Google is our answer to everything be it writing a Master’s thesis, looking for a new car, a new job, doing your homework or putting together an analysis on a fortune 500 stock. I, for one, use Google every single day to get to the bottom of which ever startup I’m writing about. Yet, Google is not perfect and its job is getting harder by day when the amount of information on the web grows. And it grows very very rapidly.
This is something that Kristofer Kimbler, CEO of Azouk, has also recognized when he started working on his latest venture. Azouk is a Swedish online service for professionals that provides an alternative way to reach the best content and information and to ‘meet’ top experts. The company’s HQ is in Malmö, Sweden, but marketing and sales in UK and R&D in Poland. Kimbler who was previously at Appium Technologies that was acquired by Aepona Ltd. In June 2007. Appium Technologies developed telecom application servers based on the Parlay OSA and VoIP standards.
I agree that Google is not enough to weed through the information overflow and that a semantic search engine based on a unique expert rating algorithm that searches for expert content sounds promising. But Azouk is completely dependent on network effects to kick-in and based on my brief use, they haven’t kicked-in yet. Not only that, it feels that we already have such a tool, Delicious. Delicious has worked great for me and I’m not sure I want to start building content into a yet another service.
To give Azouk some credit, it has a lot that Delicious or other services don’t. To wrap your head around the service you could think it combines LinkedIn and Delicious, since you can actually create your own expert profile in the service and start accumulating social capital as the expert in any subject. Since Azouk adds also a human expertise and judgment factor to online search it resembles the bet in human edited search that Mahalo has made, even though it’s build differently.
Azouk could be potentially a handy tool for searching information on expert topics. What is especially useful is the ability to filter based on just presentations or white papers. Unfortunately currently it doesn’t have a lot of either in its index. I tried to search for energy and carbon dioxide for another story I’m working on, but these topics did not yield any results. It’s still early days for the service so let’s hope they can pull in a lot more users and content over time. Its just hard to get the one before having the other.