O’Reilly Connection and Post Search

August 2nd, 2005

Not sure why O’Reilly is getting into the yet another social network site space, but having spent 10 minutes playing with O’Reilly Connection, a couple of quick comments.

Finally they’re going to do something with all that user generated content across the O’Reilly Network sites. For some reason they’ve never been able to catalyze decent user community around all that content, but at least having persistent profiles will help. (not that I’m in a position to criticize as I explicitly passed on the opportunity to help them make it better, when I went to Groundspring)

Tags, Not Just a Gimmick

The closest thing to innovation is the heavy use of tags. Interestingly spending a couple of minutes filling out my profile reminded me that Friendster had a similar impl. of tags back in the day, we just none of us knew thats what they were.

Everybody and their dog is adding tags to their apps these days, but its interesting to see it working on Connection. More then an amusing (or annoying) toy, tags on Connection really enhance the browsability/discoverability of the site, and as discovery is the primary (non-broken) activity of a social network site, this is key.

Post Search

Couple that with Flickr’s new “Explore” features, and I think we’re starting to see a push to towards non-search techniques for discovery, a realization that perhaps Google has been a false plateau.

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