From the New York Times Technology section, look here – New York Times for the whole story
For anyone who has hesitated before making a purchase on a Web site, uncertain which brand is preferable, Tacit Software is preparing to introduce an online service that will make it simple to pick the brains of friends and colleagues for opinions and expertise.
Tacit plans to start testing the service, called Illumio, next month. The service allows the user to mine the data on the computers of friends, business associates and others with shared interests on any subjects.
However, Illumio is not a search engine, like Google or Yahoo. The system works by transparently distributing a request for information on questions like “Who knows John Smith?” and “Are Nikon digital cameras better than Olympus?” to the computers in a network of users. The questions can then be answered locally based on a novel reverse auction system that Illumio uses to determine who the experts are.
The system is intended to extend a growing category of software that helps groups collaborate and work together more efficiently. Efforts to create systems that augment the intellectual power of work groups go back to the earliest days of computing technology development. The widespread availability of networks and Web browsers, however, has made such technologies far more accessible in recent years.
Think how we could apply this to dentistry. You could create a group of trusted colleagues, like a local study club, then use this software to ask questions about products, treatments, diagnosis, specialists and anything else you would like to get a second opinion on.