” and are, therefore, not SEO-resistant.

    Rather than “SEO-resistant” I like to say that with all these channels you can “buy or lie your way to the top.” And yet I agree with you that a transition will happen, namely because value is lost when results can be gamed by SEO or other schemes. So when the transition occurs, and I think it will, I predict it will go first with B2B search and my lead candidate to make it happen is LinkedIn. Here’s why:

    1. All search is not equal: B2B will lead the way
    People search for different reasons and expect different results. When you can narrow the expectations you can better satisfy them. B2B search is simple. They are looking for someone with a product or service to solve a business need. They want matches that fit their criteria (budget, location, reputation, etc.). A specific, filtered search makes a lot of sense for B2B.

    2. Hard to game: former customers
    As onotech pointed out, all the candidates listed are not SEO-resistant. Furthermore, they are limited in their scope. The “fabric” in each of the examples is only so big. If you want a big fabric, consider past customers of any given company. Now you have a fabric of millions and they can provide timely reviews second-by-second. And being former customers, they possess the insight that we most want to hear. I wouldn’t care that Michael Arrington, Jason Calacanis (no offense) or anyone else thinks a company’s website is acceptable for me to view. I want to know the company’s track record with former customers. A legacy of happy customers is the best indicator I have of being treated well myself.

    3. Going a step further: Making it personal
    As oxymoronic as it sounds, B2B is far more personal than B2C. While the “C” in B2C sounds more personal (it is “consumer” after all), B2C is actually much less personal than B2B. In B2C it’s all about getting you to make an online transaction right now without human intervention. Have you ever been able to get someone from Amazon on the phone? B2B is hardly ever instantaneous and human handholding is the norm. In fact, they offer white papers, webinars, etc. all with the hope of getting you in touch with one of their *people* so they can see if and how they can business with you.

    4. Which leads to LinkedIn
    LinkedIn is my front runner because it is a network of business *people*. It is not a network of businesses. Businesses have reputations to be sure, but people will be far more careful to protect their reputation (which travels with them) than they will to protect the reputation of their employer.

    Thanks for putting a stake in the ground Robert. I’m standing with you!

    Cheers!
    ~ Rick Heggem
    CEO, MyHandshake.com

  99. I think you struck a nerve with an seo community that’s having a problem admiting that there might be some truth to this.

  100. I think you struck a nerve with an seo community that’s having a problem admiting that there might be some truth to this.

  101. I like to think about the historical evolution of the Web. The first generation of web sites were pure static content, human-classified (Yahoo). Then the amount of content kept growing until it was impossible to index it manually. The second generation of the Web (call it Web 1.0 release 2) was… automated search, instead of classification. It was better and made Google the giant it is today; but still, that’s not enough. Now we need context. And social networks are just one way of solving this problem, which – in my very humble opinion – it´s not going to solve everything.

    Let’s put it this way: Google is trying to solve the context mess by adding more and more intelligence on their own search engine. There’s a limit about what can they do without relying on more knowledge about you, and about the relationship between articles and interest areas. Social sites already do have this kind of information. I guess that Google can derive part of this information – after all, it has to be presented so we users can see it, and Google can see it too – but they to have to work it out, while social sites can get all context information they want from their own log files and databases, which is a much richer and cleaner source of information to start with.

    So it seems that social sites will have the upper hand. Right? Well, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Google still has something that they dont have – lots of experience extracting information, and even context, from otherwise dumb data. Also, we have to understand that social networks also have their own limits. Someone cited Joel Spolsky’s rule (regarding 80/20 rule and how it applies to software features), and I believe it applies to any kind of web application – which may turn social networks into huge balls of hair, where some people may pick only blond hair, others will like red hair, and so on. I’m not sure if it will scale well. And scale is something that Google is really good at. Let’s see how the opposition does.

  102. I like to think about the historical evolution of the Web. The first generation of web sites were pure static content, human-classified (Yahoo). Then the amount of content kept growing until it was impossible to index it manually. The second generation of the Web (call it Web 1.0 release 2) was… automated search, instead of classification. It was better and made Google the giant it is today; but still, that’s not enough. Now we need context. And social networks are just one way of solving this problem, which – in my very humble opinion – it´s not going to solve everything.

