Kosmix (my employer) today announced the beta of Kosmix.com, our topic page/exploration engine. Along with that, we also announced raising $20M in funding which should last us through our hockey stick growth over the next year. Ed Zander (Ex-Motorola CEO) participated in the round led by Time Warner Brothers and has joined as a strategic advisor.
Why use Kosmix?
While Google works great if you know exactly what you want (search), Kosmix helps you learn about a topic by presenting various dimensions of information around your query and showing you a lot of context for topics related to your query. You could use this to learn more about your query and see a summary of the best of the web on the query.
Although Kosmix appears like a traditional search engine, it is not; Kosmix blurs the line between Search and Content by aggregating information like search engines (think Google) do but presenting it like a rich content site would (think About.com). The closest competitor is probably Mahalo, but they are human curated and work on only a small set of topics, while Kosmix is algorithmic and could work on any query.
How does this work?
We have a cool categorization technology that can take a query and categorize it into several million categories and find related topics to a query. We can then use this context around a query to identify various content sources and pull content in applying various relevance algorithms to create a rich topic page that tries to summarize the information on that topic.
Here are some cool queries to try -
Chocolate cake – We show a bunch of recipes (including a vegan one), nutritional information, how to videos etc.
San Francisco – We show content from wikitravel, images, maps of the town, list of nearby towns, local events, hotels, trip reports, news etc.
Apple – We recognize this query as being ambiguous and offer various interpretations – apple fruit, apple inc., apple macintosh etc.
Cosmo Kramer – Profile of the kramer character from Seinfeld, video highlights, list of other characters from Seinfeld TV series, related content – a widget of quotes from Jerry Seinfeld.
Pizza in 94040 – Yelp reviews, maps with local results
Do give Kosmix a shot and let me know what you think…