“The premise (of social search) is that the next big thing is to harness the power of communities to generate more relevant search recommendations.”
1) Yoono “describes itself as “instant people-rated Web,” meaning, that when you surf, Yoono displays a list of Web pages that others have classified as “favorites.” It works with a toolbar or plug-in. See more in TechCrunch.
2) Gravee “is a social search application that differs from others in that it is trying to change the economics of search by sharing advertising revenue with content owners, with a rev-share business model. The site shares up to 70% of all ad revenues with the natural listings that appear on the same page when an ad occurs, as well as with the referring Web site.” here is TechCrunch’s take on it.
3) Jookster “is a community-driven social search tool that works primarily through the browser toolbar. Jookster collects photos, video and bookmarks from sites like YouTube, Flickr and del.icio.us into one place that can be searched, saved and shared with friends. ” Mashable covered their relaunch a month ago.
4) StumbleUpon “employs user ratings to form collaborative opinions on Web site quality with the goal of helping you “stumble upon” great sites. When you “stumble,” you only see pages that friends and like-minded “Stumblers” have commented on. ” Many people love StumbleUpon (they have over 1M users), see the description here.
5) Otavo “describes itself as not just a search engine, but a community of users and staff members who participate in your quest to find answers quicker. As an Otavo user, you can ask any question or seek a quest of your choice.” TechCrunch covered them a while back.
What it means: Not sure what to think of “social search” yet. I think it might work for a very specialized topic or as a recommendation tool but I’m not sure you can be become a truly successful generalist search engine using a community (unless you count Yahoo Answers in this category). of these 5, I had heard of Otavo (because they’re based in Ontario, Canada) and StumbleUpon. The later is generating a lot of good buzz and is already a great source of traffic for many sites. I wonder if social search is more a feature than it is a destination… It could be a great add-on to any shopping or directory sites (which is a little bit what Aggregate Knowledge does).