OneRiot launched the OneRiot Developer Network this morning. The care and attention it's paying to partnering with outsiders seeking to leverage its unique offerings could help the company stand out in a very crowded market.Real-time search engine
OneRiot says it already sees a large majority of its 40 million searches performed each month occur off-site via partners, but now the VC-backed company has put one of its co-founders in charge of taking the developer program to the next level.
There's no shortage of real-time search engines popping up around the web and OneRiot competitor Collecta launched an API of its own just two weeks ago. While Collecta prioritizes recency in its search algorithm, OneRiot takes a different approach.
OneRiot says it indexes about 20 thousand links each day from Digg, 5 million from Twitter and a far larger 20 million from its own "panel" of users who have downloaded the OneRiot toolbar opted in to share their web-browsing data in anonymous aggregate. The company claims it has 3 million active users of its toolbar, many of which opted-in to switch from an older product called Medi.um. The anonymous browsing history of 3 million people is a pretty unique asset to bring the real-time search fight.
Some critics question to what degree OneRiot is really searching more than just Twitter and Digg, but the company says it chose to emphasize those two known brands in order to maximize its initial appeal to outsiders. The toolbar user panel is actually providing the majority of the links it's indexing, the company says.
Once OneRiot has identified all these pages to index through links being passed around on social networks, the company analyzes the text of the pages being linked-to and applies a ranking algorithm it calls Pulserank, which it positions as "Pagerank for the real-time web." That ranking is based on recency, domain authority of the source, increasing or decreasing interest on a variety of social networks (the company says it watches Delicious as well, for example) and other factors.
OneRiot says that more than 40 other companies have leveraged the OneRiot search API so far, providing the majority of the search queries the company sees. Now that will be turned into a formal Partner Program, where 3rd parties can get support in applying OneRiot powered search results on their sites. Company co-founder Robert Reich will lead that program, which OneRiot says will be a major priority in the way it spends the $7 million in venture capital it added to its previous $22 million this summer.
Real Time On Your Site?
OneRiot argues that 20% of searches are navigational, 40% are for specific information but the remaining 40% are exploratory enough to be best served by real-time results. That makes sense. And just like some people believe recommendation technology will become a near-universal part of websites so that content can be recommended automatically without requiring it to be searched for - it's not hard to imagine real-time buzz as a part of millions of topical websites as well.
It's an increasingly real-time web. OneRiot's strategic approach, including its new hands-on relationship with developer partners, could serve it well in distributing its real-time solution around the web.