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Wednesday, October 27, 2004 :::

Esher Dyson discovers "search'n'chat"

Unfortunately, Baidu.com, the search 'n' chat site, is Chinese, so I couldn't really check it out, other than to imagine what must be going on as I stare at the symbols.

The basic gist is that you can respond to other searchers searches in near-real time, I believe in the form of a thread. So someone searches on "blogs" and this starts an instant-thread that anyone can participate in. I just took a look and of course can't make heads or tails of it, as it's in Chinese and I'm not sure how to use those translator tools, but this is just the thing I've been interested in for the last four years if I understand it correctly.

I originally launched GlobeAlive.com along these lines, whereby you type in a search/query and have your search posted to a live board, where anyone could click and respond to your search (and really respond to you) by a web-based instant messenger. We later changed the format so your search produced a results list of people on the net right now that signed up to be available for Jabber-based chat on that keyword or phrase, so you were in control and could just click and chat w/ them.

Wondir does something even closer to Baidu than GlobeAlive, I believe, in that your search (which must be entered in the form of a question) is posted live to the question board, and anyone can click on your question and instant message you or otherwise respond to your search/question in a thread-post format. I approached Esther at the Web2.0 about Wondir, but not sure I made the concept very clear as I often don't talk about it in a search context, even though that's how it looks and works.

Anyway, great to see someone talking about this. If anyone knows of any English sites that are trying this approach to search, please let me know. Or any options at Baidu.com for an English version? I'll have to poke around over there and see. Perhaps an auto-translator could help, there's probably one around I could plug into.

::: posted by Allen Searls at 5:08 PM

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