Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Stanford VLab rumor roundup

This post is a bullpen for all the rumors and tidbits that flew by at the Stanford MIT VLab search event and don't get their own special post.


- is launching a search service in a couple of weeks that, basically, will be search for women. I don't know what that looks like, but a good guess would be the search equivalent of Lynda Keeler, who also launched, is apparently expanding her media-savvy ways toward more search functionality. Stay tuned.

- Barney Pell, currently an EIR at Mayfield, told a great story about, which he is advising. When they first launched Snap, they discovered that their users skewed much older than average web demographics. They got ahold of some of these people and asked them, "why are you using the site?" The response was, "Because your fonts are big. All those other sites use tiny fonts and I can't read them." So Snap is launching whose value proposition is simple: "The Most Readable Results on the Web."

- Near the beginning of the session, Barney asked, "Who here is starting or working at a vertical search company?" About 25% of the ~150 people there raised their hands. Of those ~40 people, 100% were in the front half of the room's seats, and none were in the back half, whereas people were pretty randomly scattered all through the room's seats. So do people who sit in the front start companies, or do people who start companies sit in the front?

- Feeva, which launched at Demo today, is going to be providing geolocation and personal targeting information to GoogleFi or GoogleNet or whatever the heck the big Google WiFi play is going to be called.

- Quote from Evan Williams, founder of Blogger and now Odeo (via Scott Rafer): "Never mistake a clear vision for a short distance." This re: Scott's first attempt to start an RSS feed search company... in 1998.

- Looksmart is apparently about to launch "hundreds" of vertical search sites for various B2B verticals - shades of VerticalNet, circa 1999?! What was old is new again...

- Barney Pell's comments on the panel can be found here.

- Paul Flaherty: "Vertical search is a trusted intermediary between a set of authors and a set of readers. 'Vertical' means either a narrow set of authors or a narrow set of readers. We tend to focus on narrow authors (travel = airlines, jobs = firms who are hiring) and forget about segments of readers. Don't."

- Since the definition remains unclear, a reminder that I blogged about "what is vertical search" the last time I went to one of these panels.

No comments: