Jason Calacanis Building the Next Google?



Having recently read Jason Calacanis’ blog post about how to correctly place your lips on his butt, if you want him to link to you, I can’t help but think Valleywag’s speculation, that the former blogging mogul is building a search engine, is nothing but that.

While there’s no doubt that Calacanis is a smart guy and has all the connections needed to get the backing for a Google challenger, I just don’t see why he would take on such a tremendously futile project.

While you can point out that no one expected Google to become so powerful, when it launched, the search industry is littered with companies that launched with a fanfare, before being crushed by the Google juggernaut.

Anyway, if nothing else, Valleywag’s “informed speculation” is worth a quick look, but if you’re short on time, here’s the gist of it…

So what’s the idea? It’s a cross between Wikipedia and Google. Calacanis’ new site will create more digestible search results for popular queries such as the names of Hollywood stars, and tech products. The pages will be seeded, initially, with content gathered automatically from the web and other sources. But they will be open to contributions by readers. Sounds like Wikipedia? Yes: except Calacanis will employ paid editors to oversee the pages.

Actually, it sounds more like a cross between Ask.com and Citizendium – the former is content to be #4 in market share, and the latter hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since its launch.

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  • http://blog.citizendium.org/ Larry Sanger

    “the latter hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since its launch.”

    It takes time to set the whole world on fire. We’ve definitely made great progress since launch, increasing our “live” article almost by 50% (over 1700) and almost doubling our number of authors. Arguably, we’re looking better now than Wikipedia did after six months…

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    Thanks Larry – when do you project to pass Wikipedia in terms of popularity?

  • http://www.xuru.com Jeremy Luebke

    I can with confidence say that any search product launched by Jason Calacanis will be the most heavily spammed SE on the planet out of pure principle. ;)

  • http://www.seorefugee.com/seoblog SEOrefugee

    Didn’t we already try this whole user input search engine thing? Didn’t SEs used to use click data to rank sites? Didn’t that lead to some incredibly successful spamming?

    What makes Calacanis (or any of these other Google killers) think that their SE would be any different? People game all the social sites that are out there now. People buy votes, spam for links, and all sorts of other crazy stuff. How does this seem like a firm foundation to build a search engine on?

  • http://blog.citizendium.org/ Larry Sanger

    “when do you project to pass Wikipedia in terms of popularity?”

    I haven’t got a single clue. It all depends on how quickly we build up our body of articles. We’re growing exponentially, as Wikipedia did from the beginning, but it’s hard to know in advance how steep the growth curve will be.

  • http://onlinesaleschannels.wordpress.com/ BigSlick

    It’ll be spam-tacular.

  • http://www.markbarrera.com Mark Barrera

    Yep, I doubt that the SEO community would help hype anything that came from Calcanis anymore and I also bet it would be very spamtastic :)

  • http://www.webmaster-money.org Webmaster Money

    Sounds to be interesting to have combination of Wikipedia and Google.