I have some advice to the stumbleupon people: be scared (or make yourself a nice looking buyout target).
Niall Kennedy recently blogged about a google gadget that uses your search history to recommend other searches it thinks you might like. (http://www.niallkenn...ogle-personal-2.html
I think we are seeing the first ripples of the plan google has for tracking your entire search history.
For those who don't know, StumbleUpon is a very cool service/toolbar which lets users rate sites they like or dislike, and then randomly send you to sites it thinks you will like based on similar tastes among users. It's very cool thing (www.stumbleupon.com
). It is in some ways similar to digg and others in that it tries to bring you sites it thinks you will like based on other people's opinions, thought the mechanisms are quite different.
It seems to me that google is going to make a real play for this market, by doing massive clustering of user searches in an attempt to provide stumbleupon like suggestions. It's a natural move that will let them get advertising money not just when users initiate a search on their own but by actively SUGGESTING pages they should visit, and making ad money from those page visits.
I'm not saying whether this is a good or bad thing, it will depend a lot on what the google implementation looks like. I just think if you put the puzzle pieces together:
- Tracking Search History
- Pushing Google Toolbar
- Google Desktop Sidebar
And you combine that with the datamining algorithmic "fun" factor involved in doing clustering of user page ratings, it's just not conceivable to me that google isn't going to want to own this market.. Just remember where you heard it first.