Spock.com is a new search engine geared towards searching people. It’s a pretty neat concept; you can search for anybody – Politicians, celebrities, athletes, your neighbors, your boss, or yourself. From what I can tell, when you enter a name, it searches all of the social networking sites (LinkedIn, Myspace, Facebook,) as well as Wikipedia, IMDB, and a few others. It gathers this info in one place (including a picture if available,) and even assigns tags. The tags are based on attributes in your various profiles – Blue eyes, Brown Hair, height, weight, occupation, where you live – whatever you made public in your profiles.
The tags come into play when you’re doing a unique search such as “brown hair, blue eyes, San Francisco” to find people with those attributes in the San Francisco Bay area – Pretty freaking cool, huh? That’s where the tags come into play.
The searching can be amazingly flexible. For example, search for “2008 presidential candidate” – you’ll get a page with (you guessed it,) the 2008 Presidential Candidates with related sites, pictures, tags, description, and more. You can even create a neat little widget from your results. The widget for the 2008 Presidential Candidate search is displayed to the right. Hell, I might display that on my sidebar until the elections.
Remember Ego-Googling (searching for yourself on Google?) Start “Ego-Spocking.” It even sounds cooler. I searched for myself and interestingly enough, I found another dude on there that had my exact same first and last name, striking similarities in interests, looked kind of like me, and had my brother’s birthday. Kinda creepy, but cool, none-the-less. If you have a page on Myspace, LinkedIn, Facebook, or other sites with publicly available info, they should at least have some info on you. You can then sign up for an account and import or add information about yourself, if you wish.
Looking for a certain service in your area? Let’s say you live in Los Angeles and you’re looking for a local Web Developer. Just do a search for “Web Developer, Los Angeles.” How about old classmates from you college? Search for “Stanford University” or whatever your school is. Not only will you find other Stanford alumni, but since Wikipedia and other high-profile sites are included, you’ll find the Founder of Standford and other related characters. You get the point.
The design and layout of the site is very simple and easy to navigate. No overpowering ads (mostly just some Google AdSense in the right sidebar.) The home page gives popular and recent searches, and recent people in the news. After you search, the link to create the widget (like the one above) or email the search is in the right sidebar at the top in a small font. That’s really the only change I would recommend; I would put a “Create Widget” button in a more prominent place if they want people to use it.
I think this service is good fun, but it might have a while to go before being very useful for searching “normal” people – that is not famous people. Now at this point I usually start thinking of a way to exploit a new service, but I think I’ll hold off on this one for now :)
Check it out: