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internet-networking in Internet & Networking Channel,
Written by: Miguel Esquirol on Feb 3 2011, 4:10pm

Wajam: Interview

Wajam is a really interesting tool I've been beta testing for a couple of weeks. Wajam adds a long-time coming social layer to your search experience. Google top results will be completed with links found on your Twitter, Facebook and Delicious bookmarks. So you'll actually search not only on Google, but on the links your contacts and you posted online.

Wajam is a project based in Montreal, that was chosen as one of the 5 start-ups to pitch at Start-up Camp last month.

I talked with them about their project in order to know a little bit more about Wajam.

If anybody wants to try Wajam, just message me and I will send an invite to try it.

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How did Wajam start?

Wajam started out of the Bolidea lab. We were frustrated that we couldn’t easily find the best online content that our friends had already discovered. A few of us in the office were spending time looking for the same information and we figured there had to be a better way, so we built the tool that we wished already existed. So now when we search with Wajam we can find relevant links that our friends have tweeted or posted on Facebook, sometimes they’re links that were posted a year ago and there’s no other way to go back in your timeline to find that content again.

Is this just an add-on for your browser or something else?

Yes, Wajam is a browser extension that works with Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari. After installing the Wajam extension and linking your social network accounts like Twitter, Facebook, and Delicious you can start to find links that you and your friends have posted when you search in Google and Bing.

How does the social aspect improve your search?

You friend and follow people you have things in common with, so there’s a really good chance they’re posting content that would be interesting to you. So now if you search for something general like “pitch” you get results that are relevant to you - say pitching a start-up - rather than a Wikipedia article about musical pitch. Plus with the proliferation of content farm articles, your friends act like a quality filter for your search results.  

How do you see the future of the project once is out of beta?

In the future Wajam will help you search everywhere on the web, so you’ll find results from your friends when you’re searching Facebook, Twitter, or even shopping on Amazon.

Have you heard that Delicious is going to disappear? Are there other similar sources you plan to add to Wajam?

We heard about Delicious being in danger of shutting down, although it still remains to be seen what will happen we’re happy to support Delicious bookmarks so people don’t lose all the bookmarks they’ve been saving all this time. We will definitely be adding more sources to Wajam moving forward, based on what our users are requesting.

How is the market for this kind of service in Montreal, have you found more problems or advantages living in the city?

We love this city and we’ve gotten a lot of support from Montrealers who are interested in what we’re doing. Right now our focus is to get more people trying Wajam so we can get feedback and improve the service, so in that sense the disadvantage of being in Montreal is that you have a smaller pool of early adopters than you do in the Valley, but we really can’t complain. We were chosen as one of the 5 start-ups to pitch at Start-up Camp last month and the feedback we got from that event was amazing.

What is the plan to generate revenue for Wajam?

From time to time we’ll show sponsored results within Wajam results, and we’ll also give users the option of upgrading to a Pro account that will let them access more content from their friends, without any ads.

Could you tell us something about how Wajam is working with Bolidea?

Bolidea is a startup lab and accelerator, and Wajam is one of the startups that were born out of that lab. As part of Bolidea we have access to shared resources, mentorship, and we work alongside other start-ups, which helps to broaden our team’s perspective.