    Let’s put it this way: Google is trying to solve the context mess by adding more and more intelligence on their own search engine. There’s a limit about what can they do without relying on more knowledge about you, and about the relationship between articles and interest areas. Social sites already do have this kind of information. I guess that Google can derive part of this information – after all, it has to be presented so we users can see it, and Google can see it too – but they to have to work it out, while social sites can get all context information they want from their own log files and databases, which is a much richer and cleaner source of information to start with.

    So it seems that social sites will have the upper hand. Right? Well, there’s more to it than meets the eye. Google still has something that they dont have – lots of experience extracting information, and even context, from otherwise dumb data. Also, we have to understand that social networks also have their own limits. Someone cited Joel Spolsky’s rule (regarding 80/20 rule and how it applies to software features), and I believe it applies to any kind of web application – which may turn social networks into huge balls of hair, where some people may pick only blond hair, others will like red hair, and so on. I’m not sure if it will scale well. And scale is something that Google is really good at. Let’s see how the opposition does.

  103. I suppose you could be right, given the following conditions:
    1)the Mahalo Crew proves to be the top experts on over 20k search terms
    2)those terms don’t change much
    3)I’m motivated enough to care whether or not Mahalo has listed the information I care about. Because I know Google has.
    4)The other 98% of Facebook users quit using it to poke their friends, post party pictures, and stalk each other

    In other words Robert – you’re way off on this one. Nice link bait though – you can calacanis have that tactic down pat.

  104. I suppose you could be right, given the following conditions:
    1)the Mahalo Crew proves to be the top experts on over 20k search terms
    2)those terms don’t change much
    3)I’m motivated enough to care whether or not Mahalo has listed the information I care about. Because I know Google has.
    4)The other 98% of Facebook users quit using it to poke their friends, post party pictures, and stalk each other

    In other words Robert – you’re way off on this one. Nice link bait though – you can calacanis have that tactic down pat.

  105. I’m not remotely connected to the SEO community myself, but I can see them having a good laugh that somebody would think their algorithms and strategies can be defeated by the old adage “a million monkeys with a million typewriters”.

  106. I’m not remotely connected to the SEO community myself, but I can see them having a good laugh that somebody would think their algorithms and strategies can be defeated by the old adage “a million monkeys with a million typewriters”.

  107. Look Out Facebook Apps, Google Is Coming To Town!

    As GoogleSystem reports, Google launched a Facebook Application today, perhaps (ok, probably not) in response to Robert Scoble’s death watch for the Googantuan. The App basically allows you to do a regular Google search, but it publishes your searches in

  108. [...] is part 3 of a 3 part Robert Scoble video blog series on “Why Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google’s butt in four years.” To see the other parts scroll on the player; Part 2 at around the 6 minute mark gets to the [...]

  109. Really neat video and hypothesis. But what about a search engine built solely on the social graph, rather than something like Facebook. Am not really sure what I mean here. But if and when Brad Fitzpatrick builds his social graph, people can take advantage of this graph, and maybe someone can build a search oriented/focused site, rather than something else that “can” accomplish search. And maybe that would provide better results. I am just thinking out loud. For those who would like to see what Brad is doing, here you go http://bradfitz.com/social-graph-problem/

  110. Really neat video and hypothesis. But what about a search engine built solely on the social graph, rather than something like Facebook. Am not really sure what I mean here. But if and when Brad Fitzpatrick builds his social graph, people can take advantage of this graph, and maybe someone can build a search oriented/focused site, rather than something else that “can” accomplish search. And maybe that would provide better results. I am just thinking out loud. For those who would like to see what Brad is doing, here you go http://bradfitz.com/social-graph-problem/

  111. Hellooooo… Yahoo! Answers anyone? People helping people with search problems? Millions of satisfied users already? You’re over complicating the problem.

  112. Hellooooo… Yahoo! Answers anyone? People helping people with search problems? Millions of satisfied users already? You’re over complicating the problem.

