October 21st 2007 Posted at Startups
Comments Off on Spock.com – Web 2.0 people search
I missed the initial beta launch of http://www.spock.com two months ago. I have been swamped at DWT and quite frankly the people search space isn’t one I am particularly interested in.
I recently started looking at the space again since DWT got a request for a meta search product in the people area. I found http://www.spock.com and began using the tool. It found all the relevant Brian Despains although my attempt to claim my own profile failed miserably (ID10T error) but my own profile now resides under Brian Scott Despain.
The interface is pretty straightforward and ease of tagging is quite nice. I didn’t like certain elements on setting up an account. During the account set up process it asked for access to both my Linkedin profile and Gmail contacts. I skipped this step after a HUGE fiasco with Quechup. (See the posts here, here and here. While I am fairly certain that venture funded Spock won’t have the same problem but after Quechup spammed everyone in my Gmail account I simply won’t take a chance that someone else might do it again.
I really like the UI at spock.com. It makes it fairly easy to build a profile pretty quickly and tagging your profile is easy. The site also asks you questions as you are in the site which makes I actually found quite nice. By asking a simple question (“What color are your eyes?”) it engages the user to interact with the site. This also can lead to stoppers (“What sport do you play?”) if the user doesn’t engage in that activity.
Users can tag other users which can create a more complete picture of a person. You can set trust relationships which can capture relationships that you already have. (Of course if opt to use the mechanism to bring your contacts into your account, that speeds the process).
I think that Spock.com is on to something.The information creation part of your account is easy and it’s apparent that the Spock team has thought about the problem of spam and reputation management (users can disallow types of tags which cannot be used when tagging their profiles). Given the ease with which I was able to update my profile and add contextually relevant information to the site, I can very quickly see them getting fairly quick uptake in the market.
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