A new, top secret, “people-powered” search engine named Slangwho — being built in New York — appears to finally be launching in a few weeks.
We’ve been hearing buzz about Slangwho for months. Yet no one seems to know what it is, who’s funding it, etc. Some new teaser videos suggest the site, which has been in beta testing for a while, is getting close to launching to the public — specifically, May 14.
Slangwho is differentiating itself as “powered by the people,” and these videos hit on that point, suggesting that search results from big-time search engines like Google and Bing aren’t tailored enough to the individual user. The videos’ description reads, “These videos are a commentary on the ‘black box’ algorithms used by most search engines to determine search results. Slangwho’s search results are determined by users…not by a box.”
Slangwho’s search results are determined by user reviews in comments, we understand. But we aren’t quite sure how that works yet.
We got in touch with Slangwho’s chief marketing officer Sasha A. Tcherevkoff, who is well known in some New York circles as one of the owners behind Pop Burger, the hip burger joint in the Meatpacking District, across the street from Google’s New York office. Sasha is mum on what Slangwho is and does, but he tells us these videos are directed by Italian director and producer Aaron Chiesa and are called “Black Box Series.”
He also filled us in on who a few more of his partners in Slangwho are: CEO John Shriber and CTO Roman Zaks.
A quick search reveals that Shriber and Zaks are principals at One-Up Ventures, “a privately held investment firm with an opportunistic ‘hybrid’ investment approach.” The guys also teamed up several years ago to launch Roomster.com, a roommate finder. But that’s all we could quickly find.
Either way, sounds interesting and ambitious, but also very challenging. We won’t praise or trash the site until we’ve seen it, but there is a reason that Google has been able to grow and maintain its huge share of the search market — people are generally pretty happy with how it works. And anything “powered by the people” is tough to scale.
Still, there’s always room for new ideas, and we look forward to learning more about Slangwho.
Here are those videos via Vimeo: