Spock is a new (vertical) search engine with a difference – it’s a people search engine. According to Spock press release thirty percent of all internet searches are people related, and this is the market they are targeting. Like other search engines Spock employs bots that crawl the web looking for people related information. According to its CEO Jaideep Singh it has so far indexed more than 100 million people.
I have been playing around with Spock for last couple of days and I must say I am extremely impressed. It presents the search result in a very well organised manner which ensures that you are able to find the information about the person quickly and easily. Below is the search result for famous Indian author and film maker Satyajit Ray.
As you can see the results page is divided into two columns. Spock displays the persons photograph, general info and a blurb (extract from Wikipedia for famous personalities) on the right. The main content area displays relevant tags, websites and also list of related personalities. What impressed me most is the fact that Spock automatically assigns relevant tags based on information available on the web. Spock is also community powered. Users can add relevant information (like related websites and tags) and vote on the validity of existing information. Registered users can also create their own profile or claim ownership if their profile already exists. This is an interesting approach however it also exposes Spock to vandalism. Another community powered website – Wikipedia, has been more or less successful in dealing with vandalism. Only time will tell how things would work out for Spock.
A part from searching for people you can also search for people centric terms. This is where the utility of smart tagging becomes evident. I tried the query “Bengali Singer”. Given the little amount of information available related to this topic I was very impressed with the search results. I never expected it to throw up names like Runa Laila,Alamgir and Kabir Suman. You can find some interesting search terms at the official Spock Blog.
Other people search engines like Linkedin and Zoominfo are mainly targeting corporates. On the other hand Spock is targeting the average internet user. As I said, I am very impressed with Spock. If you want to try it leave a comment requesting an invite. I have three invites with me.
Update (June 24) : Invites for spock are no longer available.
Update (June30) : More Invites are available here.