Blog location has changed!

March 27, 2008

Hey! If you’re still trying to access the Youlicit blog, we’ve moved over to http://blog.youlicit.com/.

So update your bookmarks and head on over to our new site! And apologies for any inconveniences.

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Youlicit – Your Personal Discovery Engine!

February 26, 2008

As we release a new & updated version of the product, the biggest change you will notice is a shift in focus from being an item-based recommendation engine (giving you sites that others have liked based on the site you are on) to a more personalized discovery engine (providing you with relevant and compelling content based on your interest at any given time). We are confident that this is taking Youlicit one step closer towards our goal of connecting users to the information they care about in the most effortless manner.

Among the many improvements and changes included in this release, what I would like to highlight here is the fact that a toolbar download is no longer required to receive Youlicit’s personalized recommedations! You can now link your Youlicit account to your Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, or other social bookmarking account and your Youlicit profile will automatically update itself as you use your other accounts. Your youlicit recommendations can now be accessed in many different forms:

  • as an RSS feed that can be seen from your RSS reader
  • on your Youlicit page (as it has been traditionally)
  • with a “Discover!” bookmarklet that can be dragged onto your browser
  • right on your blog using the Youlicit blog widget
  • your Facebook profile (as we improve and release an updated Facebook app)

This seemless interaction allows users to receive Youlicit’s recommendations without any additional download or change in behavior. By continuing to use your third party web services of choice, you can receive relevant and compelling web content where your normally go to get their information.

Users who already have the toolbar or don’t have accounts with any of the services supported, can still download and use the Firefox extension and continue to receive and recommend great websites.

We urge you to check out the new site and service and as always welcome any feedback you have.


Youlicit – New & Improved! (once again)

December 18, 2007

So what’s been keeping the Youlicit Team busy until wee hours in the morning for the past few weeks? We’ve been preoccupied with releasing a new version of the website based on much of the feedback we’ve received from you.

The first change you will notice is the new look we’ve given the site. The main goal was to help you find other Youlicit users more easily and improve the level of interaction between you and them. You can now find similar users, users interested in certain topics and users desperately trying to be your friends and keep up with what they are recommending at all times.

The second major change was overhauling our infrastructure to provide you with a faster and more responsive level of service. You no longer have to endure painful seconds of watching the little icon on the top right corner of your browser churn away as your favorite recommendations are now being served up to you faster than you can say “Hey Mom! Check out this new site I found!”.

These are just some of the many surprises we have in store so stay tuned! As always, we’re aching to hear from you, so leave some love.


Search and Social Networking

November 5, 2007

With Hakia releasing a new social networking feature on their search engine (see entry in Read/Write Web) and Google sponsoring OpenSocial, clear strides are being made to integrate the search and social networking spaces. To many, including us, this almost begs the exclamation “About time!”

Social networking, for the most part, has been built around imitating (and hopefully positively effecting) the physical relationships we already have in the real world (think LinkedIn, Friendster, Facebook). Only very recently has progress being made in linking people based on their interests (think StumbleUpon to a degree and third party applications like uPlayMe, etc) and now with the recent announcement of Google’s OpenSocial we expect this to accelerate the development of a richer, more meaningful social networking experience. There is still significant work that needs to be done in terms of connecting us to people we ought to be connected to. This is why we at Youlicit are excited about the “Meet Others” feature on Hakia which is being called a “peer-to-peer transactional platform” and are further building upon this concept at Youlicit.

Richard McManus poses an almost rhetorical question on his blog entry asking if search and social networking go together. We believe that the purpose of a search tool is to help you find the information you need with the least effort possible (see Relevance/Effort metric). To this end, if there is someone who has, and is willing to share, the information or expertise you are looking for, then what better medium to connect you to him than that in which you already go to find your information. Granted there is a spectrum of modes that different users fall into depending on their personality types (and time constraints) ranging from solitary to the very social (as pointed out by Charles Knight in his blog). In the end everyone can and wants to benefit from accessing the information (and people) they need as quickly as possible. This is why we are including “Related Users” for every query you perform on Youlicit (this feature is soon to come and can currently be seen on your Personalized Recommendations and User pages). We are using this as a base to build out a social networking aspect to our website recommendation service.

