Spock - search people all over world

2007/11/01 |

Spock is a people search engine which collects data from all corners of the web with a heavy focus on areas with dense people information such as wikipedia, photo sites, blogs and social networks. Spock claims people search accounts for 30% of online search and thus they are directly taking on giants like Google and Amazon (product search). If the 30% is accurate then the market is ripe for identity searching companies to expand.

At Spock you can search for people by name (of course), but the real power comes from searching for tags. For example, I searched Spock for Anarchist and came up with the following results

Searching for a person brings up all relevant data from many people information rich web destinations. Searching for Barbara Boxer, for example, brings up numerous tags such as senator, pro-choice politician and Democrat along with an option to insert extra tags. Links to websites at which users can find more information are provided, also with a place for users to add more. Finally, a short bio (usually from wikipedia) can be found with additional basic info.

To avoid bunching people with similar or the same name into one overflowing profile, spock’s search engine has an automated “de-duping” process which separates people and gives them their own profile page.

Information is mostly aggregated from existing sites and profiles, however, individual users who “claim” their profile on spock have more weight determining key tags and other subjective information. To identify a user who has claimed their own profile, spock double checks that your email address matches with the correct profile on other social networking sites. Although users will have more control over their own profiles, there will undoubtedly be editing battles between the average user and people with more public identities.

An additionally interesting and intuitive feature spock offers is relationship tracking. spock links people together based on data in their search index and also through information added by users. Linking people by relationships is a key feature of social networks and certainly shouldn’t be lost in a people search engine.