Wednesday, April 04, 2007

AfterVote (a.k.a. Younanimous), The Hardest Working Engine in the Search Business

I've been holding off on mentioning because it was early, but now they've changed their name to "AfterVote" (which I just can't seem to like) and have been adding features every few seconds, so I guess now's as good a time as any.

AfterVote is a social search engine, which I've already voiced my concerns about, but after talking to the guys at AfterVote, I think it just might work. I guess I was thinking a bit simplistically about the concept of voting search results up and down. With AfterVote, rankings will be based on more than the simple + or - voting system and they plan to adapt the alorithms as needed.

For instance, if you click on a result and don't like it, you will probably return to the results and click on another. The system logs that behavior and uses it to "passively" tally votes for or against the results. If you really like or hate the result, you can also vote with the + or - buttons. While they didn't elaborate further on how else they'll police the system, I'm sure they'll look for the same things sites like Digg look for.

In addition to the social ranking aspect, AfterVote includes a plethora of social Web widgets (this link is already out of date, but shows many of them) for sharing results via, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc. and seeing where the result ranks on Alexa, Compete, Google PageRank, etc. These widgets can all be turned on and off as preferences dictate. Personally I like to leave all of it on because I have no issue with clutter.

Did I mention it's actually a metasearch engine pulling from Google, Yahoo!, and MSN and that it has links to cached sites for all three? There's also a widget for the Trust level of the site. I haven't figured out where that comes from yet, but then, at the rate they're adding features I may never have a complete grasp of what's going on.

The question becomes "How much is too much for the average user?" I think AfterVote, in its current form is extremely appealing to people like me who can't get enough "stuff" when it comes to search and the social Web. However, if this stuff is all turned on by default when they get out of beta, I'm a little worried more casual Web users might feel a bit overwhelmed and confused. And I would think that to take best advantage of the voting system mass appeal will be key. Perhaps there are enough people like me to make this a success. I'm hoping so, because I think this is a terrific tool.

1 comment:

Ed said...

I think Aftervote is a cool tool too and blogged and logged it a couple of times already. I agree, Aftervote is a bit lame of a name compared to Younanimous