Delphi Group on Eurekster's social search

Delphi Group senior analyst Dan Keldsen is now covering the social software space, starting with a newsflash on social search engine Eurekster.

Keldsen points out several problems with Eurekster, most notably:

[T]he benefits of a tightly-knit social network influencing your search results quickly fall apart as the network grows larger and therefore less homogenous or focused. In large networks, the suitability of leveraging what your friends/acquaintances are searching for is rapidly watered down.

and…

Perhaps the biggest drawback, however, relates to “social overhead” — the search magic doesn’t work unless you build a network for the special purpose of eurekster. For people who have already jumped into multiple social networking services (LinkedIn, Spoke Software, Ryze, Tribe.net, Google’s orkut, etc.), the common pain of needing to re-build your networks in yet another service (YASNS = Yet Another Social Networking Service) are fairly high barriers to entry and adoption.

I think another key point is that internet search engines like Google already ARE a social phenomenon, reflected in the fact that link popularity is such a major factor in search engine rankings. My group of online social connections is large and diverse — why would they provide any better filtration of search results than the population at large?

The bottom line, according to Keldsen:

[T]he tenuous ‘social’ moniker for eurekster seems to provide far too little benefit in improved accuracy, and smacks more of simple voyeurism rather than any real value to business searchers.

FYI, Delphi Group has gone RSS:

NewsFlashes – www.delphigroup.com/rss/delphigroup-newsflash-feed.rss

Articles – www.delphigroup.com/rss/delphigroup-articles-feed.rss

And don’t worry if they won’t load in your browser—they will in your RSS reader.