Apr 14

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly

Why I'm so excited about Spock

Note: Spock is among the companies launching at the Web 2.0 Expo on Monday.

Michael Arrington wrote the other day about spock, the new people search engine, but I have to say that I don't think he did it justice. Spock is really cool, and performs a unique function that is well outside the range of capabilities of current search engines. What's more, it's got a fabulous interface for harvesting user contribution to improve its results.

You can search for a specific person -- but you can do that on Google. More importantly, you can search for a class of person, say politicians, or people associated with a topic -- say Ruby on Rails. The spock robot automatically creates tags for any person it finds (and it gathers information on people from Wikipedia, social networking sites like LinkedIn and Facebook), but it also lets users add tags of their own, and vote existing tags up or down to strengthen the associations between people and topics. Users can also identify relationships between people (friend, co-worker, etc.), upload pictures, and provide other types of information. This is definitely a site that will get better as more people use it -- one of my key tests for Web 2.0. It also illustrates the heart of a new development paradigm: using programs to populate a database, and people to improve it.

Let's start with a search for a specific person -- say, Eric Schmidt.

search for Eric Schmidt on spock

You'll notice that there are 45 Eric Schmidts in total, and the number will grow as spock expands its reach. However, I'm pretty sure that most people would indeed expect the CEO of Google to be the top ranked result for "Eric Schmidt." He's top ranked on Google, too, but if you look at the Google search results page, you'll see an important difference:

search for Eric Schmidt on google

Here, because Eric's an important guy, he dominates the search results. We don't find an entry about a second Eric Schmidt, the professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Utah, until the middle of the second page of search results, and I didn't click through enough pages to find a third Eric Schmidt.

Disambiguating people, and then collapsing multiple sources of information into a single entry, or entity resolution, is part of the secret sauce of a people search engine. (More on that in a followup post, since Spock wants your help in making this aspect of their software even better.) Mechanisms for ranking people are also going to be critical.

Now obviously, we can find out more about Eric with a Google search, but Spock collects a very nice top-level summary in one place, but most importantly, helps to find the collection of people named Eric Schmidt who are not this particularly high profile person.

There's a reasonable amount of detail, including a picture, in the search results list, but clicking on Eric's name shows even more detail on the information Spock has collected about him and also gives a chance for you, the user, to improve the information that's already there:

Eric Schmidt's detail page on spock

This is a pretty good summary of Eric's vital statistics, including a wikipedia widget, a picture, tags describing his career, links to web sites associated with him, "related people," and so on.

But I notice a couple of things that are missing. The list of known web sites associated with Eric includes neither his personal home page nor the Google corporate information site, so I add links to both. I also see that he's not tagged in association with Sun Microsystems, where he was formerly the CTO, or Novell, where he was the CEO. So I add these as tags. In the screen shot below, you can catch me in the act of tagging Eric with Sun Microsystems. The new web links have already been added.

Eric Schmidt's entry after I've updated it

Why, might you ask, will people go to the trouble of updating people's pages on spock? First off, individuals can claim their own page, and clearly have an interest in it. (It will be interesting to see how Spock balances people's desire to manage their own image with the public data the search engine finds. It will also be very interesting to see how successfully they manage spamming of tags, websites associated with people, and other user-contributed data. They do allow users to vote information up or down, but that may or may not be enough. I'll bet that entries on prominent people end up needing to be closed. There are also issues with the semantics of related people. I was able to add Larry and Sergey as co-workers, but is that really the right way to describe their relationship? As with tags, there's a huge amount of room for nuance, disagreement, and outright error. This private beta of spock exposes the tips of many icebergs, some of which have the power to sink one feature or another.)

Back to the question of motivation for user contribution: because of Spock's tagging features, the engine will become a really useful tool for finding people at companies, in particular locations, or with common interests. Here, for example, is what I find if I click on the tag "Google" that is listed under Eric's name:

people associated with the google tag on spock

Spock already has 1425 people associated with Google in one way or another -- and I'll bet a lot of them aren't in LinkedIn or other social networks that require people to build out their own network. (Spock's relevance ranking clearly has room for improvement, though. John Battelle is an important guy with key insights into Google, but I wouldn't put him ahead of Larry Page!)

What really gets me excited is that I'm told that Spock plans to support private tags, so you can manage your own people information spaces. This will also have a powerful network effect, in that people will be motivated to upload their address books and other lists. How much more useful to me would be a Spock-ified list of O'Reilly authors than the simple database we now keep them in, or a list of our conference speakers? In a lot of ways, my business is based on the ability to find the right person, the person who knows the most about a given topic and can write about it, or present about it at a conference, or point to other interesting people. It's also based on keeping track of people. When we're planning the invitation list for an event, we're often poring over a spreadsheet -- and asking ourselves, who was that again? Spock pulls together a relevant summary for each person, making it a great outboard memory connecting names, faces, topics and companies.

What's more, Spock is still in its infancy. It has only a fraction of the people it will have once it gets out of private beta, and only a fraction of the features. This is definitely a product and a company to watch.

(It's also a lot of fun, but that's a subject for another post, once the product is live and it won't just be a tease to talk about all the cool things you can do with it!)

tags: web 2.0  | comments: 100   | Sphere It

Previous  |  Next

1 TrackBacks

TrackBack URL for this entry:

» O'Reilly Got Spocked! from The Commute

Tim O'Reilly really nails what we found so intriguing about incubating Spock at Clearstone. Thanks, Tim. Read More

Comments: 100

  David [04.14.07 10:27 AM]

We obviously share your enthusiasm and have since Jaideep and Jay began incubating this in our offices off of a powerpoint. But I still anxiously await the hoards of "this is further evidence of the corrosive effect social media applications are having on the world" posts. Spock is in its infancy indeed, and will be controversial. But, I'm glad you highlighted its promise.

  /pd [04.14.07 11:03 AM]

can small incumbents fragment the search market space ?? Thus bleeding google from the ad sense /sponsered ad market space ??

I am also seeing more organic hits coming from small startups like guruji . is this a start to a trend that will cut into google ??

  rick gregory [04.14.07 12:27 PM]

Still not seeing it Tim. But perhaps that's the example you used. Prominent people are easy to find information on... Google and their Wikipedia page will give me most of what I need if I'm, say, a student doing a paper on Google and want to know about Eric. Yeah, the Spock page is nicer visually, but... *shrug*

What got my attention about your post is this " can search for a class of person, say politicians, or people associated with a topic -- say Ruby on Rails...." Now THAT is something that is much harder to do using Google.

Too, I'd like to see how useful this is when we are searching for non-prominent people, say the professor you mentioned. The difficulty I see there is that, if I know a little about him I can search for "eric schmidt utah professor" and boom! he's #2 on the Google search page. If I don't know that much about him, how likely am I to be searching for him?

  Graham Glass [04.14.07 12:29 PM]

Freebase ( looks like it will offer similar functionality, but in a more general way. It'll be interesting to see which of these ends up offering more person-centric functionality.


  Mike B. [04.14.07 01:05 PM]

I don't see it either. Google will kill this startup too. This is Google's domain.

  Tim O'Reilly [04.14.07 02:32 PM]

Mike B - If Google kills spock, it will be by offering a similar people search engine. Ergo, I still get the functionality I'm excited about, or better. One company being able to kill another isn't the test of whether something is interesting or not.

  Fred [04.14.07 02:46 PM]

fred posted a comment here about a sexually suggestive search on spock. I have deleted this comment but since there are many followup comments about its inappropriateness, I am replacing it here with this note, so that there will be context for the subsequent discussion.

  Dave McClure [04.14.07 04:26 PM]

ummm, Fred: ever heard of the phrase "OVER-sharing" ?

  DEM [04.14.07 06:49 PM]

This isn't Google's domain, at least not yet.
The implementation happens to be people, but
the real 'product' seems to be entity resolution,
as the follow up post suggests. It's too bad
they seem to be having a contest for their
special sauce... if I had the special sauce,
i think I'd start my own company.

I see companies like this, or (disclaimer: i worked there early on), as
companions to Google, and yes, maybe when google
turns its eye to the issue of entities rather than
pages it will eat them, or buy them, or sink them,
but it's not the same thing at all. Google provides the raw data, they slice and dice, card sort, whatever and create more contextually useful search possibilities.

There's more than a semantic difference between
searching for an entity and searching for textual
results in documents.

  treach [04.14.07 10:26 PM]

peekyou, anyone?

  mike [04.15.07 04:22 AM]

Be interesting to see what VC money was spent on this and whether it can beat what Google will continue to dev.

  daniel kalthoff [04.15.07 06:36 PM]

Could someone please send me an invitation?

danielkalthoff ->

  Mad Macedonian [04.16.07 05:18 AM]

With Risk Compliance fines on the rise and the expansion of entity resolution into the Insurance space, this will be even more of a need. Entity Resolution and Relationsip Resolution are two big needs in the marketplace and it looks like this product can drill deeper into both. I have implemented like solutions with a company called Clear Forest but all that looks for is "free Text" and usage of "Custom Crawlers" to look for specific words and word combinations.

  rahul [04.16.07 01:47 PM]

Spock is hiring a few bright and energetic engineers to join their dynamic team.

For more information:

  Ryan [04.16.07 05:56 PM]

Hey, can anyone send me an invite? I think Rick Gregory had some good points in his post.

I hope Spock is able sustain themselves with their revenue model. As far as hitting mainstream and being adopted by the "masses"...I don't think so, no way!

  Anonymous [04.16.07 09:39 PM]

spock = misogynism

  we are all kathy [04.17.07 08:34 PM]

In the wake of the ugliness over Kathy Sierra, I find the relative silence over the comment from "Fred" rather deafening.

