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Friends Beat Algorithms
Stone got specific about how Jelly works: “Say you’re walking along and you spot something unusual. You want to know what it is so you launch Jelly, take a picture, circle it with your finger, and type, ‘What’s this?’ That query is submitted to some people in your network who also have Jelly. Jelly notifies you when you have answers,” he explained.
“No matter how sophisticated our algorithms become, they are still no match for the experience, inventiveness, and creativity of the human mind. Jelly is a new way to search and something more -- it makes helping other people easy and fun.”
Doomed To Fail?
We caught up with Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, to get his take on the new concept. He characterizes Jelly as “very interesting," but with a caveat about its potential for success.
Almost without exception, he said, the Q&A or social search sites that have existed or still exist to varying degrees have been failures.
“For example, Facebook Questions failed. Quora is essentially stalled. Yahoo Answers is overripe. Google Answers failed. The list goes on. What might make Jelly different and give it a shot at success is its focus on mobile and the use of images as a central feature of the experience,” Sterling said.
“In addition, the fact that it tries to leverage your existing social network may help it build scale more rapidly. Despite this interesting approach," he added, "it will still be a tough challenge for Jelly to build a large audience and regular usage."