When you search for things, would you rather look at advertisements to subsidize the service, (like you do now) or might you prefer to earn points to win prizes?
There’s a new company called Irazoo, that combines the “top search results from major search engines” (their website didn’t say exactly who), and then shows them to you, asking you to vote on the results.
To the left of each search result is a small thumbnail (in beta the thumbnails aren’t working) of the website.
When you mouse over the thumbnail, a small window pops open with the opportunity to vote for that site if you are a member, or to join their community if you are not.
Members will get points by voting on websites they visit through the search results, and those points are redeemable for prizes like Itunes, Ipods etc. and apparently, the rankings will change based on user ratings!
I found out about them when I got a phone call from Houston Chronicle reporter doing a story on Irazoos venture, but this is the first chance I’ve had to check it out.
Reading their tiny informational text it is not quite clear whether the order of these results will be influenced by peoples voting or not, but it appears they will. In their non technical explanation of what they do, it does say this -
You get to help further refine our excellent search results for others as well as benefit from other’s refined search results
So basically, users join a community, ant then they can vote for sites, either good or bad, and earn prizes while they do it too. The most popular ones will rank highest, and ones with poor votes will get buried. Sounds pretty “Diggish” to me.
- Doesn’t this leave the door wide open to abuse?
- How reliable are the search results going to be when you’re paying people to vote?
- How long before organized bands of people start controlling the results?
- How long before people can just bury their competition?
Who knows, maybe the technology will get bought by Google, and voting will be integrated right into the Google search results?
In the meantime, you might want to check out Irazoo, and feel free to search for “internet consultant” and cast your vote for (or against) me.
Here is the article at the Houston Chronicle