Can Digger attract search users from Google?

Bambi Francisco Roizen · April 13, 2009 · Short URL:

Chris Shipley helps us evaluate Digger, which launches a destination site in Q4

The more publishers can categorize their content, the easier it is to distribute to partners and make it accessible for viewers to find. Digger is a semantic search company that can automate the categorization of content so humans don't have to. Digger also plans to take its semantic search capabilities and create a destination site. The launch of that site is expected in the fourth quarter of this year. Is this the right direction for Digger to take?

In this episode of Vator Box, we take a look at Tim Musgrove (who resembles musician Chris Isaac) give his pitch. Musgrove is the founder of Digger, which raised nearly $6 million from a number of investors, including True Ventures, CBS Interactive and Softech VC. Chris Shipley, co-founder of startup research and consulting firm, Guidewire Group, was our guest host once again.

Shipley joined Ezra Roizen (Vator Box regular and digital media investment banker) and me.

Here are our observations:

- If Digger plans to launch a consumer-facing site, then Musgrove should stay away from pitching the technology. Nobody buys technology. They buy a solution to something, said Shipley. Digger needs to talk about what it's delivering for customers, and stay away from the definition of semantics. Talk about this service delivers a magnitude of improvement over other searches out there.

- Being a destination site built on semantic search solutions is an expensive proposition. Ask Jeeves did it and so did Powerset. Both companies were successful ventures. But none were able to usurp Google's lead.  So, it might be an expensive distraction to build a destination site.

- Digger should stick to the B2B market. It should focus on helping publishers auto-categorize their content.   

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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TextDigger is a San Jose, CA-based startup developing advanced semantic solutions for the Web, including hosted semantic search, automated content tagging and topic generation, and optimized keyword generation. These products make Web pages more findable, both to outside search engines such as Google and to other pages within the same site via cross-linking and related search. The result is increased revenue from higher inbound traffic and longer sessions. TextDigger was founded by a group of former CNET employees and executives who developed patented linguistic technologies that, today, are used to enhance the content on thousands of pages within CNET's award winning websites.


Tim Musgrove

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Ezra Roizen

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chris Shipley

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