Spock.com: The People Search Engine
For those of you who are not familiar with Spock.com, let me start by telling you that it has nothing to do with Star Trek. No, Spock.com is a search engine. It isn’t as broad as Google or Yahoo, but Spock is specialized to search out people.
I had a unique opportunity to speak with Jay Bhatti, co-founder of Spock.com. He told me that he wanted to start a search engine that was people-specific when he noticed how different search engines were used for different things. For example, if a user wants to research a place, most will use Expedia. If he or she wants a product, he or she will search on Amazon.
Now, if a user wants to know about a person, (celebrity or otherwise), then all a user needs to do is type a name on Spock.com. Jay told me that Spock was programmed using a fairly unique algorithm to sift through meta-data about any individual from over 500 million entries and counting.
For example, when I typed my name, I was able to find a picture of me from a MySpace page that I no longer use, and it had other facts that I post publicly on the site. Yes, Spock.com may get a little personal, but it does not get too personal. That is, the only way people can put personal information on it is by their own request.
One thing that I learned from my interview with Jay is that the Search Engine market is booming. I also learned that in order for one particular engine to succeed, it must be vertically oriented, and stick to a very specific vertical subject matter.