Home Gnoosness gracious me, another blog search engine!

Gnoosness gracious me, another blog search engine!

My buddy Ben Barren has just released his
blog search engine, Gnoos. Even though recently I declared that the
world doesn’t need another blog search engine, this is my second post about
them this week!
and Mashable,
amongst others, have already gone over the feature set of Gnoos. No need for me to repeat
that, except to note that Gnoos is a local blog search engine – for Australia.
Which means it does count as one of my Top Ten Underserved Web
2.0 Markets
after all, because local services was
one of my picks 🙂

Do non-US countries need local versions of Web 2.0 staple products?

Let’s explore the ‘local’ angle a bit. Do countries outside the US require their own
media and web 2.0 products? In countries that speak different languages, there is unquestionably a need.
In China, Baidu kicks
Google’s ass
in the search engine market. The real question though: is there also
a need for local services for other reasons? Ben thinks so and he told me:

“If you are outside America, it’s hard to find what the local conversation going on
is. You couldn’t even find a place to find local blogs when we were developing gnoos. As
technorati indexes 30 million+ websites and Google indexes tens of billions of documents,
gnoos is indexing 30,000+ RSS Feeds (growing 10% weekly) that matter to

Interestingly Ben claims there is “far less international expansion” amongst
seed-funded Web 2.0 startups these days, due to less VC and IPO funds in the post-dot com bust
world. Which Ben says provides opportunities for companies like his, Feedcorp. So it
seems not only is there a need, but US-based web startups may be leaving the door open by
not expanding internationally. 

Local matters, as I’ve heard Ben say a lot of times. I agree totally
with him on this (it’s why I put Local Services in my list of underserved markets in web
2). Also I’m seeing this trend all over – little non-US startups are creating their own
local versions of the main ‘2.0’ categories. Blog search, photos, maps, feed management,
etc. All those things that Google, Yahoo, MSN, Technorati, Feedburner, Flickr et al
supposedly have conquered already. Maybe there are opportunities to add community and
other localized social touches to those ‘template’ products – and be successful in their
backyard markets?

ZoomIn is an example of this in my own country, New
Zealand. Even though Google Maps has just entered the market here (I suspect
because of ZoomIn), the local product ZoomIn actually has a lot of nice community
features as well – which Google Maps doesn’t have… maybe will never have because it
doesn’t understand the local users and market as well as ZoomIn. Remember that one of the
cardinal rules of web design is that you must understand what the user wants. I think
Gnoos and ZoomIn have that understanding, in their local markets.

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