The seed for Kathy Sierra like debacles is planted in the rich loam of your silence at this comment. If the most outrage that you can dig up for yet another man who feels like it is his calling to come here and spew anti-woman dren is a single "over-sharing" comment, you are pretty weak when it comes to acting on your lofty ideals. So, what is your tolerance level for abusive comments? I find that after many years as a woman in the IT sector, mine is pretty low.

ps - what did you think of the 'searching for scantily clad bimbos' part of the Spock demo?

  webgoddess [04.17.07 09:05 PM]

echo: spock = misogynism

says it all

  Leanne [04.17.07 09:21 PM]

The Spock demo at Web 2.0 was fantastic and intriguing until the speaker, Jay Bhatti, offered up a choice of swimsuit models or lingerie models to a large group of people interested in technology, not necessarily soft porn. What an insult to the audience.

Further investigation of Spock's web site demonstrates that they have dug up a decades-old misogynistic joke about how men at one place are better looking than girls at another place -- this hateful joke has probably been around longer than Jay has been alive and it's disrespectful to to past sexist history dredge it up again -- I first heard a variant of this "joke" 20 years ago:

Brian - "When Jay tried to convince me to leave Microsoft to join Spock, he said Spock had much better-looking women than Microsoft. Only when I joined, I realized Spock had not hired any women at that time. But even without any women, the guys at Spock were better-looking than the girls at Microsoft."

Apparently Jay, the founder, is also clueless about Ruby on Rails and is the subject of another dumb joke:

Jon - "When I interviewed with Jay and told him about Ruby on Rails, he thought it was an adult video."

Is this really a tech company with a serious search engine? They don't demo or promote themselves as one.

  Leanne [04.17.07 09:23 PM]

When I posted a commment here I received a message that said:

Your comment has been received. To protect against malicious comments, I have enabled a feature that allows your comments to be held for approval the first time you post a comment. I'll approve your comment when convenient; there is no need to re-post your comment.

I'm surprised that this malicious comment is still here 3 days later:

Fred [04.14.07 02:46 PM]

Spock is a great way to get laid. Seriousy. Just enter "slutty whore" and look at the results. You could bang any one of those skanks, especially my ex-wife.

  Angie Chang [04.17.07 10:19 PM]

Regarding Fred's comment posted on April 14th, 2007 at 2:46PM...

Why did that gem of misogynistic hate escape the comment filter? Spam and junk gets filtered out, and Fred's comment qualifies.

Thank you, comment moderator.

  Alex Lee [04.17.07 10:23 PM]

Somebody invites me please-
I just want to look around more about its surprising figures. :)

  Jenifer Tidwell [04.18.07 07:40 AM]

It's a shame that a promising technology is being made to look so bad by people like Fred (nice comment, dude) and Spock's own people (Victoria's Secret models?).

So, um -- did we collectively learn anything from the Kathy Sierra fiasco? I mean, other than the obvious "direct death threats are bad?"


  Alex C [04.18.07 08:32 AM]

Tim ... what happened to all this talk of a new code of ethics for bloggers?

  Tim O'Reilly [04.18.07 10:17 AM]

Folks, you're right that I should have nixed the "slutty whore" comment according to my original "code of conduct" post. However, there's been a fierce debate going on since then about what was wrong with that original proposed code. This example illustrates one of the issues that's come up.

I don't see every comment before it's posted, only ones that the spam filter catches. (Leanne, even though it says "the first time you comment," it's really only if your comment includes multiple links, or is otherwise considered potential spam. Whatever you were using to post comments, you ended up with four copies of the a href to the one link you made. Your comment is posted now.)

Sometimes I don't read the comments for several days. Looks like Fred posted just after my last visit to the page, and I didn't become aware of these comments till this morning when I got mail from Dru Lavigne alerting me to take a look. (On Monday I was at the conference, and yesterday, I was offline for my wife's birthday.) So now I'm trying to figure out this corner case: once there's a whole thread about a comment, deleting it then makes people wonder about what started the fuss. That was also one of my later takeaways from the Kathy Sierra situation -- see the comments on my code of conduct posts for all the he said/she said, you've misrepresented what happened arguments, with no longer any way to verify what happened.

That was the whole point about the "memory hole" that happens when comments are deleted, and my preference for the ability to demote comments from visibility.

What's more, I'd say that the overwhelming negative response to my "code of conduct" post made me more reluctant to delete things. Where were all you guys with your support for the code of conduct? Mostly I got trashed as the new thought police, which is why I shifted my focus to trying to build some less binary tools, and said in that thread that I was going to delete only the most outrageous personal attacks.

As for the spock swimsuit model demo, when I saw it at the Expo, I turned to Brady, and said, "Oh no! Bad move," and he said, "Maybe we need to preview these demos." But realistically, you can't do that. Yeah, really bad choice on Spock's part, especially when there are so many more interesting things to show.

Anyway, if I deleted that comment now, should I delete all the followups? Advice welcome.

P.S. Fred's comment was obviously a troll. I just checked, and "slutty whore" does turn up one person on spock who used "slutty whore, AL" as their location on their myspace page, but no pictures.

  Judy [04.18.07 11:08 AM]

After the demonstration
did you go up to the folks at Spock and tell them how offended you were as a human being and as a member of the tech community by their demo?

If you didn't than you are just as guilty as they are of putting up a "No Girls Allowed" sign on the field of technology.

  Caroline [04.18.07 11:30 AM]

I am utterfly floored that a startup executive would use swimsuit models as a demo in such a large public relations event. It is, as you said, a bad move, and an idiotic one at that. How could he be that unprepared for public presentation. If a female CEO had done the same with male models in speedos, she would have been fired on the spot or called grossly inappropriate. Regardless of the promise of the application, it does not give me confidence in the leadership at that company.

  Sprezzatura [04.18.07 11:39 AM]

I'm wondering whether Spock will become the new "hot or not" for Web 2.0, and frankly am concerned about the ability of anyone to tag / leave comments and how that will relate to search results for women.

  Tim O'Reilly [04.18.07 11:46 AM]

Judy -- I have pointed the spock folks to this thread, and suggested that they rethink how they present the product.

Their response was that they also heard from Republicans that their "drunk driver" search was inappropriate. (It turned up both Dick Cheney (2 convictions) and George Bush (1)).

These two examples highlight how comments that offend one group seem innocuous to others. In politics, it's pretty clear: you can offend half your audience, and win plaudits from the other.

With swimsuit models, I'd imagine they were thinking they'd appeal to some class of consumers at the risk of offending others. Given that this kind of search is actually a big driver of net activity not only via true porn but also via the "dating" side of youth social networking sites as well as sites like hotornot, they might well have made the determination that showing off this feature would drive more interest than offense.

This is the really tough bit about the "code of conduct" discussion. There are some things that are really clear cut (truly offensive, obscene, threatening); there are others where public perception is changing or divided. And for the latter, the goal needs to be to speak out about our values.

The spock folks also said that at the show, a number of women did come up to them and complain, but many others came up and enthused about the product.

Fred's comment early in this thread was offensive. Jaideep's presentation was insensitive.

  Lisa Crispin [04.18.07 12:05 PM]

I would be happy if the tech community could all just grow up. It's discouraging and distracting that so few things change over the years with respect to attitudes towards women.

  Nancy [04.18.07 12:11 PM]

I appreciate your support, Tim. It's not being "thought police" to mediate a technical blog and remove hate posts. How can you create a forum of diverse participants, where everyone feels welcome to read or contribute if you overlook elements of bigotry? Thank you for taking measures to ensure that people don't feel excluded or demeaned.

  Tina [04.18.07 12:47 PM]

In response to your request for input as to whether you should delete Fred's comment and the later references to it - I vote "YES"! It does not further the discussion of the topic. One of the main deterrents I encounter in reading up on new technology is the amount of garbage one has to wade through to get the useful info, so I'm all in favor of letting a moderator clean house. There will always be other, "open" forums where people can spout irrelevant ugliness.

  JuliaZ [04.18.07 01:06 PM]

Tim, I appreciate your level-headed analysis of how to make the web a friendlier place for everyone; it's tough to know when to let negative comments stand and when they're hate speech that should be removed.

That said, the Spock demo was way over the top and I'm glad they're feeling the heat from women in technology who don't appreciate being turned into a commodity.

I've been on the Internet (email at least) since 1983, and the evolution has been amazing on every front except for the status of women online. It's even more puzzling to me given that studies show we're actually the majority of people online in some age groups, and we definitely control way more discretionary income than in the past.

The good news is that we can still vote with our keyboards and mice... I won't have anything to do with Spock until they do more than pay lip service. Cleaning up their disgusting frat-boy job seekers page is not enough.

  JuliaZ [04.18.07 01:08 PM]

Tim, I appreciate your level-headed analysis of how to make the web a friendlier place for everyone; it's tough to know when to let negative comments stand and when a post is hate speech that should be removed. Intent has to be examined and can be hard to determine.

That said, the Spock demo was way over the top and I'm glad they're feeling the heat from women in technology who don't appreciate being turned into a commodity.

I've been on the Internet (email at least) since 1983, and the evolution has been amazing on every front except for the status of women online. It's even more puzzling to me given that studies show we're actually the majority of people online in some age groups, and we definitely control way more discretionary income than in the past.

The good news is that we can still vote with our keyboards and mice... I won't have anything to do with Spock until they do more than pay lip service. Cleaning up their disgusting frat-boy job seekers page is not enough.

  smk [04.18.07 01:08 PM]

| I'm all in favor of letting a moderator clean house.

i "strongly agree."

| Anyway, if I deleted that comment now, should I delete all the followups? Advice welcome.

your blog - your choice. you DO get to be the thought police. if someone can't handle your values, they can hang out in some other blog.

your decision as to when someone is not keeping a civil tongue, and what to do about it. it's not as though it happens all that often... does it?

my thoughts on spock as a company, based on their adolescent presentation of themselves: irritated, and dismissive of their chances.

  Leanne [04.18.07 01:10 PM]

I don't think it's offensive to have pictures of swimsuit and lingerie models blasted on huge screens post-keynote at a tech conference if they're relevant and contextual.

Spock's heavily visual demo demonstrating search capabilities showed bloggers are men, drunk drivers are men, politics is about men, foo campers are men, sports is about men, and swimsuit and lingerie models (which they classify as "fashion") are women.

The visual effect is like a sexist ad campaign showing that men are lots of things and women are only models.

Sure they can just blame the data and say that the internet doesn't provide the data to show that bloggers are men AND women, and so on, but blaming the data demonstrates that they don't know what they're doing and they're (supposed to be) an innovative tech company.

They could have a much smarter demo with search queries and results more relevant to their audience -- for example, the screenshots here that show search queries and results for Eric Schmidt aren't offensive and are very compelling.

I think Spock's technology is cool and neat -- too bad the founders of the company don't understand and appreciate appropriate context for using images to pitch a product.

The problem with Spock isn't just their pitch.

It's also too bad they pigeon-hole and slam women on their web site when they describe why someone would want to work at Spock. As of last night they've removed some of the content -- I put screenshots here that show how their list of "Why Spock Employees Like Working With Jay" looked before yesterday.

It's ironic that this article mentions an example of using Spock to search for "people associated with a topic -- say Ruby on Rails" when the founder of Spock is mentioned in this quote here:
Jon - "When I interviewed with Jay and told him about Ruby on Rails, he thought it was an adult video."

I was using Firefox2/Mac10.4 to post comments when multiple links instead of one link came through.

  Sarah Mei [04.18.07 01:50 PM]

Both proposed solutions (remove the comment and subsequent discussion, or leave everything intact) are suboptimal. Can the comment and discussion be moved to a different post, with a link in the original post?

Reading this post was the first time I had really seen what Spock could do, and I was thinking about all the interesting ramifications of this particular search variant, right up until I saw Fred's post. I felt it in my stomach. I closed the window. I stopped thinking about nifty toolage.

I came back, though, after reading about the controversy around Spock's Web 2.0 Expo demo, and realizing they were the same tool. Now I'm just hoping that Spock is quickly purchased or pre-empted by Google or Yahoo!. They've got some neat ideas and some smart engineers, but the culture of disrespect needs to be squished.

  Tim O'Reilly [04.18.07 02:08 PM]

I just had a "duh" moment. Rather than simply deleting Fred's comment, I edited it to remove the original text, and left in its place a comment explaining what had been done, so that people coming to this discussion as a result of links from various mailing lists where it has also been discussed will be able to understand the history and context.

  Vincent McBurney [04.18.07 04:15 PM]

I think people have become trigger happy with the word misogyny. The definition is "hatred of women" which has very strong connotation. The jokes by Spock repeated in this comments thread could be described as sexist or immature or shallow but clearly they are not hateful.

The phrase "spock = misogynism" smears all employees of the company and not just those who made the immature comments. I am sure they are reading this thread and are dumbfounded that several sexist jokes have branded the entire company of having a hatred of all women.

PS. Tim’s comment filtering software is letting him down if it is not flagging some of the keywords in Fred’s comment and holding that comment indefinitely for review.

  Tim O'Reilly [04.18.07 06:16 PM]

Good clarification, Vincent, and a good reminder that the blogosphere tends to magnify our mistakes.

Re. comment filtering software -- I'm not sure what words in the comment you're thinking would have been automatically flagged. In any event, is there an "obscenity" plugin for MT? I'm aware of a bunch of plugins to fight comment spam, but even those don't seem too good at catching every porn-related term, including many far more graphic than those used in Fred's comment.

BTW, it seems likely that "Fred" either made that comment with a forged address to embarrass a company, or else ended up in trouble with his employer if it was a real address, because the company behind the web page originally linked to by his comment contacted us separately asking us to take it down.

  Vincent McBurney [04.18.07 09:50 PM]

I must confess ignorance about the details spam filtering as I blog at ITToolbox blog network with Dru where we can sit under palm trees sipping pina coladas and blog while the folks behind ITToolbox rush around doing all the technical support. It’s Movable Type and they seem to have excellent filtering as I’ve never seen troll comments, but that could be due to my innate ability to avoid getting readers. I’ve had comments blocked by the b-eye-network blogs due to inappropriate words or combination of words that to me seemed harmless so there are sites out there doing it.

It would be good if you could install an out of the box banned word or word combination list and modify it yourself to scale the curse level up or down. Also good if some words trigger an automatic comment delete while others just hold it for review. There are some troll comments that the blog author should not have to read.

  Jas Strong [04.18.07 10:10 PM]

Vincent wrote:

The phrase "spock = misogynism" smears all employees of the company and not just those who made the immature comments. I am sure they are reading this thread and are dumbfounded that several sexist jokes have branded the entire company of having a hatred of all women.

Spock has about nine employees; five of them were quoted on the (highly offensive) "Spock is frat boy central, just ask Jay" page.

Are all Spock employees sophomoric and dim? No. But apparently a majority of them are dim enough to put their names (though not, apparently, their full names) to these idiotic comments.

  RLFf [04.18.07 10:26 PM]

Why would a company - before it is even launched, offend over 50% of it's potential users? Because some males who haven't moved beyond adolesence will be entertained? Not a company I would support with any VC.

  Vincent McBurney [04.18.07 10:47 PM]

It took a while but Spock has started to move into damage control with a comment from the CEO at the bottom of a Spock about page:

Message From Spock

When we put our demo together for the Launchpad portion of the Web 2.0 Expo our intent was not to present information which was in any way objectifying or demeaning to women, rather the intent was to present a variety of searches that people might perform on the site. We sincerely apologize to anyone who might have been offended.

Jaideep Singh - Co-founder & CEO

They have taken a bit of a hammering in the comments section of the Spock blog and on this blog. The damage control is not complete yet, they still need a more prominent blog post addressing the presentation and the sexist content on the website and they should be making a comment on threads like this one.

Message From Kirk

We need more power to the shields. We can’t survive another photon torpedo blast.

  Nicole [04.19.07 05:14 AM]

I am an Electrical Engineer who grew up with computers, coding on a VAX in high school in 1990. Tim, you are doing a great job moderating your blog. Just the attempt to reign in the craziness is welcome. As an engineer and woman who uses the internet daily for work and personal I am still blown away by these ridiculous portrayals of women as objects in tech ad campaigns. As a veteran of the startup world *still living the dream* I can only hope that when they blow their VC money a female friendly company will buy out their technology for a song. Then its true power can be harnessed by a well-balanced team of developers.

  Dave McClure [04.19.07 09:24 AM]

[full disclosure: i'm an advisor for Spock]

thanks to Tim above for helping moderate the feedback & comments on this thread. i've notified some of the folks over at Spock to take a look at this thread and consider how some folks in the audience might have been offended by part of the demo.

that said, i think some folks have had vastly different reactions to the demo, and many women had noted they did not feel similarly offended. but many others like tim, suggested that however frequent such searches might be performed on Google or other engines, it probably wasn't the best choice of search example for Spock. obviously several people did feel a strong negative reaction, and perhaps it's no surprise with the Kathy Sierra situation so recent.

still, i would say to smear the entire Spock team as mysogynists is also inappropriate. that is similarly strong language without context that i don't feel is merited at all. while i respect that some people have strong negative reactions, to lash out with such a description in response isn't the right call either.

in any case, i've discussed with folks at Spock that they listen closely to the feedback, and take in the comments whether they agree with all of them or not. i'm sure there are going to be a lot of suggestions & criticisms for them to hear, and to take into consideration for future demos.

thanks to everyone for the feedback, and again to Tim for managing the commentary.


- dave mcclure

  webgoddess [04.19.07 02:50 PM]

Dave - maybe you should re-read the comments. All your post has done is deny any wrong and suck up to Tim.

  dave mcclure [04.19.07 04:30 PM]

@webgoddess: sorry that's how you read my post. maybe you should re-read what i wrote too.

i won't deny the demo hurt some people's feelings, and it was likely not the best choice of demo example. subsequently i've suggested to folks at Spock they take a look at considering how they demo features in the future, as well as content on their site that might be inappropriate or insensitive. they understand the feedback, and they're looking into how they can do a better job.

however, i also feel it's relevant to balance your & other criticisms with the perspectives of others (and particular, to include some links & #'s that give a sense of scale). i'm not saying you're wrong / they're right, nor vice versa... i'm just saying people had different opinions on the matter, and that there were significant #'s on both sides.

regardless, i'd say the folks at Spock would probably choose to do a different demo if they had to do it over again, and will likely do so in the future.

as for sucking up to Tim, that's your opinion & you're free to state it. altho i've done consulting for O'Reilly on occasion, i don't work for Tim and i'm happy to speak my mind -- and sign my posts with my real name & website, not anonymously.

