AntStorm Launches Public Beta Site; First to Converge Social Bookmarking and Human-Powered Search

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Company Distributes Ten Percent of Revenue to Charities Chosen by Users as Part of Innovative Incentive System

Building a terrific human-powered search engine is not so much a technology challenge as it is a matter of aligning the right authoring model, incentive system and content architecture, and combining them into a compelling user experience

AntStorm Corporation announced today the launch of the company as well as the public beta of its website - http://www.antstorm.com. AntStorm is the first to converge social bookmarking and a human-powered search engine into a single, cohesive website. The company will distribute ten percent of its revenues to any of about 1.5 million charitable organizations chosen by users of the website.

"Building a terrific human-powered search engine is not so much a technology challenge as it is a matter of aligning the right authoring model, incentive system and content architecture, and combining them into a compelling user experience," said David Wilson, president and co-founder of AntStorm. "The elegant aspect of our approach is that the search engine content is a natural byproduct of social bookmarking activities that are compelling and rewarding to users in and of themselves."

Wilson continued: "Our expectation is that it will take three to five years to build a sufficient critical mass of content to become a legitimate human-powered search engine. But during that time, our users will find that our unique social bookmarking services enable them to help themselves, help others and help their favorite charities - all while discovering and accessing resources on the Web about their favorite topics in new and exciting ways."

Key Features of AntStorm.com

Social Bookmarking
Social bookmarking on AntStorm is significantly different than other bookmarking services because it's been designed with the goal of naturally producing the content for a human-powered search engine. This means that the process and user experience is designed to identify and annotate the very best links about any given topic - not to stockpile every link about that topic. AntStorm users can:

  •     Import browser bookmarks into the AntStorm site and access them anywhere anytime from any computer.
  •     Use a toolbar to access and add to their bookmarks while searching and browsing the Web.
  •     Add bookmarks to both AntStorm and Delicious with a single button click to benefit from both services.
  •     Use a Web drag-and-drop interface to organize and annotate the best bookmarks on their favorite topics.
  •     Connect with others who share their interests in specific topics.
  •     Collaboratively find, recommend, annotate, and vote on the best links for a specific topic via a novel user experience unlike any other on the Web today.

Human-Powered Search
The social bookmarking activities on AntStorm are designed to identify, group and annotate only the very best links about a given topic, naturally producing a human-crafted search result for that topic. AntStorm search results are different both from today's leading search engines and from emerging human-powered search engines because:

  •     AntStorm users apply human intelligence to find and recommend the very best links to resources on a topic, while removing links to resources that are irrelevant, poor quality, outdated, spam, duplicates, etc.
  •     The results pages on AntStorm are produced collaboratively by a group of users who share a strong and enduring interest in a specific topic. These users usually spend months or years exploring, finding and evaluating Web resources on the specific topics that interest them. This produces search results that are higher quality, more diverse, and more difficult to find.
  •     The results pages on AntStorm are maintained continually over an extended period of time through the natural interactions of the group, so the results are effectively kept up-to-date.
  •     AntStorm users are not paid to produce the search engine content, minimizing the many abuse problems that arise when money is involved, while simultaneously producing higher quality content.

Charitable Giving
AntStorm users benefit personally by participating in the social bookmarking process. AntStorm users help others find better information faster via the human-powered search engine created from social bookmarking activities. And AntStorm users help charities make our world a better place by distributing ten percent of AntStorm's revenue to any of about 1.5 million charities.

AntStorm embraces the emerging social entrepreneurship business model as an organization that effectively blends the two goals of making a profit and bringing about positive social change. This model provides a platform for entrepreneurs in the private sector to leverage professional capabilities and resources both for the benefit of society and for personal benefit.

The AntStorm public beta begins on September 2, 2008. To sign up or learn more, visit http://www.antstorm.com.

About AntStorm
AntStorm Corporation is the first to converge social bookmarking and a human-powered search engine into a single, cohesive website, user experience and business model. In addition, AntStorm is an example of the growing trend toward social entrepreneurship, with the company distributing ten percent of its revenue to any of about 1.5 million charitable organizations chosen by the users of its website. AntStorm Corporation is a private company based in Austin, Texas.

*AntStorm(tm) is a trademark of AntStorm Corporation. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

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Andy Prince
AntStorm
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