  113. [...] دو روز قبل رابرت اسكوبل مطلبي نوشت كه عنوان مي‌كرد فيس‌ بوك + ماهالو + تك مِمِه مي‌تواند تبديل به گوگل آين؅ شود.هميشه نوشته‌های او محل توجه بسيار است.اين نوشته هم [...]

  114. Hi Robert…

    I haven’t had a chance to watch your videos, so can’t make any comments about the videos. I do want to comment though, that putting ideas out in video only is rather limiting. I’d rather scan an article and decide if I want to read it slowly, in more depth, rather than wade through 30-something minutes of video to see if there’s anything of interest / value to me in there.

    I always enjoy reading your ideas here on your blog, in twitter / wherever, but I’m not sure I want to spend 30-something minutes very often to watch something that just might be interesting.

    Thanks for all your ideas and desire to contribute..

  115. Hi Robert…

    I haven’t had a chance to watch your videos, so can’t make any comments about the videos. I do want to comment though, that putting ideas out in video only is rather limiting. I’d rather scan an article and decide if I want to read it slowly, in more depth, rather than wade through 30-something minutes of video to see if there’s anything of interest / value to me in there.

    I always enjoy reading your ideas here on your blog, in twitter / wherever, but I’m not sure I want to spend 30-something minutes very often to watch something that just might be interesting.

    Thanks for all your ideas and desire to contribute..

  116. Hello Scoble, thank you for the videos. The value of the Social Graph for filtering and Search is well spotted. It is also right that Google has shown so far some inability of integrating its own Applications or leveraging Orkut for Search. But their push for Universal Search is leaving space for hope. Google has not yet even started to leverage the value of a true integration of all its Applications and Services. How could that look? Example: If Google puts iGoogle pages into an enhanced Google Docs+Spreadsheets people could share iGoogle pages like they can share documents today. Sharing an iGoogle page with a contact in Google Docs would be the equivalent of inviting that person to join this new “Social Network” (Orkut would be not needed anymore). Based on this enhancement Google would have the Social Graph and it could start to create on top of its now truly integrated Services and Applications the “Ultimate Universal Search”. More details here: http://www.line-of-reasoning.com/solutions/googles-universal-search-to-search-gmail-google-documents-and-social-networks/

  117. Hello Scoble, thank you for the videos. The value of the Social Graph for filtering and Search is well spotted. It is also right that Google has shown so far some inability of integrating its own Applications or leveraging Orkut for Search. But their push for Universal Search is leaving space for hope. Google has not yet even started to leverage the value of a true integration of all its Applications and Services. How could that look? Example: If Google puts iGoogle pages into an enhanced Google Docs+Spreadsheets people could share iGoogle pages like they can share documents today. Sharing an iGoogle page with a contact in Google Docs would be the equivalent of inviting that person to join this new “Social Network” (Orkut would be not needed anymore). Based on this enhancement Google would have the Social Graph and it could start to create on top of its now truly integrated Services and Applications the “Ultimate Universal Search”. More details here: http://www.line-of-reasoning.com/solutions/googles-universal-search-to-search-gmail-google-documents-and-social-networks/

  118. Mahalo has no result for ‘China’, just the google results! Why guess whether your search term is in the Mahalo top 20000? And why is it so bad to get advertiser entries in your results, if i’m looking for a hotel in L.A., i’d expect that the hotel which gets itself to the top of the google results is a well run hotel which wants my business. And I prefer the 63 million options google gives me to the lame page i get on Mahalo

  119. Mahalo has no result for ‘China’, just the google results! Why guess whether your search term is in the Mahalo top 20000? And why is it so bad to get advertiser entries in your results, if i’m looking for a hotel in L.A., i’d expect that the hotel which gets itself to the top of the google results is a well run hotel which wants my business. And I prefer the 63 million options google gives me to the lame page i get on Mahalo

  120. [...] In einem gut aufrührerischen Video legt Robert Scoble zur Zeit nahe, die Zukunft der Search Engines könnte jenseits von Google stattfinden und macht als beste Beispiele dafür Mahalo, TechMeme und Facebook aus. I explain how SEO-resistant technologies like Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are about to upend the search industry. Why Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google’s butt in four years « Scobleizer [...]