- dave mcclure

  Wen [04.19.07 05:22 PM]

I posted on our blog today, but for those of who didn't get to read it - it expresses the sentiments of me personally and my colleagues at Spock:

As the marketing lead and until yesterday, the only female at Spock, I can safely say that Spock is a great place to work. They have made me feel at home since day one, and Iíve worked in both banking and tech companies - at some of which Iíve definitely dealt with significant gender discrimination. It is not that way at Spock at all despite what you may have seen or read - and I think that it is sad that people are judging our corporate culture here on a page that was put up as a joke and does not reflect the attitudes or behaviors of the people here. We will be much more careful about what we post in the future as we realize that internal jokes donít always make sense out of context and may sound sexist, or just plain dumb.

New companies make mistakes, and clearly the demo was a questionable judgement call. However, Spockís commitment to change is impressive. After just the initial feedback, Jaideep Singh, our CEO, called a meeting with me to discuss changing our corporate image. We are making efforts to do so.

As Iíve stated publicly before, Spock has always been supportive of Women, both financially and through other means - Jay and Jaideep have both ran extensive programs for women and entrepreneurs in the past.

That said, let me re-iterate our commitment to changing our company image and hiring more women - we encourage more women engineers to apply!! The team here is wonderful and we apologize for our lack of thought and to anyone we may have offended.

  People Finder [04.27.07 06:04 AM]

This is exciting news in the area of online people search. I have read in other articles that 30% of web searches are people related. This will be a nice addition to the list of useful people search sites currently available.

  Most secretive service ever [05.07.07 08:33 AM]

I'm just amazed by the tiny number of people who are so far "authorized" to use the service.

In fact, is there anyone who has not just used it for a strictly limited amount of time for demo purposes?

There aren't even any invitations on ebay?! That makes me a bit suspicious because for other invitation-based services (gmail at its beginning or joost) there are dozens of blogs of friendly people who offer invitations and hundreds of offers on ebay.

Personally, I'm a bit suspicious if they'll solve the scalability issue (hundreds of thousands of potential users) anytime soon, or whether it will stay in beta-use-for-a-handful-of-people for the next years or so.

Of course, I'm always gladly proven wrong. Just send me and invitation :-)

ingmarweber (at) gmail (dot) com


  Rob [05.17.07 08:24 AM]

Wow... Spock is so "cool." Do you think they have a plan on how to make money? Maybe once the VC money disappears so will they along with the Starship Enterprise.

  Andy [05.18.07 10:48 AM]

I'm late to the party here. Doesn't anything about Spock and like "personal search" tools raise any ethical issues? My interest is in just what sort of data is being aggregated without that person's consent. It *might* be useful, as you say, but what happened to ownership of personal information?

  Tim O'Reilly [05.18.07 11:58 AM]

Andy -- This information is already out there. Making it more visible will actually help, because to the extent that people realize what's known about them, they will either figure out ways to keep it private (by demanding new features from data collectors or learning how to keep information private, or learning new mechanisms for privacy and anonymity.) The world changes. We must change with it. But we can shape that change. But visibility and transparency help. (Consider how much more aware of privacy people are because of Google, despite the fact that our credit card companies collect far more info than they do.)

David Brin's Transparent Society is a good read on the subject.

  Jonathan [05.18.07 01:01 PM]

I am noticing that I am more hesitant to view individual listings on Spock (and LinkedIn) after recently discovering that LinkedIn has enabled users to see who has been viewing their profile (unless the visiting user has updated their preference to either be anonymous or completely invisible). However, I like seeing who viewed me.

You are right Tim - this should make us demand new features (and their default settings)from data collectors.

I suppose it depends upon my acceptance (or rejection or discomfort) of personal transparency.

  Andy [05.18.07 02:27 PM]

Thanks for your response. I'm hesitant to accept either the "things change" or "the horse has left the barn, so there's no use trying to close the gate, etc." defenses. When I hear that "we need to insist on new mechnisms," what comes to mind is the "opt-in" approach that was vigorously promoted just a few years ago, before Google became nearly everyone's favorite company. I don't know how widespread that sort of control became, but I'm reminded of it every time I get a privacy disclosure from my bank or "accept" an EULA. What's made transparent is that the job falls to me, and not the collector, to get the horse back in the barn.

  Ajay Pandey [05.24.07 12:25 AM]

Hi Tim/Others,

It's a good insight into the Spock's world. I'm sure Google/Yahoo etc will be trying to solve the problem secretly and will be going to come up with some bang soon. We in a small group, working around on the same problem. It will be interesting to know how everybody is going to handle the problem of security. Which is the biggest threat now.

  vaspers the grate [05.29.07 07:47 AM]

I like Spock, but it needs an About and FAQ page. You don't "add" people to your contacts or group? I am confused about doing anything more than editing people's profiles or tags.

Spock seems kind of wiki-like in the editing sense.

It's weird to add tags to people. Can I remove inappropriate tags added to my Spock profile? How is Spock supervised or moderated?

Where is there a Users Guide to Spock?

  vaspers the grate [05.29.07 08:26 AM]

BTW, Tim: I started the blog Blog Core Values about 3 years ago, to promote the 9 basic aspects of true and helpful blogging:

authenticity. passion. transparency. credibility. individualism. creativity. originality. relevance. integrity.

It was in reaction, at the time, to Pseudo Blogs, then expanded to many other concerns, including cyber bullying and the dangers of personal blogging, long before Mean Kids and Kathy Sierra.

  Christi [06.07.07 11:54 PM]

The one thing that bugs me about, and other people search engines, is that they are more or less "social network" searches, and not a true people search. For that I would go to something like or but not The reason is because when I think of people searching, I think of being able to find information on their whereabouts, not just their online profiles. It's a strange thing when we call it people search and all you get is an article the person wrote a year ago.

  Ryan [06.16.07 11:01 PM]

Beware! In signing up, Spock asks for access to your email address book (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail), insisting -- like most respectable social networks do -- that it's only going to check for people you know who have already opted in and registered for their site. I did this a week ago, and of course didn't find many contacts on Spock at the time.

Earlier today, Spock went ahead and spammed all my contacts with Spock invites... and in Gmail, that's a lot of people, many of whom were only one-off correspondents. I even got invites sent to my other e-mail accounts, telling me I've invited myself.

This is bad, bad form for a site like this, and doesn't help it fight the ominous cloud many sense over what it's trying to do.

  SuezanneC Baskerville [06.17.07 09:08 AM]

I would greatly appreciate an invitation.

Is the comment from Ryan about spamming your contact list correct?

  Jay [06.17.07 11:36 AM]

Hi - I read this post and wanted to take an opportunity to let people know that we never SPAM contact lists. I want to share with your our signup process and data on how users are using Spock.

When users sign up for Spock during the private beta, they can do one of three unique steps.

1. Users can just go and access Spock directly by simply creating a login and password. About 60% of beta users go this route. Nothing else is required from them expect a login and password.

2. If they want, during sign-up, users can ask Spock to find people in their address book who are already indexed in Spock. 40% of beta users request Spock to do this lookup. Once we do this look-up we do not ever look again at their address book, we delete the credentials they gave us, and promise never to contact any of their contacts (we clearly state this policy right on that page)

3. During this step, and only if they want, users can elect to invite people from their address book to check out Spock and claim their search profiles while we are in private beta. Only if we have their explicit permission, do we do this step.

In 6,000 invites we sent to users last week, only 215 (3.5%) elected to invite people from their address book. Given that only 3.5% of users request invites to be sent to their contacts, I thought our directions and UI were clear, where only people who specifically want to invite others to Spock from their address book can do so.

This post was the first complaint we have recieved on this process. This is a process where I would like to have a zero precent error rate.

Ryan, feel free to contact me directly at and I'll have my engieers look at the log to see what steps were checked in your sign-up process. If there was any confusion in the UI, I want to know about it and make changes ASAP.

I hope this answers your concern. Let me know if you need any more stats or information on this step. This step was created to allow users to invite people they know to check out Spock while we are in private beta and allow your contacts to claim their search profile before we launch and are fully open.

We had a lot of feedback from people who did not have an invite to Spock and were hearing from their friends who had beta accounts saying to them "hey, you have a search result on Spock, and you should go claim it". But they had no way of claiming it since they did not have an invite. Thus, we created this step to allow you to invite people to Spock and claim search results.

I hope the sharing of our metrics on how users are using Spock helps.


  Jay [06.17.07 01:34 PM]

I read one of the posts above "Most secretive service ever" and that is something we have gotten a lot of feedback on directly.

Many people want access to Spock to see what their search result looks like, but currently cannot do so. Thus, we now increasing the number of beta invites users can give out. Before we limited it to 3 invites per beta user. We are now increasing that number significantly.

In addition, if anyone on Tim’s blog wants access to Spock, just email me at and I'll send you a beta account directly.

To learn more about how to use Spock, you can check out:

While we know that the power of the community can be a great way to add rich information into Spock that benefits all, we also know that some users may not have good intent and post inappropriate material or post tags that may not be correct. To help understand how Spock will handle this:

1. No one is allowed to post anything anonymously (tags, pictures, relationships). Thus, the entire community will know who posted what on whom. This should help encourage good behavior where the community posts relevant and factual information on Spock that benefits everyone.

2. We do not allow people to post inappropriate tags (curse words) or pictures. We monitor this very closely. Users who show good behavior (adding tags that other people vote up, etc) will over time get more weight added to their votes - and be given more advanced features (features like the power to merge profiles, add search results to Spock, request certain searches be removed from the index, and power tagging, etc). This is similar to Wikipedia, where contributors who show good behavior, get more authority (like editing Bill Clinton's wiki page, etc).

3. Users who show bad behavior (i.e. their tags are constantly voted down, or flagged) will lose weight in their voting and eventually lose any ability to post on Spock.

