TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Software to Look for Experts Among Your Friends

Software to Look for Experts Among Your Friends

Monty Solomon (
Tue, 30 May 2006 00:46:13 -0400

The New York Times

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 27 - For anyone who has hesitated before making
a purchase on a Web site, uncertain which brand is preferable, Tacit
Software is preparing to introduce an online service that will make it
simple to pick the brains of friends and colleagues for opinions and

Tacit plans to start testing the service, called Illumio, next month.
The service allows the user to mine the data on the computers of
friends, business associates and others with shared interests on any

However, Illumio is not a search engine, like Google or Yahoo. The
system works by transparently distributing a request for information
on questions like "Who knows John Smith?" and "Are Nikon digital
cameras better than Olympus?" to the computers in a network of users.
The questions can then be answered locally based on a novel reverse
auction system that Illumio uses to determine who the experts are.

The system is intended to extend a growing category of software that
helps groups collaborate and work together more efficiently. Efforts
to create systems that augment the intellectual power of work groups
go back to the earliest days of computing technology development. The
widespread availability of networks and Web browsers, however, has
made such technologies far more accessible in recent years.

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