As you read this, we are working hard to better determine what users are interested in as well as allow users to share with others what they are recommending on a certain topic. The end goal is to become an enabler of collaboration between users to better facilitate the discovery and sharing of information. Building a social network based on your real world relationships with people you already know can help improve and extract more value out of those relationships but isn’t the most effective means to introduce you to other people you ought to know. A higher value social network connects you to people who share your interests and can help you not only discover the information you need quicker but ultimately increase your productivity and introduce you to more “meaningful” resources in your area of interest (see Expert Systems entry).

This is obviously not an easy feat to accomplish (otherwise it would have already been done!) and there are many hurdles that need to be crossed. How do you learn a user’s interests while safeguarding and protecting his right to privacy? How do you maintain the credibility and quality of such a “transactional platform” (i.e. how do you prevent unwanted information such as spam from diluting the quality of the service)? How do you enable varying levels of collaboration (from direct synchronous communication to asynchronous communication) with minimal distraction and effort from users? How, if possible, do you most optimally monetize such a transactional platform that will incentivize further collaboration?

The creation of such a platform inherently requires the cooperation of users (and of course technology) to make it all happen but we are confident that this is possible and have no doubt that a need for such a platform exists and must be met. As we develop and roll out this platform, we would love to hear your thoughts on this matter and get your feedback on what you would like to see on such a platform.


Youlicit – Just keeps getting better!

September 12, 2007

As some of you may have already noticed, we gave our front page an overhaul. Part of the reasoning for this was that the original look was too “Google-y” and we wanted to try and steer away from coming off as a traditional search engine. We are not a traditional search engine. Hence the new look was created to help show you guys at a glance our value prop, how we work and why you should care.

In addition to this, we completely re-did our back end to make it work a couple of orders of magnitude faster!! You can now enjoy Youlicit’s great results faster than you can say “Wow!”. (Some of our older user’s may notice that we arent supporting tagged-based searching – we are still upgrading that functionality to the new technology and should have that back up for you soon).

We have also released a new and updated toolbar! If you still have the older version of the toolbar, please update it with the new release. Some of the functionality includes: Light up features to denote that there are recommendations for the given site you are on, an updated “Recommend” or A-Ok button that lights up to denote that you have recommended the site you are on.

Also, Digg users, now you can upload your recently dugg sites into Youlicit to jump start your experience here – get personalized recommendations on them, a user profile and find users with similar interests! Just navigate to your settings page (requires registration) and upload away!

As always, we love to hear from you so please feel free to provide us feedback, criticism or love (and don’t hold back).

– The Youlicit Team


Youlicit Updated!

August 9, 2007

As you can probably tell from the lack of activity on the blog, we have been busy the last few weeks trying to put in a few updates based on recommendations we received from you guys as well as things we thought would help improve your overall experience. Here are a few of the big ones:

Tag based recommendations: Now you can access Youlicit’s recommendations using tags (or tag combinations) as well as the traditional way via URL’s. The idea here was to allow for easy access to the recommendations if you had a general topic in mind but not necessarily a website URL.

Product recommendations: We have added a new feature that will display any relevant products (for now it is restricted to DVD’s and CD’s) on Amazon related to the website you are querying. For some examples check out the recommendations for these sites –

Import your Bookmarks from Del.icio.us: To help kickstart your experience on Youlicit and we have added an “Import From Del.icio.us” utility that will save your bookmarks on Youlicit and allow you view personalized recommendations based on those bookmarked sites, see related websites and view your interest cloud based on those imported sites.

Updated Toolbar (Coming Soon): As you may have noticed we’ve updated our icons on the website and we are in the process of releasing a newer version of the toolbar with a much better look and additional features. Check back shortly to see when this is launched.


Youlicit’s New Look!

July 5, 2007

After getting a lot of excellent feedback from you guys, we decided to give our entire site a make-over. The goal was to make it as easy to use and intuitive as possible. After many internal iterations and endless hours debating on even the most minute of details such as the position of a word, we feel we have succeeded in improving the look and feel of the site.

We hope that this is another small step towards improving your overall experience on Youlicit and we would love get your feedback on it.