columnist Bambi Francisco asks: what could a company like Google learn from MySpace? Answer: the power of community and user-generated influence. Discoveries by friends and
colleagues are often so important to users that they instantly stop whatever it is they're doing to investigate themselves. Why not port this idea over to searching? A sharing component could make
searching more relevant to all. Some companies currently offer glimpses of this. A company called Jeteye lets users drag and drop images or text into files or folders and send them to friends. For
example, a user could create a folder containing a bunch of information about a skiing trip--hotels, airfare, events, etc.--and then share it with friends, who could add to it and publish it on the
Web. Friends would then send their friends the same file or folder when they plan on going on a ski trip, which would make the results more lasting than an e-mail. Google or Yahoo could offer a
similar customized community search feature, and advertisers could buy ads associated with these highly targeted results--and they would probably get a higher click-through rate because the pages
would be shared by people who believe the information is relevant.
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