4. We will have flagging capability on every post on Spock (picture, tag, relationship). Thus, if someone posts a tag on you that you think is offensive or inappropriate, you can flag it. Flagging it will immediately remove it from the UI and place it in review.

5. Finally, an important point about privacy. When Jaideep and I were designing Spock, we tried to always think of what we as users would want (not what we as founder of a company would want). For example, I like it that people can search for me on Spock by just typing in what schools I went to, what organizations I am a part of, and things like "web 2.0 expo presenter". I also like it that they can then go to facebook, or linkedin directly from my search result on Spock and get to know more about me or communicate with me directly on those social networks.

What I would not like is if my personal information was shown (home address, phone number, SSN, email, etc.). We find that there is a lot of personal information about people that is openly floating on the web that most people do not even know about.

Unlike other search applications, we try very hard to NEVER show any personally identifiable information. Even if it something that is widely distributed on the web (like your email address), we took a stance that we never want to show that information.

We believe so strongly in it that we explicitly had our lawyers put it in our privacy policy and terms of service.

Spock will do everything it can to never show personally identifiable information (PID) about you and will inform the user where there might be PID about them on the web and how to remove it.
For example, we will tell only the user that people can find his home address on sites like, etc, etc. and while this information is publically open, we do not display it and we will give guidance on how you could remove yourself from such listings.

The other day, I got a Google alerts that Google had crawled a “people finders type” website and found my home address. While it was an old address, I still found it annoying that Google would show this information on its index. Google takes the stance “hey, it’s on the web, we crawl it, so don’t blame us”. To me, thats not cool. I want to Spock to be better than that. As a user, I would want Spock to: let me know if and when it finds PID about me, make sure to never display that PID on Spock, and give me some guidance on how I can remove that PID from the original site. Now, that would be cool service in my opinion. I would like your opinions as well on what you think. Much of what we do at Spock and the direction we take comes from the community at large. A lot of the things I mentioned above came as recommendations from the community.


  Nathan [07.11.07 10:54 AM]

If you want free spock invites go to

  Kathie Thomas, A Claytons Secretary [07.13.07 03:22 PM]

May I share my experience with Spock? Someone I don't know, who is a member of another networking group I belong to sent me an invitation. All I did was send a reply to this guy saying I was not accepting invitations for any other network at this stage. I did not accept. And then suddenly I start getting emails from Spock. I requested that I be unsubscribed from the list and found an unsubscribe link. Then I got another email asking me to confirm my unsubscribing. What the??? I never once got asked for confirmation for me to be put on the list in the first place but it was damn hard getting off the list. I had to search through their website a few levels till I found a contact email address and sent them an email telling them what I thought. I got a response back apologising but that's how their system works. I reminded them that's not how the spam legislation thing works - people need to be asked if they want to subscribe, not unsubscribe.

  Jay [07.13.07 03:50 PM]

Hi Kathie - On Spock, when someone invites someone else to check out the service, before we send out the invite, we re-confirm with the requestor if they want to invite the particular person.

In the case above, it appears that the requester wanted you to check out Spock, but you did not want to check out Spock. Can you send me the emails that you got from Spock?

In most cases, if someone does not want to subscribe to Spock (after they get the invite), they ignore the invitiation, and we never email that person again.

In this case, it looks like you replied to the email and it went to one of our servers (i am guessing) and it pinged you back. I'm going to see what happened on the engineering side and why you got an un-subscribe email when you are not even in the system.

Sorry for the hassle on your end. This is the first time someone has complained about the un-subscribe email.


  Jay [07.13.07 04:39 PM]

In a recent blog post (, facebook said that they are the number one people search site on the web with 600 million "people" searches being done a month.

Thanks to that post, we have been getting an interesting amount of talk about facebook vs. spock:



It also got us to thinking about the people search space in a new way. We always looked at the space from the standpoint of pure search engines (with 30% of searches being people related). With this Facebook data, we decided to see just how many people searches are done per month on the internet at large

600 million (Facebook)

3.0 billion (MySpace - estimate based on Myspace size vs. Facebook, and the fact that MySpace gets over 40 billion page-views per month!)

2.0 billion (All other social networks like Bebo, Hi-5, LinkedIn, Friendster, etc)

2.4 billion (All search engines like Google, Yahoo, Live, Ask, etc - took 30% of 8 billion searches done per month on all engines)

500 million (from people finder sites like, infousa, etc)

From just this estimate, one could say that there are over 8.5 billion people specific searches being done a month on the internet. This does not even include searches that people may do for people in their email account (searching your address book), or searches done on mobile phone address books, or even searches done on corporate Intranet networks for people within your company.

We find it an interesting way to look at the market. Thoughts? Would like to get your opinion on the market size and how you view it (bigger or smaller).


  Ian Flemington [08.10.07 12:44 AM]

Honestly, I don't know what you're talking about.

  Kristoffer Nilaus Olsen [08.15.07 02:06 AM]

"It will be interesting to see how Spock balances people's desire to manage their own image with the public data the search engine finds. It will also be very interesting to see how successfully they manage spamming of tags, websites associated with people, and other user-contributed data."

I find it extremely disheartening that you are only mentioning the above issue as a parenthesised afterthought. How can you be so zealously enthusiastic about a site, which does a lot of potential harm to individuals right to the privacy of obscurity by aggregating and indexing information entrusted to private websites in good faith? The website coerces people to register on their website by stealing their private information and forcing them to register if they want to retain any bit of control over what is written on the website. This leaves the door open to all kinds of slanderous activity against which the average John Doe will be powerless.

Shame on you Tim O'Reilly for not standing up as a champion of these issues.

  Tim O'Reilly [08.15.07 08:12 AM]

Kristoffer -- "the right to the privacy of obscurity"? Surely you jest. If information on websites is private, the whole web is meaningless. It's public information, and search engines have been making it more so for years.

There is no such right. Nor should there be. Tools for transparency help individuals -- without such tools, only the big companies and governments with data mining staff will know certain things. Read Brin's book, The Transparent Society, or any treatise on computer security, to see why "security by obscurity" is a flawed strategy.

I'm not sure what you mean by Spock "stealing" people's private information. As far as I know, all the information they obtain is public. I have heard some complaints about them spamming people to get them to sign up (that came after I wrote this post.) But they've responded on their site, and in fact, in this forum, about those issues.

As to "coercing people to register so that they can manage their own data", I wouldn't see this as coercion, but as opportunity. I bet a lot of people wish they had the same ability to log in and comment on their credit scores (especially in this age of identity theft) rather than having them locked up in closed databases with limited visibility (for a hefty fee) and no control.

Meanwhile, how do you feel about the wikipedia scanner? (See Wikipedia is only as anonymous as your IP. Does this also violate your desire for a "right of privacy by obscurity"? Or is this just innovative journalism using next generation tools? Where do you draw the line?

  Amaal [08.15.07 08:54 AM]

I agree with Kristoffer in that i agree there are problems with Spock's current information gathering process. The culling of other sites raises some serious privacy issues. After reading an article in Wired and realising data was being taken from several social networks, including one i belonged to. I visited the site not really expecting myself to be there and found of my workplace, age, gender and background, with a link to my profile on a social networking site.

I've always made sure that nothing personal is shown on these sites unless i choose to let someone see my full profile. First of all i'm a university student about to start looking for work next year and secondly, i don't want every detail of my life out for everyone in the world to see.

The main reasons i have for joining first Hi5 and then facebook are to catch up with people i already know and to update my real-life friends with what i'm up to. I've now deleted my profile from that site and i've been forced to claim my profile from Spock.

I'm worried about others who don't know this is happening. I only found out by chance and the information could have been a lot more personal, a lot of friends and people i go to university with put all kinds of information on their profiles and don't know it's been passed on to this database.

There should at least be a note on these sites to let their users know that the information is also available on this database (i'm not sure about other databases) and that limiting their profiles doesn't affect what is passed to Spock.

  VDO Vault [08.16.07 04:45 AM]

Until I was no longer able to log into Spock yesterday (and some 19 year old flunkie who works there voted and changed my profile's name), I was emailing out invitations to my friends who like me like to control to the best of their abilities what information about them is available out there on the web and given our long term experience with being online (most of us have at least 20 years of Internet access) choose not to comingle the personal with the professional.

Most of the people I 'invited' to Spock have LinkedIn profiles (and LinkedIn is very excellent mature and professional in letting their users control what potential employers and business colleagues can see). They were not thrilled to learn that Spock was permitted to scrape LinkedIn for some of the most innocuous of information and repost it to Spock WITHOUT THEIR PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OR PERMISSION.

The real problems with Spock (besides it being buggy as all get out) are that it has scraped the data from a lot of social networking pages at MySpace that have been set to private (at least that is how they currently appear when you follow the link from Spock) that may or may not have initially been set to private at their creation. Once again Spock has done this WITHOUT REGISTERED USERS' PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OR PERMISSION.

Since I personally don't have any pages under my real name at any of these social networking sites, I have not had my personal data compromised, but you can bet I emailed some friends who were utterly ignorant that their private MySpace pages are showing up in Spock searches invitations to retake control of their pages. Every single one of them is upset with Spock, but this is especially true of the women more so than the men.

Finally in my situation, I don't maintain a high visibility online presence under my real name and actively take steps to keep things that way. Pseudonymously though I have a somewhat visible online presence and blog and do what I do (which is basically hobby-related and something I choose not to associate with the other aspects of my life) under a pseudonym which also serves as my 'personal brand name'. Now that I no longer have control of my pseudonym's Spock profile (and I don't know if that is a bug or a deliberate choice by the powers that be at Spock) you can bet that I am angry, that I won't be contributing any more content to Spock (other than if I retake control of my profile I will defend it from malicious voting and mischief etc), and I will be actively encouraging my friends and colleagues to not only retake control of any information about them that has been compromised by Spock, but that they sue Spock and the social networking sites for violating the social networking sites terms of service and for the various invasion of privacy torts.

