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.