Updated October 23, 2011Doc Sheldon
My plan today was to catch up on some writing for me, but Stanley K. Burrell, best known to his public as M.C. Hammer, kept coming to mind. His announcement at the Web 2.0 Summit of an upcoming launch of WireDoo caused a few jaws to hit the floor. I have to admit, I found myself wondering the last couple of days, what possesses someone to get into the search game, of all things?
Bing is growing, but it’s still just an upstart, compared to Google. Going up against the search giants isn’t the idea, Hammer says. WireDoo is about offering a different type of search. He says that their algorithm will return a great number of things related to a search query. If that’s true, then entering “car” might return results for design, history, pricing, maintenance, upholstery, sound systems, registration, racing, engines, specifications, manufacturing… and several thousand other categories. Plus, of course, all the sub-categories, sub-sub, etc.
A search for car on Google returns 428 million results. Certainly, Google is returning some related categories, but not to the extent that WireDoo supposedly will. The concept rocks, and if it performs as M.C. says, I suspect it will quickly be a popular search tool. But I can’t help but wonder if the WireDoo infrastructure has the scalability to respond to that sort of demand. Seems like an awfully tall order.
As both a searcher and an SEO, I find it intriguing. If this search engine is capable of returning the sort of results that M.C. hints at, then I can see it possibly gaining a lot of traction. I’m envisioning something like a page full of clickable categories, somewhat similar to sitelinks, where each click sets in motion a display of deeper relationships. Which could be a great time saver, and for the non-tech searchers that sometimes turn away in frustration because they don’t understand how to best structure a query, it could also salvage a lot of fruitless searches.
I’m going to assume that M.C.’s technical team is up to the task of delivering an algorithm capable of parsing the incredible mountain of data in an acceptable time-frame. And I’ll just ignore for the time-being, the fact that anyone trying to establish a brand new venture in the search industry has to have an overflowing cup of optimism (think of an ant crawling up an elephant’s leg with rape on his mind).
There’s still the issue of hardware scalability. M.C. and the other investors have undoubtedly thought of that, and must be comfortable that the question is manageable. But to me, that’s a big question mark. If neither Google nor Bing has seen fit to tackle the issue, it makes me wonder if there’s some underlying reason that they’ve held back. Certainly, such a step would have been attractive. I can even see it as taking us one step closer to the Semantic Web.
I hope those Hammer Pants have deep pockets, M.C. One way or the other, you’ll need ’em, either to finance the project, or to rake in the money, if WireDoo performs as you say.
Personally, I hope it takes off. I still miss InfoSeek.
Listen to M.C. talk about it, and I think you may agree that if it’s achievable, it could really get some serious traction.