lijit :: who can i trust in cyberspace?

lijit logo - search the web with your friends

Despite the fact that we share a last name, Todd Vernon is not related to me, but I do trust him. Actually, to be more accurate, Andy Stanberry trusted me, I trusted Stan James and Stan trusts Todd.

Todd and Stan, respectively CEO and CTO of Lijit Networks, Inc., are hoping that more people will trust them too. Not their opinion of what websites are good, but their idea that it is easier to navigate the web when we know what sites are recommended by our friends. Lijit is hoping that trust will change the way the world searches the web, and the tagline from the lijit.com splashscreen tells it all (including the generation these guys are from):

There are over eight billion web pages.
Most of them suck.
Lijit helps you find relevant information on the Internet by leveraging connections with your friends and trusted sources to separate the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, the gold from the ore...well, you get it.

Currently, most of us trust one of two major authorities for our web searches: Google or Yahoo. Occasionally, however, some slimy website will sneak up the rankings of these search giants and we end up wasting a day fighting viruses, spyware, malware or paying for something we shouldn't. It's times like those we need a friend. We need people we trust to help us along as we walk down the information superhighway.

Well, it's coming. Our friends, our community, people we really know, who can search with us without having to be in the same room as us.

Lijit adds ratings to pages within our search results which show us what sites our friends like, thus allowing us to navigate the millions of results every web search returns by highlighting the results that our friends recommend.

A recent article on lijit from the Daily Camera reported:

The company hopes to reorganize Internet search results so users are not at the mercy of page rank, said Todd Vernon, chief executive officer of Lijit. The software is able to accomplish this by sending the reports, or "trust assessments," generated by users' friends and sources through RSS feeds and other means. By doing this, the company hopes to stop people from stumbling onto spyware sites and get people to the Web sites they want to see in a more productive manner.

The idea is analogous to walking around town with friends and receiving feedback from them about the shops and restaurants passed by, Vernon said.

If you had a chance to go with what your best friends think or what the world thinks, you're going to go with your friends," he said.

The project is still in Beta, so it's not ready for general public consumption, but this small, community-driven extention seems to be exactly what we have been looking for as we search the web and even stay up-to-date with our friends. Already, I've found a great real-estate pricing site, a friend's wandering website and a rss feed of the best prices on the internet (even better than woot or pricegrabber). Isn't community fun?

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