Judy's Book and Local.com announced a partnership earlier in the week to syndicate the former's local reviews and user blogs on the latter's local search site. Since Judy's Book was already syndicating blog content of its users’ existing blogs (rather than creating its own platform), this is a syndication of a syndication (Oodle has done something similar with online classifieds).
Knocking down content walls and syndicating data also seems to be a trend lately, especially in social media. The thought is that you can drive more traffic to your listings (and back to your site) by syndicating content to affiliate sites, rather than fighting to get users to show up at your doorstep. The deal will bring Judy's Book more traffic to its own advertisers, while Local.com will enrich its listings with value-added user ratings, reviews and blog content. Serving as the reviews engine for Local.com, Judy's Book will also have more reach with which to build its library of reviews (Local.com customers will now be prompted to write reviews which will be syndicated on both sites).
The syndication and increased business activity around social search is interesting to watch and we expect to see more as the medium shows no signs of slowing (it's "the new black" as Greg sometimes jokingly says). Judy’s Book COO Chris DeVore sat on a social media panel at Drilling Down on Monday and said as much. Also on the panel was Eurekster CEO Steven Marder, who is equally bullish on the partnering opportunities with other online media channels to build a social media layer on top of their own content to create incremental value in more relevant search.
Yahoo!, as we all know, is leading this charge with lots of technology development and acquisitions of companies built on social media, including Flickr and del.icio.us. Earlier this week Yahoo! added a del.icio.us button to its toolbar, which will make it easier for users to tag, share and save content from wherever they are on the Web. It already has a similar button on its toolbar for MyWeb 2.0
Needless to say, social search is hot. We'll explore the space further on the blog, as there are developments, and in a White Paper currently in the pipeline.