You can search for a specific person — but you can do that on Google. More importantly, you can search for a class of person, say politicians, or people associated with a topic — say Ruby on Rails. The spock robot automatically creates tags for any person it finds (and it gathers information on people from Wikipedia, social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook), but it also lets users add tags of their own, and vote existing tags up or down to strengthen the associations between people and topics. Users can also identify relationships between people (friend, co-worker, etc.), upload pictures, and provide other types of information. This is definitely a site that will get better as more people use it — one of my key tests for Web 2.0. It also illustrates the heart of a new development paradigm: using programs to populate a database, and people to improve it.
Go to the article for more detail, but here is a quick screen shot to peek your interest:
Fascinating. IBM offers some products for entity analytics, but none that I know of that are aiming at web scale analytics, or combining it with social software.
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