OneRiot tries to Social Search

Thu 13 November 2008 12:01, Bas van den Beld

OneRiot tries to Social Search

Social Search will be upcoming in the next couple of years. Search engines are now trying to be the first and best engine when it comes to giving social search results: results based on what people are talking about on the web and what other people I trust think is important for me to read.

OneRiot, an American based company which before was known as Me.dium's Social Search Alpha, is trying just that. Where most search engines look at the web as a lot of pages which have to be ordened to know where you should go to, OneRiot tries to ‘help’ their users by providing them with ‘hot topics’: what people are discussing and talking about.

This means that the results OneRiot provides should be news, videos and blogposts. A search in OneRiot therefore should be very different from one with for example Google or Yahoo!

Kimbal Musk, CEO of OneRiot says: "When you search with OneRiot, you're finding the pulse of the Web, The OneRiot community -- a group of more than 2 million people -- share what's important to them as they surf. They help us find the freshest stuff to read or watch in relation to any search query."

OneRiot also provides a Firefox-plugin: the PulseChecker. A very good name for a product which does what more plugins do: it tries to measure the popularity of the page you’re visiting. It shows the average time spent on a page and the popularity of a page. It’s clear that this feature still has to ‘grow’. A lot of sites don’t have any information yet. The information is gathered through those who have the plugin installed, so it’s obvious that there is not much data available just now.


Off course we also tested the search engine. We compared several keywords to a search in Google. Since the company is based in the US it was clear that looking for keywords like “Obama” would provide us with different results, so we tried some European searches to find out if the search engine is usefull.

One of the searches we tried was “James Bond”. Searching for that in Google provides us with some websites about James Bond:, and for example.


The same search on OneRiot provides us with just one ‘Pulse result’. The other results are websites such as, Wikipedia, and The fourth result was a video, the only one on the front page. To be honest, I didn’t expected these websites. Though Wikipedia is user generated, it is one of the websites you usually find when ‘googling’. Also the other websites didn’t give me any new insights.


But maybe the results aren’t that surprising at all. After all, the ‘major’ websites are most of the time the places where people are discussing the ‘hot topics’. But still the search engine was a bit disappointing to me. Maybe it would be better if it was called a “news search engine” instead of a “social search engine”. But I’ll give it a change for now. Let me know if you’re experiences are different.


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