Weedle awarded €200,000 to define future of search

1 Sep 2010

Social media player Weedle and UCD scientists have been awarded a €200,000 innovation award to combine their expertise to enhance online search and connect technology.

With users in more than 60 countries after just six months, Weedle.com, the Irish-based social media company, is fast establishing its online presence as ‘The World’s Trusted Network of People with Skills. They’ve even trademarked it!

It is a free web service where people can showcase their skills as part of a trusted network. The unique advantage of the Weedle platform is that it combines the trusted connections of online social networking with a search for specific skills.

Future Human

In June, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Batt O’Keeffe revealed Weedle is to create 50 new jobs as it pursues its mission.

“The UCD scientists based at CLARITY are leading experts in web search and information discovery systems which help distill vast quantities of online information into timely and accurate search results for users,” says Weedle co-founder and CEO Iain Mac Donald.

“Through this R&D partnership we aim to improve the relevance and quality of Weedle’s search results generated for our users. Ultimately, this will lead to higher user satisfaction and enable Weedle to increase its pace of growth in countries around the world.”

Why Weedle is more than just a search

According to Prof Barry Smyth, director of CLARITY, the Weedle platform is more than simply a way of searching for someone with a particular set of skills.

“Weedle leverages all the trusted connections of online social networking. Using Weedle, you can instantly find someone with very specific skills who also shares a connection with you – perhaps they went to the same school or university, share your friends or acquaintances, or have some common interests,” he says.

“People like to do business with people they know or who share other connections with them. This is the key to the success of the Weedle technology platform.”

“This R&D work is all about enhancing the technology platform to improve the user experience,” say Dr Kevin McCarthy and Dr Michael O’Mahony, the UCD scientists based at CLARITY who are leading the project.

“With the best search and discovery system technology, we can help Weedle to expand its user base and control a major share of the global online market.”

The Enterprise Ireland Innovation Partnership Initiative brings together private enterprises and third-level researchers to work on specific R&D projects.

“This partnership between Weedle and UCD scientists at CLARITY promises to deliver strong R&D results for a new Irish-based technology company with global market reach,” says Dr Martin Lyes, research and innovation manager, Enterprise Ireland.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years