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Wink, a search engine that bets on tags, launches

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Wink has finally launched.

Wink first emerged back in August under the mysterious name of Machine Phase Systems, and then eBagle.

Wink is a search engine that lets you find sites that have already been "tagged" or otherwise selected by other people as favorites.

It does this, for example, by searching the Web for pages with links from places like del.icio.us, Digg, Slashdot, Yahoo My Web.

It is an interesting concept, but amounts to a huge bet that tags will become increasingly popular.

Wink lets you...

develop your favorite sites from within Wink and outside of it. Within Wink, you mark favorite pages by clicking on a star beside a search result, and then adding a subject "tag" of your choice.

Or, if you are a del.icio.us user, you can sync your del.icio.us bookmarks into Wink, which will also help guide your searches. Likewise, you can choose to make sure any favorites you mark at Wink are stored to your del.icio.us bookmarks.

Founder and CEO Michael Tanne was the guy behind AdForce, an ad serving company that went public in 1999 and later acquired by CMGi. He also founded XDegrees, acquired by Microsoft.

Tanne briefed us and others around the time of the Web 2.0 conference a couple of months ago, but at the time he wasn't ready to go live yet. He then demonstrated the search engine before select crowds, for example at Michael Arrington's TechCrunch party a week later.

So far, Wink has worked mostly on text pages. It plans to work more on photo tagging, audio and other products, Tanne told us.

Meanwhile, Wink will rely on advertising -- for example, Google's Adsense -- to make money.

Try it out for yourselves. It is too early for us to tell whether it is useful. Perhaps it needs some time...

Meanwhile, here is Michael Arrington's comparison of Wink with Jookster, a company that offers a similar service.

And here is Arrington's original review of Wink. It is worth noting that Wink was a sponsor of Arrington's party.

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Tanne
It was interesting, by the way, to see how someone like Tanne fits in so easily with this Web 2.0 crowd. He has all the requisites: A Stanford MBA, an engineering degree, and investor and advisor to several other Web 2.0 companies like LinkedIn, SimplyHired and Snap. He was also a product manager at Verity, an "enterprise" search company.

Let us know if you try it out. Any thoughts?


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Comments

Hmmm, I wonder how protecting search results would work. Each list of results is the copyright of each company, no?

RAUL

Raul Lopez on December 22, 2005 2:39 PM
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The Bookmark-popularity idea is sound - in theory,

BUT...

Instead of integrating JUST Google SERPs into the results - it would appear to be more in harmony with their project's goals - to offer Meta SERPs from all the majors:
Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask as Meta Search Results.

Offering one Search Engine seems like a cop-out. They now, all have individual relevant-strengths and weaknesses.

Search Engines Web on December 30, 2005 3:35 PM
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