Mitch
Kapor, famous for co-founding Lotus
1-2-3
in the 80’s and more recently the ambitious Personal Info Manager product Chandler (which is taking an awful long time to
build – it’s still in alpha after 3-4 years) has a new startup project. That’s Mitch
Kapor in the center of the photo btw, next to Bill Gates. From his post:

“I’m incubating a new startup, which is pretty exciting because we’re
working on innovation at the intersection of search and social production

Think of new services which are a cross between Google and the Wikipedia.  So far
it’s just been myself and my co-founder, Todd Agulnick.  We have built an
incredibly nifty proof-of-concept system built around tens of millions of
bookmarks.  Early feedback from private demos has been very positive.  Next up,
we’re building a small technical team to get to a beta as quickly as possible and
are looking for a couple of top-notch developers who want to help create a great
startup.  If you’re interested or know someone who might be, check the
Craigslist postings – search for Foxmarks or by my name.”

(emphasis mine)

One craigslist job
listing states
:

“Foxmarks, LLC is developing a novel, user-driven approach to finding the information
that matters on the Web. Founded by industry pioneer Mitch Kapor (Lotus, EFF, Mozilla,
Open Source Applications Foundation, Second Life), it combines approaches from search
engines, social bookmarking services, and Wikipedia-style content
collaboration.


(emphasis mine)

In another job listing, the Foxmarks “next-generation system” is described as “composed of a variety of components, including a three-tiered web application as well as downloadable browser components.”

A third job listing talks about a “Foxmarks extension for Firefox, and an AJAX-y front-end for Foxmarks’ next-generation web application.”

This sounds very much like the Search 2.0 products
that Ezzy Ebrahim and I recently profiled here on Read/WriteWeb. Check out part 1 and part 2 of those
articles for a good overview of the ‘social search’ industry.

It’s interesting to see Mitch Kapor doing another startup. But does this mean he’s
still involved with Chandler? Also, given that the name of the new startup is Foxmarks – is it related to Firefox (he’s chairman of the Mozilla Foundation)?

Update: There is already a project called Foxmarks, which is “an extension for Firefox that synchronizes bookmarks across multiple machines”. Perhaps that is being expanded and spun off into a full-fledged next-generation search app.

Update 2: Mitch Kapor has an update post and also John Battelle has more. Mitch says “…the extension is separate form the web site we are going to build.” Also he is still involved in Chandler development.

[via Peter
O’Kelly
]