Our little startup, Kosmix, was just covered in the New York times
The article was titled Just Don’t Compare Kosmix to Google
Published: March 14, 2009
KOSMIX, a well-financed Silicon Valley start-up, is often described on blogs and news sites as a search engine that may someday rival Google.
As flattering as that notion may sound, it rankles Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, the co-founders of Kosmix. And that’s not because other start-ups making similar assertions have fallen laughably short of the mark. It’s because Kosmix is trying to do something that is quite different from traditional Web search.
“Search does what it does well, very well,” Mr. Harinarayan said. “I don’t think we can ever compete with that.” Kosmix, he said, is not about finding the best set of documents for a specific keyword or phrase. Instead, its goal is to “tell me more about something,” he said.
For a key word or topic that a user enters, Kosmix gathers content from across the Web to build a sort of multimedia encyclopedia entry on the fly. For many queries, the results are pretty satisfying and look as if they have been compiled by a human editor, not a computer.
If Kosmix succeeds in attracting a large following, it may well be the latest challenge, not to Google, but to a long string of old and new media companies struggling to hold on to their audiences and make a living on the Web.
Kosmix’s home page offers a mix of news, entertainment and other content from around the Web. But it is on searches that Kosmix becomes really interesting.
Type in “Kauai,” for example, and Kosmix will return a fairly rich page that includes an entry from WikiTravel, a user-created travel site; restaurant recommendations from The New York Times; photographs and videos from services like Flickr and YouTube; audio clips of local music; reviews of guidebooks, bed-and-breakfasts and other services; blog posts and more. It also has top results from Google, and suggests a list of related topics.