  121. Mr. Scoble,
    Please just shut the hell up until you do understand SEO.. until then, here is a quote about SEO..

    “the purpose of SEO is to provide unique qualified content to the searcher that directly applies to establishing a business relationship between a company and a customer, “the searcher” .
    – steve plunkett – M/C/C

  122. Mr. Scoble,
    Please just shut the hell up until you do understand SEO.. until then, here is a quote about SEO..

    “the purpose of SEO is to provide unique qualified content to the searcher that directly applies to establishing a business relationship between a company and a customer, “the searcher” .
    – steve plunkett – M/C/C

  123. Why Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google’s butt in four years « Scobleizer

    I explain how SEO-resistant technologies like Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are about to upend the search industry.

  124. Yea that’s great if you want to find filtered search results on the subject of “Search Engines,” but if you want to find the experts on ANY OTHER SUBJECT your theory falls to pieces. Mahalo, Facebook and Techmeme are useless for searching for expert information on any subject outside of a few very specialized niches. Their nets are just too small and can’t scale. In fact they don’t even cover technology very well unless all you want to know about is the iPhone, Blu-ray and the XBox.

    Essentially what you are proposing is the university model. The king says lets the get the 100 smartest people in the land and put them in one building. You can’t build a building large enough to house the experts on everything.

    What you end up with is limited to the same conversations over and over at the nerd table in the school cafateria.

  125. Yea that’s great if you want to find filtered search results on the subject of “Search Engines,” but if you want to find the experts on ANY OTHER SUBJECT your theory falls to pieces. Mahalo, Facebook and Techmeme are useless for searching for expert information on any subject outside of a few very specialized niches. Their nets are just too small and can’t scale. In fact they don’t even cover technology very well unless all you want to know about is the iPhone, Blu-ray and the XBox.

    Essentially what you are proposing is the university model. The king says lets the get the 100 smartest people in the land and put them in one building. You can’t build a building large enough to house the experts on everything.

    What you end up with is limited to the same conversations over and over at the nerd table in the school cafateria.

  126. You’ve hit the nail on the head!!!!

    Facebook has clearly disrupted everything, I’ve not been this excited about the Internet in about 7 years…

    Most people still “don’t get it” because they’re trying to apply old school thinking to a medium that has nothing in common with the old medium.

    Most people I deal with daily, cannot seem to let go of this old school thinking and they try to apply traditional direct marketing.

    Just as “news groups” became extinct, so will Google.

    I’m hearing ya!

    Hell yeah!

  127. You’ve hit the nail on the head!!!!

    Facebook has clearly disrupted everything, I’ve not been this excited about the Internet in about 7 years…

    Most people still “don’t get it” because they’re trying to apply old school thinking to a medium that has nothing in common with the old medium.

    Most people I deal with daily, cannot seem to let go of this old school thinking and they try to apply traditional direct marketing.

    Just as “news groups” became extinct, so will Google.

    I’m hearing ya!

    Hell yeah!

  128. Trust Networks vs. Search Engines

    Nominally about whether Google will be dethroned by some upstarts , his post has generated many over-heated comments of the “Yankees suck” variety. (A notable exception is “Turbo” Todd Watson’s posting on the subject).

  129. [...] His video posts about conventional vs. social search are excellent breakdowns of where the search industry is headed, or, if you read some of the response posts, not headed. I won’t opine here yet, but it’s definitely worth watching and reading the responses! [...]

  130. The future is Jason C. getting some sucker to buy Mahalo for a large sum of money. It will only be a blip on the radar screen, if that.

  131. The future is Jason C. getting some sucker to buy Mahalo for a large sum of money. It will only be a blip on the radar screen, if that.

  132. [...] Well, one of the problems with leaving something in a huff and then wanting to return is that you usually lose a bit of face in the process. I can only assume that Robert realized this, and being the promoter than he is, he decided to orchestrate a fantastic “welcome back to blogging” party for himself in the form of one of the more outlandish claims I’ve heard in a while, “Why Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google’s butt in four years” [...]

  133. Regarding “No Google. No TechMeme (this post is too short to show up there).”

    The link from Techmeme (it’s a lowercase m Robert) at http://www.techmeme.com/070827/p9#a070827p9 has been mentioned already.

