New internet start up – Yasni believes it has identified a viable niche in the search market – people. Yasni collects all publicly available information related to the search term i.e. an individual’s name, by spidering web sites, social and business networking profiles such as Facebook and Linked In, forums, blogs, video content and news sites. It then bundles all this data into a well presented package on Yasni’s results page, dividing the results into sections of copy with the sources mentioned, images, suggested search and related search options.
The chief executive and co-founder Steffen Ruehl describes Yasni as “a free people search engine that gathers and collates all the public information available about an individual from across the web and places it on one easy-to-use site.” This is great, now we have an alternative to Wikipedia for answering all life’s important questions like, ‘what else has he been in?’
In fairness, for what is essentially another aggregator site it does perform well. Both Charlie Brooker and Hunter S Thompson searches came back with all relevant results. And there are a number of ways you can refine your search so inputting John Smith isn’t completely useless and although the information is presented in an accessible way it could do with a little intuitive funk-up.
Yasni was born out of a shared feeling that the de facto search engines weren’t adept enough to deliver the best results when searching for people online. Steffen Ruehl believes, ” Yasni finds much more people-related information than common search engines. In contrast to search engines like Yahoo or Google, Yasni scours public details from the ‘deep web’ in real time, including hundreds of sources not necessarily considered relevant by major search engines.”
The figures support his statement to the Guardian too, with over 8 million visitors each month and approximately 300,000 registered users after only launching the beta version of Yasni in October 2007, they’re not doing badly. But what are your thoughts? Do we need niche search engines such as Yasni? Or is it a little too Big Brother for you?