Spock: Logical people search

spock.bmpFrom VentureBeat

Spock is getting ready to launch a new engine for search based on 'people' by scouring profiles on the web. As a LinkedIn user, I'm wondering if the added benefits of Spocks search will outweigh privacy needs. If ths becomes a tool for stalkers, watchout.

From the Venture Beat post:
When Spock launches, it will have 100 million profiles of people in its database, by far the largest open repository of profiles anywhere. Spock delivers a mixture of facts and research on a people, but also opens a profile to social input, giving it a touch of Wikipedia.

This move is a no-brainer, and it makes you wonder why no one has done this yet.

LinkedIn, ZoomInfo and other people-contact related sites were built in different eras, and have focused on specific subsets of people (LinkedIn and ZoomInfo on business execs, for example). Spock, however, exploits all the latest tagging technology and the exploding number of public profiles on the Web since social network sites like MySpace became popular last year.

Scrubbing millions of profiles from the Web wasn’t an obvious thing to do when Palo Alto’s LinkedIn launched several years ago. LinkedIn began as a contact site, allowing people to request meetings through their layers of relationships. It has since tried to move toward a more open model. Indeed, LinkedIn is aggressively building out its people profiles even as we write. (Last week, it also kicked off a major expansion into Europe and Asia as part of a land-grab, with a German version to go live soon.)

Spock starts from the other end. Spock dispenses with the “contact” element of LinkedIn. It is an open site, for people seeking information about other people.