You want to know what's hot right now on social media? Just ask OneRiot, a Boulder-based tech company aiming to offer a new way to search the web. As opposed to Google, which tries to provide the authoritative result to any search query, OneRiot is more interested in providing the "buzz" result -- the stuff that people are blogging, tweeting and Digg-ing right now. If you'll permit me an analogy, it's the difference between asking the teacher for the answer to a question (Google) and asking the kids on the playground (OneRiot).
It's an interesting niche and, as the Riot squad points out on its website, one that traditional search engines don't service well at all. The process works by crawling the links that people are tweeting, Digging and sharing via other social media and indexing them immediately. The results for any given search reflect what's hot at the moment -- the same search 24 hours apart is likely to give wildly different results. Based on my exhaustive research (i.e., playing around with it intermittently this morning), OneRiot is pretty cool, but unlikely to unseat Google as the king of search anytime soon -- or ever. In practice, it seems like a great way of pinpointing the newest results on a hot topic (like, say today's just-announced acquisition of Marvel by Disney), but terrible at finding the kind of day-to-day basics that Google excels at providing. Still, the technology offers some real utility now and promise for the future as a great way to supplement Google when looking for the new hotness.
I'm not the only one that thinks so, either. According to a news release on the site, the company just secured $7 million in new funding. That'll power plenty of buzz results, all right.