Building A Business Networking Site By Scraping The Web

from the there-are-databases-on-everything dept

Social software companies focused on the business networking space, like LinkedIn, Spoke Software and Tacit all at least somehow involve the people they're trying to network. In the case of LinkedIn, it involves explicit links made by the people themselves. Spoke is trying to comb through your email to figure out who you know (and, then, by combing through their email, who they know as well). However, now we can add a new company to that space, which has taken a very different route. Eliyon has apparently built up a 15.7 million profile database of business people profiles simply by scraping publicly available information on websites and in press releases. They've now opened up that database to let people search through it (and, in theory, correct any misinformation). The company brushes off any privacy concerns, saying that all of the information is completely public and all of it is related to jobs held - nothing to do with personal life. However, some may be a bit shocked to find an "unauthorized resume" readily available online. It's not so much that the info is readily available online - but that it's been packaged together for anyone to check out.

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  • identicon
    Chris, 22 Sep 2003 @ 6:47am

    No Subject Given

    I tried their service earlier this year. They have no way of filtering the data for accuracy. Basically, anybody who was ever listed as an employee of some company on a web page is likely to be in the database. The fact that the web page hasn't been updated since 1998, or that the employer is a dot com that ceased existance in 2000 doesn't get filtered out.

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