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October 26, 2005
Collaboration Brings New Life To Web Searches

As the trend continues to extend collaboration capabilities into all facets of our computing and communications experience, why not include our most often used Web tools, the search engines?

Why not, indeed, say bevy of new search players that are starting to put meat on the bones of the "Web 2.0" movement to make the Internet a more collaborative environment. While Web applications in general have become more collaborative, search engines have been slow to follow suit.

But that is rapidly changing, according to , which just issued a new volume of its Messaging Technology Report focusing on search engines. Why would an e-mail and messaging analyst and consult look at search engines, you might rightly ask. Because, as the report points out, the collaborative aspect of these new search engines is "the most significant trend taking place in the search engine market today."

Search engines from players like allow users to save searches, share results with others, make comments, and much more. And as a result the popular established search players like Google, Yahoo, MSN, and Ask Jeeves are taking the hint and starting to add their own collaboration capabilities.

The name of the game in the search engine market is loyalty and using the collaboration services will require users to set up accounts for things like search history, notes, labels, and a community presence, according to Radicati. Research has shown that for services like e-mail and IM, once users establish accounts, they are less likely to go elsewhere. Not to say they won't, but restarting the whole process of set-up and personalization with new accounts is often a deterent.

Web search heretofore has been a solo activity. It helps get you where you want go, find what you hope to find, and see what you want to see. Web search can be a journey and an adventure, and sometimes journeys are best when they are shared.

Posted by Mitch Irsfeld at 06:28 PM | Permalink

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