    I see from comment #32 (link to OnoTech) that you know we can get from Google to this blog (and the post on Techmeme) with relevant terms (Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook, Google, Scoble’ all the way down to ‘Mahalo, Techmeme’). In addition, the first of the three videos on Kyte is now the top result at http://google.com/search?q=social+graph+based+search

    Did you spot that? ‘social graph based search’.

    I think you’re 0 for 2 on your no Google, no Techmeme theory.

  134. Regarding “No Google. No TechMeme (this post is too short to show up there).”

    The link from Techmeme (it’s a lowercase m Robert) at http://www.techmeme.com/070827/p9#a070827p9 has been mentioned already.

    I see from comment #32 (link to OnoTech) that you know we can get from Google to this blog (and the post on Techmeme) with relevant terms (Mahalo, Techmeme, Facebook, Google, Scoble’ all the way down to ‘Mahalo, Techmeme’). In addition, the first of the three videos on Kyte is now the top result at http://google.com/search?q=social+graph+based+search

    Did you spot that? ‘social graph based search’.

    I think you’re 0 for 2 on your no Google, no Techmeme theory.

  135. Scoble is an Idiot

    All bloggers are idiots! The first line of Why I Blog says "blogging is stupid." Why?
    We paint targets on ourselves and encourage friends, family, acquaintances, and strangers to make comments which, depending on our mood, may hurt our feelin…

  136. [...] روز قبل رابرت اسكوبل مطلبي نوشت كه عنوان مي‌كرد فيس‌ بوك + ماهالو + تك مِمِه مي‌تواند تبديل به گوگل آين؅ شود.هميشه نوشته‌های او محل توجه بسيار است.اين نوشته هم [...]

  137. What if we ^could^ capture ‘word of mouth’ – in its natural element; where people are sharing in the context of their personal relationships. Harness it offline and facilitate it online instead of vice versa.

    Then the emphasis would no longer be on ‘searching’, but rather on ‘connecting’.

    IMO the ‘search engine’ model needs to be turned upside down and inside out to capture local referrals and influence buying decisions where people live.

    These local transactions seem to be the ‘long tail’.

  138. What if we ^could^ capture ‘word of mouth’ – in its natural element; where people are sharing in the context of their personal relationships. Harness it offline and facilitate it online instead of vice versa.

    Then the emphasis would no longer be on ‘searching’, but rather on ‘connecting’.

    IMO the ‘search engine’ model needs to be turned upside down and inside out to capture local referrals and influence buying decisions where people live.

    These local transactions seem to be the ‘long tail’.

  139. You know what this whole thing has shown me.

    That we can trust Rob.

    Rob wrote something and learned from what pile on. Even though Rob’s a key figure in the web/tech/blog industry. Heck – not many tech web sites would get 176 posts or a few dozen has Rob gets on a regular day.

    We have access to Rob (for now)

    Think of any media anchor or other person doing some stupid we would never be able to have this access or public conversation with them. I would have loved to give a constructive comment to Imis for example. Try to email a comment to Opraa – it’s not going to happen. Of course Rob does not have the reach of Oprah – but I hope you get my point.

    “This community” is wonderful. We only learn by opposing views not by “yes” men!

  140. You know what this whole thing has shown me.

    That we can trust Rob.

    Rob wrote something and learned from what pile on. Even though Rob’s a key figure in the web/tech/blog industry. Heck – not many tech web sites would get 176 posts or a few dozen has Rob gets on a regular day.

    We have access to Rob (for now)

    Think of any media anchor or other person doing some stupid we would never be able to have this access or public conversation with them. I would have loved to give a constructive comment to Imis for example. Try to email a comment to Opraa – it’s not going to happen. Of course Rob does not have the reach of Oprah – but I hope you get my point.

    “This community” is wonderful. We only learn by opposing views not by “yes” men!

  141. I would say, before anyone would actually click a link, there has to be a notion.. and the motion is actually the ‘videos’. Whether it be anonymous..

  142. I would say, before anyone would actually click a link, there has to be a notion.. and the motion is actually the ‘videos’. Whether it be anonymous..

