A couple of weeks ago I saw Blekko, the as yet unlaunced search startup from Rich Skrenta (formerly of Topix and other significant places). Yesterday TechCrunch made an early positive assessment of the site after taking a look:
“Stunningly cool.” I direct messaged Skrenta on Twitter this morning: your success is assured. Seriously, that’s a pretty strong endorsement from the most visible general tech blog in the market.
In some ways, Blekko can be said to be the “anti-Bing.” Hate the name Blekko? They don’t care; they like it.
While Microsoft’s new Bing (which I like BTW) features a lush interface and lots of high-end functionality, Blekko is stripped down and spartan — but in a different way than Google is. I won’t offer a review of Blekko, which would be premature because the site won’t launch until later this year. But I will say that Skrenta and Mike Markson, among others behind Blekko, are being smart and understand well who their audience is. They’re not aspiring to the kind of broad audience appeal that Bing is going after. And that will help them with the press and to build their following.
As I said in my SEL piece comparing Bing and Google I don’t yet know how audiences will respond to Bing and whether it will gain traction over time. But my intuition is that Blekko will quickly “imprint” on its intended audience and that they will embrace the search engine in earnest.
We’ll see if I’m right.