Because Spock users can vote on *EVERYTHING* including changing a profile's name, you can just bet that all kinds of mischief and maliciousness will happen to potentially millions of people (in the same way that there are wars for control waged over various Wikipedia pages). Now anyone with any kind of public persona or reputation to protect (from the famous like Tim O'Reilly on down to the practically anonymous) will have to devote considerable time energy and resources to keeping his or her Spock page reasonably accurate and not utterly offensive. The imposition that Spock has foisted on people is unbelievable and could cost Spock a lot in a properly designed class action suit.

As an attorney, I can safely say that Spock is an enormous string of lawsuits waiting to happen the way it is currently run and the venture capital could easily be eaten up in one or a few defamation and/or invasion of privacy suits, not to mention breach of contract actions thanks to information it has scraped from the social networking sites.

Finally, the fact that Spock has also done things to present women in a negative light (and yes I am female and yes I am somewhat offended by the way Spock apparently presented itself in its initial launch if the descriptions I read above were true) only confirms my opinion that Spock could also be sued for discrimination by one or more female employees, not to mention what women who find information from their private profiles at various other sites visible on Spock will do with the information provided here about the sexism in Spock's launch presentation.

Frankly Spock also has the problem of having a bunch of very young and potentially less than appropriately sensitive and seasoned at making judgments about what should or should not be on Spock (aka the Spock Cops) also in charge of making decisions about information displayed in Spock my legally educated mind this is a nightmare scenario and will almost certainly buy Spock some legal trouble.

So overall I give a thumbs down to Spock and I don't think I'll be the only one who feels this way.

The Vault

  Tim O'Reilly [08.16.07 08:59 AM]

Amaal and VDO Vault --

What you say is indeed disturbing. If Spock is ignoring privacy settings on social network sites, they are violating both good practice and possibly legal commitments.

I will make sure that Spock is aware of these issues, and see how they respond.

As I said above, people don't have a right to "privacy by obscurity", but they do have a right to privacy. And if something is marked private, any search engine that exposes it is doing something wrong, and you're right, quite likely exposing themselves to lawsuits to boot.

I agree that Spock seems to have a history of insensitivity that may doom them, and this may be one more example.

I still believe that "people search" is a really important area, and one that will prove extremely valuable both to users and to the company that gets it right. But getting it right will require someone to think hard about these issues, and set forth some vigorous "Don't be evil" principles.

  Jay Bhatti [08.16.07 01:11 PM]

The Spock account associated with VDO Vault had been suspended due to very low voting authority.

Our Spock quality control robot automatically suspended the account due to potential spamming behavior. I talked it VDO Vault and after learning and discussing the intent of VDO’s behavior, we have reactivated VDO’s account.

With the claim that we are not respecting privacy setting on social networks, I have to completely disagree.

First, we only crawl public sources of information. We adhere to the robots.txt file of every website we crawl and in many cases give a heads up to larger sites that we are going to crawl them and layout our crawl architecture.

Many social networks (including the one’s mentioned by VDO) have implemented SEO programs to make their user's profiles visible on the top of Google results as well as all other search engines. We do not show any more information then what a Google search would show, and we do not crawl any more information then what any of the other search engines would crawl.

With regards to privacy settings, some pages when we crawled them a few weeks / months ago were public profiles and have since been made private or deleted. When we crawl them again, we remove those results from Spock (and the tags associated with them). Just like what any other search engine would do. Furthermore, like other search engines, users can contact us and notify us of deleted profiles of changes in privacy settings and ask us to take action before our next crawl of that site.

This is consistent with the policy of every major search engine and what we feel is right for the user.

Many users of Spock have thanked us for educating them about privacy on the Internet, and especially about educating them on how to control their privacy on certain social networks and what those networks policy is around being crawled on search engines.

PS - Maia is not a "19 year old flunkie":). She is one of the smartest and hardest working people I have ever met, who decided to take time off from college (where she has a full scholarship), since she is enjoying the start-up and Spock experience so much...

Jay Bhatti

  Rick [09.04.07 06:28 PM]

VDO Vault appears to be overreacting. The issue of identity management is complex. My ideal system would allow 12 different personal identities and one composite. The composite is a wild card, like the Joker, that is formed by a wiki- style consensus. The twelve different personal identities (say one for each sign of the zodiac) shouldn't even be required to be real, upholding the option to be anonymous. I may have an identity in Second Life that is very valuable, or, perhaps I am a lawyer and an engineer, but just as soon not disclose to my engineer friends that I am also a lawyer. The issue of outing would clearly arise, but knowing everything about someone without apparent ethics is a job for our uncontrolled intelligence agencies, not a civil arena. Knowing just enough about someone is context specific and cannot be satisfied by a single profile in a trendy site that will tend to limit disclosure. Anyway, we cannot ignore that flaming is s part of the net to be used for better or worse by. We can't keep running to the courts every time we think we have been defamed.

  willy [09.05.07 12:48 AM]

Really nice huh? well, just wait until a WEB MOB decides to tag your name with the keywords "PATHETHIC LOSER" and upload the picture of two dogs f*cking.

Then see the result mass-mailed and blogged to death until it becomes the #1 hit for "pathetic loser" and is associated with your real name.

Pretty cool then, huh?

  Tim O'Reilly [09.05.07 08:36 AM]

Willy --

Your hypothetical case might well be possible (and I emphasize the hypothetical, because such a search turns up no result now), but how is this different from the practice of "googlebombing," whereby people did exactly the same thing to google?

As Cory Doctorow once said (quoting someone else whose name I can't remember), every complex ecosystem has its parasites.

  Klaus M. [09.07.07 12:08 PM]

I'm living in Germany, where SPOCK was introduced last august. In my hometown Hildesheim OSKAR SCHINDLER (Schindlers List) spent his last years with friends and died the 9th of Oktober 1974 in our local hospital. I present myself under the tag "Oskar Schindler Guide" in Spock. When I introduce the tag "Oskar Schindler" I will be shown together with this excellent german person!
Spock is for me excellent platform to remind on this famous saver of more than 1.200 jewish lives. I also link to the blog (klmmetzger) to discuss questions around Oskar Schindler (see "Oskar-Schindler-Führung" under GOOGLE and YAHOO).

  Rick [09.11.07 09:07 PM]

I did a search on Spock for Aaron Greenspan, a topical guy, it led to linkedin where he had one friend a guy named Tom. Young guy looking over his shoulder in a "clever guy" look. I then tried a search for a friend in Old Saybrook, a hometown on the East Coast, which led to a spiced up profile site with a Myspace link and, you guessed it, a friend "Tom" with his pic with the over the shoulder, clever guy look. The odds are too great. I suspect that the social nets are being salted with plants. Unreal fluff that can be fabricated by machine. Where does that leave us with Truthiness?

  Tim O'Reilly [09.12.07 05:29 AM]

Where does that leave us? The same place Google leaves us, with the last mile reserved for human judgement.

It's actually one of the innovations of web search that we as users have let go of getting the "right" answer -- just close enough.

That's true in human interaction too. Have you ever been conned face to face? A lot of people have.

Cory Doctorow gave a talk once called "Every complex ecosystem has its parasites." Just as we have spam in email, and in web search, we will have it in social networks. And we'll deal with it the same way we deal with many other things in our lives, from weeds to bad bureaucracy, with a mix of patience and effort to sort out the good from the bad.

  Rick [09.25.07 08:14 PM]

How do we sort out the good from the bad? How do we evaluate what is good and what is bad? Chocolate? Used to be bad now is good. Who is the arbiter? The blog leader? The social network owner? I should leave judgment to a 23 year old face book claimant?
We pull weeds, we endure bureaucracy, but defaming? Willy has a point. Do we own anything about our personality? If common tags such as "evil" are bandied about, does this draw religion into the mix? Do we only have one personality to use and risk? While we practice patience, a lot of innocent people are going to be damaged. Is this what we venture for our instantaneous gratification? Who owns our fingerprints? Is this something that should be regulated? Is "do no evil" a realistic corporate mission? Does the government have a right to review all our electronic communications? Is there any standard of morality in an open internet? And who is the "we" that will deal with it. Not that I'm against the wild, wild west. I'm always amazed as I hike in the wilderness that such beauty evolved without man's intervention. Makes our attempts at landscaping kind of pathetic.

  matt [10.14.07 05:02 PM]

I recently had my account at spockdotcom removed because I had lost control over it entirely. I was busy removing alot of my online information when I discovered that I no longer had any power of control over my profile at all. I couldn't vote my own name off of it, nor a picture I had uploaded but wanted removed. I was following the rules needed to get my profile deleted when Maia Bittner came by and voted all my tags up... Maia "tags professionall", it says on her profile... Who cares, I wanted her to leave me alone.

My reasons for wanting my information removed are of a personal nature. But when I found that I could no longer control my own profile (yet Maia Bittner and others could), I became enraged. I emailed not only infoatspockdotcom, but Jay as well... I was furious!

Nothing that a simple delete feature couldn't have helped avoid. I simply do not understand this web 2.0 mentality that control belongs to everyone else but the person in question. I just don't. I don't know why I had no control over my profile, at this point I really don't care. All I know is, I followed Spock's advice and got rid of anything on the internet that could possibly be scraped. This is the result of this venture. I permanently left social networking.

