Liad Agmon, CEO and founder of the social network search engine Delver.com, is getting ready for his second act. Delver is based in Israel, but Agmon is calling from somewhere in the Chiapas region of Mexico. Hes on vacation and about to board a bus for his next excursion into the jungle. Along the way he found a few minutes to talk about Delvers newest project, which he calls the Social Dashboard.
What Delver Does
Delver.com works by giving priority ranking in searches to results associated with people in your social network, a process Agmon calls using your social graph as a factor in ranking information.
Delver trolls the social network ground inside MySpace, Blogger, Flickr, LinkedIn, YouTube, Hi5, Friendfeed, Digg and Delicious (It also supports Facebook profiles but has no access to other Facebook content). Once youve customized the interface and entered your social network profile information for your social networking services, Delver pulls it together into a unified view of your bookmarks, media and social network connections. You can then search your extended social network to find out what people you know are saying about a subject.
But you have to know what youre looking for. You cant just surf for the most interesting topics and discussions.
Next Step: The Social Dashboard
What's the buzz? Thats where Delvers Social Dashboard picks up. The widget, set for release by year end, will surf your social network for interesting and relevant information and present it to you so that you dont have to search for it. It will be an intelligent feed of what your network is up to, Agmon says.
Social Dashboard is an OpenSocial gadget that Delver hopes you will embed in your MySpace page (Or on any other social network Web site that supports the OpenSocial APIs). Once there, it will scan what your network is publishing, rank what people are talking about, and present a key summary of hot topics.
We map out on the dashboard all of the locations where your friend are. Its your friends and friends of friends. You can see what your network is talking about right now. If a new movie is hot youll see it on the dashboard. You can sense what your network is up to, he says.
He say that the dashboard will show which of your friends are creating blog posts, Twitter messages and other types of content and what type of information they are creating. The ranking process is simple: If enough people are writing about a movie we know that the frequency is higher for that term and we serve that up because its of interest.
But the idea is also to provide a point of aggregation and consolidation for all of the information being created in the users social network. You dont want to go to Flickr to see some photos and Picasa Web Albums to see others. You want to see it consolidated, he says.
Agmon isnt ready to demo the dashboard just yet. Im just sharing where we stand on development, he says. Thats understandable, considering that Delvers first product, the Delver.com search engine, just debuted for public use in July and is still technically in its alpha testing phase. Agmon says Delver hasn't decided yet whether to embed the Social Dashboard into its own service, Delver.com. And Social Dashboard may debut under another name. That's the preliminary name Delver uses to describe the product, Agmon says.
Delver has yet to set a release date for the Social Dashboard, which Agmon says is in the final stages of development, but he promises that it will be available before the end of this year.
For now, the final release date and decision on when to make the announcement will have to wait. Agmon just got back from one excursion 22 miles up river into a deep canyon and is about to depart on another. As the bus taking him on his next excursion pulls up, his thoughts return to his vacation. I've seen a lot of crocodiles. Its just beautiful here."
He can afford to relax for now: Delver is ahead of the pack. But with Google and other search engine vendors interested in this same social network space, there could soon be plenty of alligators waiting for him at home.