  143. Mahalo’s community is too closed to a little # of guides to take on google, we need the mass,

    I agree facebook has that.

    and what do you have to add to the fact that google
    will just have to show mahalo’s results when it’s really a good page ?

  144. Mahalo’s community is too closed to a little # of guides to take on google, we need the mass,

    I agree facebook has that.

    and what do you have to add to the fact that google
    will just have to show mahalo’s results when it’s really a good page ?

  145. Techmeme?

    Rivera’s sites use a variant of the PageRank algorithm, tapping link-rich blogs for their pointers to link-sparse mainstream media (and nascent online media) articles.

    It’s Google rehashed, repurposed, retreaded. Google could reproduce this site in a weekend.

  146. Techmeme?

    Rivera’s sites use a variant of the PageRank algorithm, tapping link-rich blogs for their pointers to link-sparse mainstream media (and nascent online media) articles.

    It’s Google rehashed, repurposed, retreaded. Google could reproduce this site in a weekend.

  147. Ironically, I found this video through Google!

    I had seen it before when it was referenced from webbalert.com, but its been a few months and I wanted to watch it again (we had a discussion about search engines in school).

    Unfortunatley, Webbalert, doesnt have a darn search bar to search through her site for the link!

    Anyhoot, I just typed some words that I remember from the videos:

    future of search engines video google mahalo

    Sure enough, the first link! Yes!

  148. Ironically, I found this video through Google!

    I had seen it before when it was referenced from webbalert.com, but its been a few months and I wanted to watch it again (we had a discussion about search engines in school).

    Unfortunatley, Webbalert, doesnt have a darn search bar to search through her site for the link!

    Anyhoot, I just typed some words that I remember from the videos:

    future of search engines video google mahalo

    Sure enough, the first link! Yes!

  149. Future Directions in Search

    [This article was originally posted as part of the Rising Star Dream Team Future of Search series on the VortexDNA blog. I'm deeply grateful to Kaila Colbin, VortexDNA's resident blogger, for the opportunity!] I’ve been writing about Search technolo…

  150. I think google will be around a lot longer than facebook. Facebook is just turning into myspace and will eventually be useless.

  151. I think google will be around a lot longer than facebook. Facebook is just turning into myspace and will eventually be useless.

  152. [...] Now the humans are pushing their way back into search: In 2007, Jason Calacanis’ Mahalo introduced a completely human-based search, producing great results, but only covering a relatively small number of search terms. (For terms that aren’t listed, Mahalo forwards to a Google search.) Robert Scoble already suspects that Mahalo, Techmeme and Facebook (i.e. search based on your social graph) will kick Google’s butt. [...]

  153. Hundreds of Larry Page and Sergey Brin were born and will challenge the good King Google. Mahalo, TechMeme, Wikia Search, and Facebook, thier founders could be ones to beat Google.

  154. Hundreds of Larry Page and Sergey Brin were born and will challenge the good King Google. Mahalo, TechMeme, Wikia Search, and Facebook, thier founders could be ones to beat Google.

  155. Right now there doesn’t seem to be anything that can stop Google. These sites have a lot of work to get anywhere close to Google.

  156. Right now there doesn’t seem to be anything that can stop Google. These sites have a lot of work to get anywhere close to Google.

  157. Great Podcast, really useful stuff, well explained tutorial! Actually got to this via a Google search. I wanted somebody to explain how Techmeme works and I got that and a lot more. “Watch Yahoo the wild card”. I guess Microsoft did that!

  158. Great Podcast, really useful stuff, well explained tutorial! Actually got to this via a Google search. I wanted somebody to explain how Techmeme works and I got that and a lot more. “Watch Yahoo the wild card”. I guess Microsoft did that!

  159. [...] in which they mentioned the concept of “SEO resistant search”. Apparently Scoble has coined this term to refer to a search engine powered by the social graph which isn’t subject to the [...]

  160. I think it is funny that this is one of the “site links” google has chosen for your site.

    I don’t disagree, entirely… But you need a Google with Gate Keepers. Mahalo won’t answer every query, that is a problem. Because when I search for how to do a convert to lower case in PHP, I want a result, or if I want to look for Scoble’s video of Diet Coke and Mentos at Makers Fair, I want a result.

