Last Sunday I spent with Bradley Horowitz and had many interesting discussions. One of the most interesting points that he was emphasizing was the importance of social search. Bradley has been interviewed by several media people for and has been evangelizing the message that the next frontier of the search on the Web is social search. The two commonly cited examples of social search are Flickr and Del.icio.us. Google is search based on machines while social search will be based on what people think of a document, ehat tags they assign, and how they like to use it. These factors are more related to the social networks and how they evolve. The thinking is that in the next version where machine based search has reached a level of efficiency where every company produces about equal quality results, what will be the differentiator. The idea that this differentiation may come from social search is definitely attractive.
After discussions with Bradley, When 2.0 also showed me some examples of the attractiveness of social networks in the context of events and calendars. Many people, including Eventful, Zevents, Meetup, and Ondemand are using social networks one way or other. Clearly social networking is gaining momentum.
Now today it is announced that Yahoo acquired Del.icio.us. That means Yahoo has the two top companies in this space now. Clearly they believe in it and are betting on it to compete with Google.