Why am I posting this? Because just today I had to send an email to someone I know on myspace that not only are they on spockdotcom now, but their name is showing there, even though on myspace it's set to not show.

Jay... What was that you said about spock abiding by the robot.txt file? It's not working.

  Andy Wong [10.15.07 09:53 PM]

Spam spam spam. Every new web 2.0 services have to care about spamming. Poor matt. Jay, you cared nothing about spam, and you showed no common sense of Web 2.0.

matt even mentioned that Spock search engine does not care about robot.txt. No common sense of Web 1.0 too. Without respecting robot.txt, the search engine is essentially doing hacking.

  Andy Wong [10.15.07 09:58 PM]

People are self-interest. Why they want to help Spock in making this aspect of their software even better? then Spock IPO or acquisition by a giant? if they can not get something back in return. Nowadays people get used to Web 2.0 web sites harvesting human intelligence through so called community efforts. Wikipedia is fine but Spock is another story.

I just wrote a bit more at

  Tim O'Reilly [10.15.07 10:04 PM]

Andy, before you pile on to Matt's comment, keep in mind that Matt's comment, like Willy's up above, has the ring of a vendetta, or even an urban legend in the making. This bad thing happened -- I can't tell you the details for personal reasons, and there's no way to verify it, but it really happened.

(In Willy's case, I tried to verify the story by doing the search he described, and there were no such results.)

Is it true that Spock doesn't respect robots.txt? I don't know. Spock says they do. But if they don't, it should be easy to find out. All the people who are claiming this need to do is to give enough evidence to verify the story. Here's a profile -- you can see that it's blocked on myspace, yet here's the info in spock, or whatever.

I'm concerned about the accusations if true. And I've made sure Spock is aware of every one of them. But they just don't have the ring of truth to my ear.

So any of you who have bad experiences with Spock of the kind described by Matt or Willy, feel free to send me details. I'll keep them private, but I'll investigate and let people know if I can confirm them.

  matt [10.15.07 11:47 PM]

Since it deals with someone else's profile, I can't tell you what they have it set for. However, one thing is clear, then the search result for the person in question clearly has his full name visible, while on the myspace account his last name is omitted. I'm still waiting to see if the person in question is going to claim his search result so I can know the full details myself. What I do know is that if you set myspace to only show your first name, that's all myspace shows, while it appears in this case spock decides to show the full name.

It's not a "vendeta". It's this: If these people doing this are going to build this search engine conscienceously, then fine, but if not, they are going to have people like my riding their hind ends till they do. Even one slip in privacy is too much. I don't want to post the profiles in the open because the person in question is a close friend. I looked but I can't find a way to contact you directly. I wont contact spock directly myself because I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the whole affair with my own account.

  Lionel [12.17.07 12:19 AM]

Frankly, I'm surprised Tim is into this site. Seems creepy with juvenile delinquents at the helm. How did this venture get funding?

BTW, my spammy experience with them is documented at . Not trying to spam, I just want it known that is sleazy.

  Tim O'Reilly [12.18.07 10:16 AM]

Lionel --

First off, I wrote this blog post about spock before it was in wide release and all the various misuses happened. But it also seems to me that there's something of a witch-hunt about spock. Any time someone tells one of these stories, and you check, the information that was supposedly so bogus is no longer there. Sounds to me like Spock's mechanisms for fixing bad data are, more or less, working.

Searching for "pedophile" for instance, I find people who look like convicted pedophiles (I didn't check the whole list), not random people who were smeared by others.

I'm not sure how this is different from a google search for a travel destination pops up all kinds of hotel aggregators and spammers. People don't say "Google is run by juvenile delinquents." They say, "Darn, can't they get a better handle on this spam?" (And yes, sometimes I wonder if they couldn't do better, if they weren't collecting $$$ from those hotel aggregation sites as advertisers.)

Was it spock itself that spammed you to get you there, or some individual? Any net system is subject to abuse. We see that everywhere.

The question is whether a company makes good faith efforts to correct the problem. Wikipedia, like google and spock, has vandals. Their mechanisms seem pretty good at fixing the problems (though the insider cabal has gotten some knocks recently, showing that the methods are neither as fair nor as transparent as they appear.)

I can't attest for Spock and how good a job they do. I don't spend time on the site or know the management except in passing. I haven't spent lots of time reviewing results to see if there's oddball stuff. But I do know that every time someone like you writes in, I check out the people mentioned (like the guy named in the Wired article) and by the time I look, the data looks fine and the problem has been fixed. That sounds to me like there's some process in place for fixing stuff, or that the community curation works.

I like the idea of people search. It seems important. And I think that spock's idea of harnessing individuals to annotate people searches is very interesting. Does it have bugs? Yes. Is it really working? Not as well as the founders hoped, I think. But I'm not sure it's working as badly as the various critics seem to claim.

The kinds of searches I do, say, for Perl, or synthetic biology, or java -- to find the interesting people -- turn up the people I'd expect (though not always in the order I'd expect), and I often learn more about them than I knew before. That says to me that something is working, and that this site ought to be given a chance to reach its potential.

  mokum von Amsterdam [12.19.07 06:49 AM]

Funny to see this concept going down the drain. I only need to see the people that [unknowingly] invite me to know exactly what this will turn into [or already has turned into]: a nice pile of data for grabs for the one who buys them out when they collapse.

  Idan [12.19.07 09:18 PM]

The value of Spock is much more than just a search engine that consolidates different data sources from raw data to an entity. I agree with most of the things Tim says but for instance with:" Now obviously, we can find out more about Eric with a Google search" I do not agree. When you enter the exciting (and with no control mechanisms potentially dangerous) world of UGC, every piece of information about Eric Schmidt can be added to his profile by the users. The greatness of Google is to be able to collect all the different pieces of information about Eric and using their algorithms to "decide" which the most relevant data sources are. Even Google admits in several occasions that their greatness can be their weakness as well because only people know what is the most relevant piece of information for them. This is exactly the case here, people decide what is relevant and what is not and they are all weighed using a sophisticated "integrity" algorithm that decides which users add relevant and accurate information. Spock is one step closer to present a people search service controlled by the people and assisted by automatic algorithms and crawlers while Google does the opposite. People search is very popular but is still a niche market of the search market, you can't expect "general" search engines to be best of breed in every niche, Spock attempts to tackle the people search need with a very interesting service. Spock's site is a standard "new service" site, stability changes whenever a new big wave of users join, they still have long response times to flagged tags and profiles that need to be merged, but they continuously improve and are very sensitive and responsive to user feedback. While the service is still not a polished bugs-free service, users still enjoy using it, and their vision is such a vision that people want to take part in. This is the magic of the Spock service, it demonstrates a new approach which is, in my view, much closer to what we want to get when searching for people.

As for the complaints I read form bloggers about spam, as a user I can say that I found a bug where each time I imported contacts from a professional network and invited them to Spock, because of the large number of professional contacts the process did not indicate a successful completion. I wanted my professional contacts to get an invitation to Spock as I thought there are great opportunities in such a service so I tried to do this process several times not realizing the system did send invitations to my contacts until the connection timed out because of the big amount of contacts. Once I reported my experience to the Spock team (directly to Jay) and provided all the relevant details, it took them only two days to fix this bug!!! There is no perfection in a "young" service and every entrepreneur who had hands on experience in launching services knows that. I think that the way to evaluate a service is by the priority and urgency they give to privacy and spam. I did not like to get mails (I got 4 mails out of a very big contact list of many thousands of contacts) that said I sent them 3 invitations, but I was very satisfied when two days later I could reply all these mails, tell them I was sorry, give them the technical explanation and promise them they will never get another invitation from me because the system allows only one invitation per profile per contact. Besides that bug, everytime I used Spock to look people or invite people, I had complete control over who I wanted to invite and never was an email sent to someone I did not want to get it. I personally remember early days of Xing which is now a very stable service, this is part of being in the early adapters group. Just like people inviting contacts to professional networks and to social network, they invite people to services they think are interesting enough. No one associates facebook invitations as "facebook spam", the invitations are sent by your contacts and therefore it is them who send you the invitations. Being connected to people, lets them invite you to services, as a user, it is your choice to accept/reject the invitation or let your contacts know you are not interested in any invitations to new services. It is your contacts' responsibility to use your contact details wisely and to avoid situations where they send you irrelevant invitations to services they know are irrelevant to you.

  Kathy Jacobs [12.19.07 10:02 PM]

I have been testing Spock on and off since earlier this summer. I have found it to be a useful way to connect all of my online data in one place. I like that it shows who I am and what I am interested in. I use it as both a starting place for connecting with people and as a place to do research.

I am not a bigwig in any world, with the possible exception of my own household. However, what Spock has let me do is to connect with people from all the different sides of my life (technical and non-technical, on-line and real life, business and personal) and connect them to each other.

I send trust invitations to those I know and trust. I agree to trust those I already know and have a relationship with. I find the interface, both for the search and the information gathering to be clear and understandable. I also find it easier to use and explain than some of the other networks I am on.

I don't use Spock to play games, like I do FaceBook. I don't use Spock to update my status constantly like I do Twitter. I do use Spock to stay connected with people. I find it easier to use and navigate than Linked In. I find it less overwhelming to social networking newbies than other places.

Are there problems with the site? Yes. But every bug I have reported has been addressed in one way or another. The Spock team has always dealt with me in a professional manner from little things like trying to understand how to do something to bigger things like merging duplicate records.

That's just the two cents of someone who uses the site regularly. Your mileage may vary.