    That is why I have been building a Spam Free or atleast very spam resistant search engine at http://www.isayhello.com
    You have to be on our site list to be returned as a result, and results are tuned to what type of category we think you are searching so you are more likely to get good results. Then on top of that we do Mahalo style hand edited results for a lot of terms. not the 200k that Mahalo has yet. we are only at 40k but we have only been at it 10 days, and the project is funded off my blog earnings, so it isn’t a princely sum of money.

  161. I think it is funny that this is one of the “site links” google has chosen for your site.

    I don’t disagree, entirely… But you need a Google with Gate Keepers. Mahalo won’t answer every query, that is a problem. Because when I search for how to do a convert to lower case in PHP, I want a result, or if I want to look for Scoble’s video of Diet Coke and Mentos at Makers Fair, I want a result.

    That is why I have been building a Spam Free or atleast very spam resistant search engine at http://www.isayhello.com
    You have to be on our site list to be returned as a result, and results are tuned to what type of category we think you are searching so you are more likely to get good results. Then on top of that we do Mahalo style hand edited results for a lot of terms. not the 200k that Mahalo has yet. we are only at 40k but we have only been at it 10 days, and the project is funded off my blog earnings, so it isn’t a princely sum of money.

  162. Hi Robert…

    I haven’t had a chance to watch your videos, so can’t make any comments about the videos. I do want to comment though, that putting ideas out in video only is rather limiting. I’d rather scan an article and decide if I want to read it slowly, in more depth, rather than wade through 30-something minutes of video to see if there’s anything of interest / value to me in there.

    I always enjoy reading your ideas here on your blog, in twitter / wherever, but I’m not sure I want to spend 30-something minutes very often to watch something that just might be interesting.

    Thanks for all your ideas and desire to contribute..

    http://www.computersolution.co.cc

  163. Hi Robert…

    I haven’t had a chance to watch your videos, so can’t make any comments about the videos. I do want to comment though, that putting ideas out in video only is rather limiting. I’d rather scan an article and decide if I want to read it slowly, in more depth, rather than wade through 30-something minutes of video to see if there’s anything of interest / value to me in there.

    I always enjoy reading your ideas here on your blog, in twitter / wherever, but I’m not sure I want to spend 30-something minutes very often to watch something that just might be interesting.

    Thanks for all your ideas and desire to contribute..

    http://www.computersolution.co.cc

  164. Jason Calcanis is “selling” links on his blog to himself, by gratuitously linking to Mahalo. He’s making blog posts solely for the purpose of building anchor-text rich links to Mahalo. That’s SEO spam — pure and simple.

    Mahalo isn’t a replacement for Google — it’s a low-quality commercial competitor to Wikipedia.

    Your prime example is flawed. When I search for “HDTV”, I am not looking for manufacturer sites. I am looking for trusted reviewers. Your perfect world is my absolute hell.

    Have you seen the TechMeme’s Alexa rating? That project is going nowhere.

  165. Jason Calcanis is “selling” links on his blog to himself, by gratuitously linking to Mahalo. He’s making blog posts solely for the purpose of building anchor-text rich links to Mahalo. That’s SEO spam — pure and simple.

    Mahalo isn’t a replacement for Google — it’s a low-quality commercial competitor to Wikipedia.

    Your prime example is flawed. When I search for “HDTV”, I am not looking for manufacturer sites. I am looking for trusted reviewers. Your perfect world is my absolute hell.

    Have you seen the TechMeme’s Alexa rating? That project is going nowhere.

  166. It’s already 2009..well, almost..

    Do you still stand by what you said Robert..At least replace that Mahalo thingy with Twitter to make it sound more ‘intelligent’.

  167. It’s already 2009..well, almost..

    Do you still stand by what you said Robert..At least replace that Mahalo thingy with Twitter to make it sound more ‘intelligent’.

  168. I am not sure I totally agree with Blog Archive Why Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google’s butt in four years «

  169. I am not sure I totally agree with Blog Archive Why Mahalo, TechMeme, and Facebook are going to kick Google’s butt in four years «