If you’re not reading this though your feed reader, you might have notice the big, bad search box across the top of the site. It’s a Swicki, and I just wrote an extensive review on the product as a whole for the SearchAnyway Blog.

What I said was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, I think that it has the potential to be a Google-personalized-search-killer. I’m not saying that it could be a Google-killer, I’m just saying that as far as the rationale for personalized search is concerned, I think that Swicki does it better. First, it is a lot more flexible and give the user a lot more choice — a point that Google’s personalized search product receives a lot of scathing criticism about. Secondly, instead of being micro-cosmic like Google’s personalized search, it harnesses the whole idea of Web 2.0. In fact, I’m surprised that with all their forward-thinking PhDs, Google didn’t think of this first. After all, their other products seem to similarly work along the lines of social media. Then again, Google might just end up buying this up too.

What remains to be seen, however, is exactly how Eurekster handles its branding strategy. The Swicki product is still in its beta phase, and my guess is that only geeks and online marketers really know that its there right now. What they need to do next is get out of beta and makes sure that people know that they’re out there. There are two ways that I can think of right off the bat in which they can do that.

First, they need to approach celebrity bloggers about trying out the product. In fact, they need to form concrete relationships with these publishers so that (1) the swickis they install on their sites work off of meaningfull tags, and (2) these publishers actually put in the effort to make sure that an online search community really does grow around their Swicki.

Secondly, they need to tap into the backlash against personalized search. There are two main camps here, and a considerable overlap in membership between the two: (1) those concerened about privacy, and (2) those who disagree with Google on how it enhances user experience. If they played the alternative-to-personalized-search card, I imagine that they’d be able to attract a lot of geeky-publishers who wouldn’t require as much coaching to turn their own swickis into online search communities.

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