From my last post you can see that I’m interested in search with an emphasis on finding people and their personal information. Me and a friend have been hoping to capitalize on this by building a website/company. But yesterday I was browsing around online and discovered that someone already had the same basic idea. And made a website called wink.com out of it.
My conundrum is whether to continue with the same idea, abandon it, or modify it. From looking at wink.com the website seems very well put together so I don’t think it’s good planning to go head to head with them. I also don’t want to abandon this concept since I think it has a lot of promise. And I don’t have interesting ideas every day. Also I get to play with search engine technology which is fun.
The only choice is to modify the idea. My friend has been pushing all along to use public government databases (courts, prisons etc.) for our primary source and this, I think can be our distinguishing feature from wink.com
We’ll still use the google api‘s to search blogs, MySpace, etc. But we’ll also mine the government databases for information (I’m pretty sure wink.com doesn’t do this).
If you’re curious about the current state of our effort check out http://dewittbell.com/search/.