Tickle Searches People

Tickle, the matchmaking/social networking site, announced today a new "people search" feature that lets you find people based on keyword search. The site uses the plethora of data it has on its 18 million registered users to correlate people to search terms. I spoke to CEO James Currier yesterday, and…

tickle_logo_newTickle, the matchmaking/social networking site, announced today a new “people search” feature that lets you find people based on keyword search. The site uses the plethora of data it has on its 18 million registered users to correlate people to search terms. I spoke to CEO James Currier yesterday, and tried out the service a bit to boot. It’s a neat idea, but a bit … odd to see people matched to terms. Take a gander at a search result for “mortgage” for example. And here’s what “lawyer” looks like with “everything” chosen – web, people, and sponsored results.

The search works much better if you are a member, Currier said. The engine will then search for folks based on your search term, then correlate stuff like number of degrees away, similar interests, and even scores on the hundreds of tests Tickle makes available to its members. I can imagine this to be a pretty cool way to find, say, a mechanic or a lawyer, if you’re a member and have a pretty robust social network.

I think this points in interesting directions.

Full release in extended entry….

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Media Contacts:
Amy Bessette/Diane Schreiber Jennifer Hwang
Spark PR Tickle Inc.
415.962-8200 x233/231 415.946.5042
amy@sparkpr.com/diane@sparkpr.com jhwang@tickleinc.com

Tickle Introduces People Search
Adds human aspect to make Internet search more personalized and valuable

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Apr. 22, 2004 – Tickle Inc. (www.tickle.com ) today announced the launch of Tickle People Search, the first Internet search service that not only gives you relevant web results but also links you to people who are experts or interested in what you’re searching for. By taking into account who you are and what you’re interested in Tickle’s innovative People Search technology brings back people results ranked by relevance to you.

“Before the Internet, people would research most topics by asking others for advice and information,” said James Currier, CEO of Tickle Inc. “The advent of Web search in the 1990’s taught us to query text data pages instead of talking with each other. Tickle People Search brings online search full circle, back to letting us find the right people to talk to.”

In a survey of 2500 individuals, the Tickle Research Group found that 70 percent of people still rely on both independent research as well as personal referrals from someone they trust before making most purchasing decisions. By bringing people into the search results, Tickle is enhancing the overall online search experience, adding a human touch to an otherwise impersonal process. For example, if your friend Samantha wants to refinance her house and searches for “mortgage” on Tickle People Search, she will get web links for mortgage information, plus a list of people she knows – or people who know people she knows – who have expertise in mortgages. She can then contact them directly for advice, making it much easier and more personal for her to find the information she needs.

Be found when you want to be found
Tickle’s People Search results are pulled from over 2 million profiles in the Tickle Social Network. Growing virally at an average rate of 15,000 members per day, the Tickle Social Network is the world’s second largest social networking service, in part because it features the deepest, most comprehensive user profiles available on the web. Anyone can create a profile within the Tickle social networking system simply by signing up for a free Tickle membership.

Tickle members who have a knowledge base they want to share with others can simply add relevant information into their profiles so they can be found by individuals looking for their specific capabilities. For example, a mortgage broker’s profile might include details about her background, her experience, her employer and more – making it easier for people who need mortgage information to find and contact her. Tickle People Search results will only display details that individuals want to share with others – information people want to keep private will not be included.

Tickle People Search – find the people who can help you
Led by PhDs and experts in social science and psychology, the Tickle Research Group has conducted years of research in human interaction and behavior. By incorporating this research, Tickle has pioneered a proprietary people search algorithm to sort and rank people results by relevance to the person doing the search. Tickle’s ranking algorithm evaluates factors such as relationship proximity, background and interests to produce personalized people search results that are meaningful and useful to the individual searcher. Tickle People Search also incorporates web results from the Teoma search engine and Ask Jeeves’ sponsored links.

“Tickle has always believed that the Internet is fundamentally about people, not just data,” added Currier. “Over the last five years, we have built our science and expertise in optimizing the structure and content of a person’s profile as well as in developing algorithms that allows us to rank and match individuals in terms of relevance to each other.”

Anyone can start using Tickle People Search today at http://search.tickle.com . If someone doing a search is not a Tickle member or not logged into Tickle’s social network, he or she will only receive people results of individuals who have included the search word within a completely public area of their profile.

For convenient access to Tickle People Search and all of Tickle’s popular online services, download the Tickle browser bar from the bottom of the Tickle homepage.

About Tickle
Tickle Inc. is a leading diversified digital media company, focused on delivering interpersonal content and services (self-discovery, matchmaking, career and social networking) to more than 18 million active members worldwide. Founded in 1999 as Emode, Tickle is a place where people can use science to make deep, meaningful connections, understand themselves and others, and manage their personal and professional relationships in a way that is fun and enjoyable. More than 50 million people have answered over 6 billion questions at Tickle.com, making the company the online leader in self-assessment testing. Ranked as one of the top 50 most visited web sites by comScore Media Metrix, Tickle is distinguished by a strong foundation in scientific research, a proven commitment to member privacy, and many years of customer satisfaction and financial stability. Tickle is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. and can be found at http://www.tickle.com .

Julie Keslik
Director, Sparkpr
87 McLea Court
San Francisco, CA 94013
Phone: 415-321-1877
Cell: 612-802-8629
Email: julie@sparkpr.com

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