Lycos offers people and discussion search

Terra Lycos has introduced two search tools on its US internet site as part of its strategy to focus on services that allow users...

Terra Lycos has introduced two search tools on its US internet site as part of its strategy to focus on services that allow users to connect with others.

Lycos People Search and Discussion Search are expected to anchor a number of forthcoming offerings that permit users to access and share information online.

The People Search tool allows users to locate others by searching white pages listings, the web and alumni and professional information resources.

Users can also perform a business search by querying yellow pages listings. While there are a handful of online people search tools, Lycos hopes to carve a niche by aggregating the offerings in one place.

Eliyon Technologies, for example, provides the professional profile search function and the alumni information is from Reunion.com. While all the basic search functions are free, the third-party providers offer more in-depth, paid services.

Although Lycos does not offer any paid people search services, the company plans to roll out tiered services in the future, said Lycos senior director of product management Lauren Bigelow.

"This area will continue to evolve but right now we are specialising in connecting people. A lot of people are discovering and rediscovering people online," Bigelow said.

Lycos also wants to connect people with more specific and specialised information through Discussion Search, which allows users to hunt for a specific topic just on discussion boards, Bigelow said.

Discussion Search, currently in beta test, scans Yahoo Groups, MSN Groups and .org domains, offering forum and message boards on a wide variety of specific topics.

When performing a discussion search, results appear on the right-hand side of the screen, and related sponsored links on the left. At the top of the page, users are also directed to links for related organisations.

"While you can find discussion board through a normal web search, this allows you to focus and filter much more," Bigelow said.

Terra Lycos announced earlier this year that it would focus its Lycos strategy on connectivity tools, with an emphasis on search and web publishing.

Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service

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