Om Malik on Sphere: Too much of a good thing

Sphere wanted a controlled release of its new search engine, but a post from Om Malik led to a flood of requests for the beta.
Stephen Baker

I met this morning with Tony Conrad, CEO of Sphere, the new blog search engine. He told me that he and his team had carefully calibrated the release of the beta version, first testing it in a small group, and then gradually expanding. But when his friend, Om Malik, gave Sphere a thumbs-up in a blogpost, 20,000 people rushed to sign up for the beta version. It was far more than Sphere was ready to handle.

Conrad should have seen it coming. A key idea behind Sphere is to scope out the key authority figures in each "sphere" of the blog world. Clearly, Malik is one of them.

I talked to Conrad and Mary Hodder, seach specialist and advisor to Sphere, for the podcast that'll be posted tonight. Conrad also showed me a button I'd missed on the search engine. I've amended yesterday's review.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.