Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Want to Watch MySpace in Real Time? Here’s Your Site.

Despite MySpace’s well-documented woes, the site still attracts a very large audience. Want to see what they’re chatting about as they say it? Here you go: Real-time search engine Collecta has produced a site that does nothing but index MySpace users’ comments, shout-outs, videos, etc.

MySpace, along with Twitter, Facebook and other sites that collect real-time, user-generated stuff, has opened up its stream to third-party developers, which means Collecta isn’t the only place you can see what the social network’s users have to say.

But it is, as far as I can tell, the only site offering a dedicated vertical to MySpace. (Disclosure: MySpace is owned News Corp., which owns this Web site.)

collecta favre myspace

I’m still a little fuzzy about the endgame for Collecta, One Riot and all the other search start-ups that are mining real-time data. Each promises a different take on the problem: This one claims to be faster, that one says it’s more comprehensive, this one says it does a better job of sorting the data pouring out of the firehose, etc.

But it seems to me that the default winner should be Google (GOOG), which is able to index the real-time stuff and integrate it into its search results. And if Google screws that up somehow, the likely winner will be a site like Twitter or Facebook, sources for much of the data in the first place.

Then again, if we take this approach toward every new search development, there’s really no reason for anyone to innovate again. So more power to these guys for trying.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik