Personalized search investment

As I mentioned in the Swicki post earlier, we completed an investment into an enterprise search service, so this is a space that I’m watching carefully. The company we’ve invested into is Magpie, with their Search and Alert technology.

Magpie Search and Alert offers deep, focused searches, much like Swicki or Rollyo, however optimized for the enterprise. One of the key differences is indexing both internal sources and external sources, which includes both public sites and private or subscription sources, e.g. Factiva, for clients.

Another twist that Magpie Search and Alert offers is letting users leverage personalized search to deliver relevant, timely alerts. Most customers are in financial services (think hedge funds) where there is a need to monitor obscure websites as well as information streams to keep on top of what’s hitting the market. The fact that Search and Alert has a high velocity spider, these clients can receive *very* timely alerts (think google alerts on steroids).

There are some cool applications that can run on top of Search and Alert as well- those will be introduced later this year (think mash ups for enterprise). A leading consumer electronics brand is monitoring the online conversation around the launch of one of their new products- they are monitoring 17,000 websites and blogs using this technology.

Paul Kedrosky posted about perpetual search, referencing this WSJ.com article. The US competitors mentioned have a very similar target market to Magpie, albeit targeting different financial centers.

This follows on to my post below, where I argue for intelligent systems. How is it possible for a human (or team) to monitor 17,000 sites? The only human input is into the site selection (i.e. the library or sources), then the software monitors and adjusts the results presented based on users’ behavior. Also, similar to a Swicki, Magpie users can promote a site to the top of the list if the software ranks it too low…

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