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March 10, 2010


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Mark Cramer

Hello Phil - After 2 1/2 years (I first contacted you in October '07), we've finally made it onto your blog! Awesome! Please allow me, however, to clarify a few points.

Our 'real-time personalization' is a layer on top of search. The results at http://www.SurfCanyon.com are pulled in from the major search engines and we re-rank them "on the fly" as you search. There are no user histories or profiles, so no previous activity is required for the re-ranking. It's all accomplished using your immediate user signals and it's all real-time.

The search page also isn't fully-functional, as you pointed out, with RSS feeds, advanced search and whatnot. Rather than attempt to build all of that functionality, we enable users to simply take Surf Canyon with them when they go to Bing, Google or Yahoo!.

I would like to invite you to download our browser add-on from http://www.surfcanyon.com/extension.jsp, which you saw, and then give it a whirl on one of the search engines mentioned above. It's been downloaded over 1.5 million times, and our search technology handles 1 million queries a day, so quite a few people have heard of it. Now, thanks to your blog, even more have.


P.S. Run a search for "web 2.0 librarians" on Google and then look at the query suggestions (Refinements) at the bottom of their page. You'll see "web 2.0 facebook" as well as "web 2.0 flickr" and "web 2.0 long tail". I'm going to argue that ours are just as good if not better.

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