UMBC ebiquity
Uncloaking on Web 2.0

Uncloaking on Web 2.0

Pranam Kolari, 5:15pm 11 October 2005

A few months back I had a discussion on an interesting concept initiated by our group, but was not yet public. Response from the person I was talking to was short — “We will uncloak soon”. He eventually did, and at the right time. This brings me to a interesting question — “What does it mean to uncloak on Web 2.0?”

A recent post we and others (here, here, here and here) made about Sphere – a new blog search engine based on initiation by Om Malik is an interesting example. Om, an A-List blogger now posts on yahoo blog search engine and how Sphere is better. Some readers would have noticed del.icio.us count at the bottom in our previous post. What was 3 then is now 47! Moreover it is (was) widely discussed on the blogosphere.

It’s all a result of Web 2.0. In this context the Blogosphere and Folksonomies. Both have been able to generate higher visibility and provide fresher content. You no longer have to wait for centuries before a traditional web search engine indexes them and find out what people were (! not are) talking about you. You know what is being said NOW — or rather as Technorati rightly puts it — We are in the The World Live Web.

Web 2.0 has then an important implication — there is a new way of uncloaking

  • Initiate discussion on your product.
  • Monitor Buzz (the key).
  • Uncloak!

In the context of Sphere it’s when buzz is at the peak. One of the creators of Sphere, Tony Conrad says, they are still waiting and will uncloak next week. Is NOW the peak buzz — well, arguable. Are they waiting for the second peak following a trough — well may be, or are they waiting for the buzz to continue – well only time will tell.

Bottomline — Web 2.0 has made sure that the Web aspect is even more important and you know what is being said about you NOW. It’s not just about “discussions on the Web”, but also about “when?”. Hope Sphere Beta is uncloaked on time. That said, Technorati has been doing fairly well in the middle of all competition. Good job!


2 Responses to “Uncloaking on Web 2.0”

  1. Tony Says:

    While we’re thrilled Om liked our product, we certainly didn’t have a grand master plan to create hype in mind – the start button just got hit a bit ahead of our release timing. We’re such a small group with limited resources that we want to make sure we put our best foot forward for our beta release. Maybe, to a fault, we’re being a little bit too cautious. A lot of work has gone into getting the algorithm to work. While not perfect, we’re very encouraged by the results we’re generating with this first release. We’re looking forward to your feedback once the beta release is in motion. If you’d like to talk live, ring me at 415-561-3350 (x364).

  2. Pranam Kolari Says:

    Good Luck Tony. Our intention was only to highlight the buzz factor on Web 2.0.
    Given the current state of search engines, improved relevance and splog filtering (your algorithms seem to target both of them) might hold the key. We will make sure we give useful feedback when the Beta is out.