Kosmix Aggregation Tool Is Beautiful Branding - InformationWeek

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Commentary
3/18/2009
02:27 PM
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Kosmix Aggregation Tool Is Beautiful Branding

Three cheers to the PR firm or freelancer behind the publicity for Kosmix, which is a startup company offering an alternative approach to aggregating Internet search results. One recent story asked that it not get compared to Google, and then compared it.

Three cheers to the PR firm or freelancer behind the publicity for Kosmix, which is a startup company offering an alternative approach to aggregating Internet search results. One recent story asked that it not get compared to Google, and then compared it.It's comforting, in a way, to see this tried-and-true Silicon Valley hype surviving, albeit less frequently, in our current economic climate. I miss those days of go-go technology promise, when every day brought with it some new idea, backed by apparently endless amounts of gambling money, and heralded by the Greek chorus of expert analysts and consultants who prognosticated on how every invention would change the world.

Of course, most of it didn't, as it turned out that the laws of physics, economics, and human behavior that hobble our existence on this fair planet aren't mutable whatsoever. This market meltdown of ours is an unpleasant, though perhaps helpful, reminder that the technology buzzwords that once suggested value at the turn of the new century aren't the same thing as the terms used to describe products and services that actually generate it (i.e., make money).

So reading this stuff is kinda like walking into a retail store and having an expert salesperson actually sell to you. It's comforting, in a way, like a blast from the past. But I digress.

Kosmix promises a modicum of automated intelligence that will act as an editor, and aggregate relevant search content a la a mini-portal. So it will serve less as a list provider (hence the Google noncomparison comparison) and more like a media service, pulling together a more robust page of stuff that would warrant more/different advertiser support.

It still sounds like a glorified list to me, albeit a fancier one, but perhaps I just don't understand it. My gut tells me that the next step for Internet search isn't going to be a reformatted display, but rather a truly thoughtful and reliable way to synthesize content. Our problems with search aren't how to access more, but rather how to identify truly better. I haven't really tried to fathom Kosmix within this context, however.

I'm too happy enjoying the branding hype.

Jonathan Salem Baskin writes the Dim Bulb blog and is the author of Branding Only Works On Cattle.

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