MSN Windows Live Search Getting Answers Service; May Partner Or Acquire Eurekster

Via Threadwatch,

Microsoft Gets Social
from BusinessWeek has news that Microsoft may be
buying or partnering with Eurekster to
bring social search features to its MSN Window Live Search service. An question
answering service is also coming.

What’s MSN Windows Live Search, by the way? Since Microsoft

doesn’t seem to know
if we’re supposed to use

Windows Live Search
(launched
last month) or MSN Search (launched
in 1998), MSN Windows Live Search is my name for covering both bases at once.
Personally, I like how it preserves the MSN brand while adding yet another word
to the search service’s name. It rolls off the tongue. I’m going to go
MSNWindowsLiveSearch someone or something right now.

BusinessWeek confuses the forthcoming Q&A tool with social search. Those are
two completely different types of search features/services, of which Q&A is the
least important. In fact, it just reeks of another "me too" move that’s not
going to budge MSN Windows Live Search’s usage among searchers.

I mean, LookSmart Live never took off after being
launched
in 1999. Neither
did
Ask’s Answer Point, which came out in 2000.
Google Answers, which was
kicked off
in 2002 the same week Answer Point closed only
generated
0.01 percent of Google visits in November.
Yahoo Answers
was
launched only
in December, so perhaps it will grow. But it probably won’t.
Wondir is
still going,
but it’s hardly had the growth and notice of some social sites like YouTube.

Real social/personalized search coming to MSNWLS is much more important,
because it really is something I expect will take us into that next generational
jump. Eurekster certainly has plenty of experience in the space, having ushered
in the current round of social search attention since it
launched
back in 2004.

Here are some key stories from me on social and personalized search, if you
really want to come up to speed on changes:

FYI, this will be MSN’s second time around with a social search feature. In
1999, they
carried
Direct Hit results, which was a rudimentary form of social search
based on tracking aggregate clicks. Direct Hit results were dropped sometime
before 2002.