  Scott Jamieson [12.20.07 12:25 PM]

I've just read the thread after being added as a 'trusted contact'. My first reaction was to wish my business associate a happy holiday and PS> what is this Spock thing? My second step was to Google and voila, read through this long thread. I find this entire issue very intriguing from many angles - but here's one idea for the collective mental crucible: Society as a whole will benefit as young people, aware of the increasing difficulty in maintaining their privacy, lead their lives with this always in mind. Less likely, but not entirely improbable, we as a society will become MORE forgiving and understanding of the foibles and indiscretions of one another's past. Example A (College Student): perhaps I shouldn't flash that guy with the camera... Example B (Landlord): I'll rent the apartment to the fellow I am able to research on Spock versus the one I can't - even though it would appear that he really enjoys dressing up as a Klingon. An apology to Mr. O'Reilly if this is too far off topic. PS> Happy Holidays!

  Rog [12.20.07 02:40 PM]

Spock is evil spam mongering at it's best. I had 2800 gmail contacts listed on a page. I explicitly clicked "Skip" on the invitation step, and now I'm responding to hordes of people, many of whom I barely know, wondering about this invitation.

Steer clear!

  Rog [12.20.07 07:25 PM]

In fairness to, I received a very rapid followup today and the issue has been largely resolved (at least for any future users going down that path).

Thanks to Jay for the comprehensive attention and recognising the seriousness of the issue.

  Andrey Golub [12.21.07 04:18 PM]

Hello Tim,
Hi to all other contributors to this discussion, Spock supporters and not so much :)

It's a very good article this one of Tim (who had doubts?). I think I would agree and join to all said there, and my experience with Spock is quite big and deep to be able making the strong judgments, let me show you why-

being in touch very intensively with Spock project (as power user/supporter, nothing official) in the last 3 months, by watching its evaluation and seeing how it's getting much mature day by day, communicating / brainstorming with some people from Spock Team, talking with hundreds of people my friends and social (network)-friends, the great networkers of both kinds- social/ crazy-by-poke and those dedicated to business networking, I must admit now I've never met before such a “really 2.0 project”!
And my previous experience is the one of Social Researcher, Social Computing CTO, Community Manager, Marketing 2.0/ PR 2.0, Blogger and etc.

there is “2.0” everywhere on Spock- in the tone of their Blog updates, in personal messages I exchanged with Jay, Maia and the others from the Team, from feed-back that I get being a Supporter/ Evangelist of Spock for the Italian social web space, on the Forums where the Spock Power Users discuss with Spock Team the bugs, new features and any other issues about Spock. And it's all after few years of playing with Social Networking and being already tired to fill my profiles everywhere, invite- re-invite, endorse- re-endorse and so on :)... Spock has given the new wave of emotions to me and lots of other people I know, I network for the years and I recently discussed about Spock.

About the bugs and confusions in the UI/ usability issues: OF COURSE it could not be easy to introduce to the Web 2.0 space such a unique service as “people search engine” (I call it “Who's Who 2.0”), combined with the “search engine 2.0- powered by community service” label!
I can not never understand those people that immediately hate a new software or a web (2.0) service for its imperfect UI, instead of trying to dig what's its core/ logic was planned for. It's a sad that the Web is full of bloggers that pretend to be tagged “tech blogger” or even “geek”, but time to time write a “short review” of a new cutting edge 2.0 service still in beta, as “a bull sh%t” from his point of view, just because he has received a poorly formated invitation, or 2 times repeated invitation, or could not find a button to click to do some action 'coz of an unusual User Interface... C'mon! ;) After the tons of Viagra-best-offer we receive daily, after the viruses running on the Net and your company's exchange servers :), after the web full of complex flash-objects, Java applets and too-complex-AJAX applications that sometimes crash our Browsers? After “perfect” M$ Windows which btw is a payed so must-work-perfectly software but still/forever full of bugs. After all this you won't give a chance to improve to a new BETA Web 2.0 service so much forward-looking as Spock? C'mon!

Well, I clearly understand that the most people on the Web have no idea of what's the software development life-cycle means and how the software prototyping, beta-testing and etc. works for innovative R&D projects. Most people could not know that in the era of Web 2.0 the only way to develop a really cool new service for community use and maintenance- is to involve the same community directly to the product beta-testing and planning (early adopters), thus to co-creation of a new product for the market (innovation through user-involvement). So you may not know and even do not want to think about how difficult it could be to spread the efforts of a Team of R&D Engineers that still polish the core functionality of the system (that is changing every day!) but are constrained and pressed by Product/Project Manager to adopt every time also the User Interface to the new core features! In beta phase it's all extremely difficult even if you manage the best engineers, but you may tell “who cares? it's their problems!”- anyway please be patient when the NEW KIND of product is gonna born!

Spock is not a “just another Social Network” so it can not/must not copy their rules; Spock is not a classical search engine so it could not have just one very easy so perfect Home Page; Spock is not the same as wikipedia so also the wiki-rules won't work here...
Spock is the NEW EXPERIENCE for the Web 2.0! And most of those who criticize Spock (here and anywhere)- have no idea and did not spend their time to study what's the real goal for Spock, what's behind to connect all people's accounts with Social Networks, Web Pages and so on. You don't care that Spock is gonna solve one of the biggest problem of today's Web- the “on-line identity crisis” and also our impossibility to manage the tons of different social networks accessed by us every time through a different web site, with different people in our “trusted network” of each Social Network and so on. Have you ever read the meaning of the Spock spelling= “single point of contact (by) keyword”?

So plz try be patient, it's always better to contribute but if you have nothing to suggest for improvement- why to loose your and their time discussing that a product is “bad-bad-bad”? :)
...unless you don't work or aren't a great fan of the projects like Plaxo, Naymz and similar, that risk to loose their users' attention when Spock ends up with its beta and propose the full functionality to the Web 2.0 world. So if you are an Evangelist for a project “in competition” with Spock or the Spock 2.0 (the next phase of it, if you want to know it- dig the web!)- so it's clear you'll tell “Spock is wrong in everything”. But although in this case I'd suggest to be discussing it in the style of “why A is better than B”, not just “it's bad, it's bad, it's bad!” :(

I am convinced that Spock is gonna be the Next Big Thing for the Web 2.0, probably the Killer Application from what I can intuit about it from all my experience and knowledge about the problems of Social Networkers of 2007 (being myself a years-experienced networker, community leader, marketing 2.0/ pr 2.0 evangelist, social networks services architect and so on, for Web 2.0 and Mobile Web 2.0).
So if you guys watch the other Big-Things like Open API of Facebook, the Android, the iPhone (not just like your “love mark” but also to understand why it's a breakthrough), Nokia's entrance to service providing, Google's entrance to Telecom space, OpenSocial to change the Web 2.0 world, etc- so you guys should not negatively judge such a complex project as Spock just 'coz you do not like it's UI or any other not-significant/ not-core feature (that's a prototype proposed for YOU to trial and give a feed-back for improvement!)

Try to be constructive and creative! it's not enough to criticize and launch at or fight some new trends or community (open) services. If you have a problem or found a bug on Spock- try to contact its creators and you'll see those are happy to listen to you and to improve the system! If you have a suggestion for the future services or a really cool feature for Spock- participate with another “Power Users” in the open discussions of the Spock Power Users group on Google. here-

If you are the great fan of Spock and want to help to spread it- come and meet another Power Users, Fans and Evangelists on the Facebook Group dedicated to Spock. here-

but if you just envy all not-perfect software, or too-modern/ not-usual for you, or too-much-2.0 so from your point of view “not-controllable so the chaos”- so it's your problem :) 'coz the World is not gonna wait for you! Just stay with the classical TV-shows, Web 1.0 (enjoy HTML and plain-text e-mails), and not forget to buy for yourself a good Italian pizza for the evening show :)
Of course I am Just Kidding, I hope nobody here could envy Web 2.0 or innovation or community/ open projects!

For any doubts and clarifications:
Andrey Golub- a Web 2.0, LinkedIn and Spock Evangelist in Italy

  Ben Kamprath [12.28.07 02:10 PM]

I recently faced a bit of trouble from an individual whom I invited to Spock who was displeased with being listed on their site. This individual was confused about Spock and threatened legal action against me for creating a "fake profile" on the website. I contacted Jay Bhatti from Spock and explained to him the legal threat I had received and a phone call I had with the local police regarding the affair. Jay responded that same day and was extremely helpful in resolving the situation. He and Spock's legal counsel put together a response to the concerned individuals that helped to diffuse the situation but that also made very clear that my actions were far from illegal. I was quite impressed at the support I received from Jay, and the speed at which things were remedied. It is clear to me that Spock is prepared to resolve conflicts or concerns that may arise as a result of their site, and that they are a very responsive company. The threat of legal action was a bit disconcerting, and it was great to know that the Spock team was ready to assist one of their members in clearing up a big misunderstanding.

Props to Spock for a slick new community and a very on-point support team.

  pstring [05.20.08 04:03 PM]

Anything positive about comes from them or the people they pay. They are bogus spammers, pimple-faced punks.

  mike smith [06.13.08 12:02 AM]

Some titles seems to be anoy quick to understand.If it is not the viewrs skips to other post.The title enables to look at the post with efficient of viewing.The ad posters make sure to put a title.Such that the viewer access your post without skiping.
mike smith

There are a lot of sites out there showing book video. BookVideoTV, BookTelevision and of course CSPAN, but I like how and Reader's Entertainment TV have specific genre channels and original shows. There's just more to see and I can be specific in what genre I'm interested in. Anyone else watch online tv?

Reader's Entertainment

Post A Comment:

 (please be patient, comments may take awhile to post)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.