Vast Launches


Paul Kedrosky has an indepth, and well written review of Vast, a new start-up by Naval Ravikant, formerly of Epinions. Essentially Vast is a vertical search engine for classifieds, and instead of just trying to do their own portal play, the company is letting other micro-sites use its API and do interesting things with its index. Sort like Alexa. Except, Vast is very generous in its data usage.

Now, big used to be cool, of course. But size envy in search is kinda over, isn’t it? I mean, does anyone really pay attention anymore to who has the biggest search set? Not really. It’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it that counts. …. It is a kind of classifieds search broadcast to anyone who wants to play receiver and build other content or tools on top.

Like Paul, I am not sure how many people will want this information to use on their sites, or build mash-ups. What is the economic proposition for those who do the mash-up? Those answers, after I meet with Naval. I owe him an email reply anyway.


Naval Ravikant

Eduard, RSS feeds are coming real soon, but keep in mind that Vast is less a destination site than a provider of data to other sites (see the REST API)


I checked out Vast and I was surprised to see they they don’t have RSS feeds. Edgeio and Craigslist both allow you to get an RSS feed for each search result and this is what I look for when I go to a classifieds site. I want to be able to define my search and grab an RSS feed for the results. In my opinion, RSS is a must have feature on any classifieds site.

Nik Cubrilovic

The economic proposition is that they can provide additional services to their existing customers, or build a whole search engine around Vast data (something the other search guys don’t want you to do). I expect that within months we will see Vast with dozens of verticals, and each of these localised around the world with user implementations, and other specialist implementations of the data.

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