Total Recall: Sentimnt lets you search and retrieve information from your social feeds

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I’ve often found myself countering the argument that the Internet is making us dumber by citing Google as a second brain: the search engine lets us remember stuff that we didn’t actually know, which is sort of true as connectivity becomes ubiquitous. But what if there was a service designed specifically to retrieve information that we have already come across but didn’t explicitly log for future use, perhaps because at the time it didn’t seem relevant or useful.

At a higher level, that’s the concept behind Sentimnt, a personal and social search engine that at its simplest aims to answer the question: “Where did I read that?”. It does this by connecting to a user’s Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, Gmail and Delicious accounts, indexing all of the updates, articles, and resources that are referenced so that they can be recalled later.

The site is in private beta but TechCrunch Europe has invites (see below).

“Every time we wanted to find that article, story, status or shared link we were sure we’d read somewhere, we had a problem: Googling it just wasn’t working”, says Sentimnt co-founder and CEO Khash Sajadi. “So we thought, what if there was a search engine that was mine and was searching my stuff not the whole universe.”

That idea in itself is pretty neat, but where things get a little more interesting is how the initial batch of private beta testers have been using Sentimnt. Aside from recalling specific articles, some users have been using the search engine as a buzz tracker to keep abreast of various topics. Cleverer still perhaps, another use for Sentimnt is as a bridge between what Sajadi describes as “suggestion supply and demand”:

“Our friends are suggesting places to go and things to do but not at the time we want to go somewhere or eat something”, he says. Using Sentimnt, however, it’s possible for a user to search their Twitter and Facebook streams to find those suggestions at a time when they are relevant.

Since the service is currently in private beta, it’s still very much a work in progress although I really like the concept. Setting up an account is very quick and straight forward and the UI work that’s already been laid is solid. Its biggest limitation is that for new users, Twitter’s indexing doesn’t go back that far historically (a Twitter API restriction) but that isn’t an issue going forward as Sentimnt will index future tweets and any links/web pages that they point to. Relevancy should hopefully improve too as Sentimnt tweaks its search algorithms but it’s a good start.

Overall, Sentimnt has a lot of potential, something that I haven’t felt about a new search product for some time. Talking of which, Google already offers its own social search features (although they are pretty half-hearted) and the company could obviously copy the concept behind Sentimnt. That’s something that the bootstrapped London startup would do best not to focus on and instead keep iterating what is already a promising product.

We have a limited number of beta invites – you can sign up here on a first come first served basis.

  • Kev

    Can I buy a vowel? This craze has gone on long enough.

    • Mohit Sharma is a stock market portal with a decent traffic base, why would they sell it..also the other TLDs are stashed away..this seems like a generic service so a country level domain wont hold good. Though I feel that the vowel could have made it a better brand as people are gonna have to risk trusting them with their private data in a way..?

    • morn

      With Google collaborating with the CIA, certainly, they would have a scraper service for this.

  • Anthony Mitchell

    Next time out, get yourself a real brand name. Business is about trust. Good brand names build trust.

  • Tyson

    Just as Kev mentioned above, why does every single website/social network eliminate a vowel from their name? If they think it makes them stick out, they are mistaken. Quite the opposite actually.

    • Steve O'Hear

      Have you tried registering a domain name these days? Dropping a vowel isn’t about being cool. It’s often needed to find a name that has any resemblance of meaning without being more than one or two words.

      • Kev

        Yeah, but the fact that is not for sale and is already a business is a good enough reason to *not* call yourself

        I just grabbed two words from the first partagraph and created or maybe remengine? okay they’re both terrible, but not any worse than what they have.

      • Anthony Mitchell

        There is a thriving aftermarket for good, powerful dot-coms. These guys need to learn how to use it.

  • devlim

    at the Account page, got Account Type Free, does this mean, sentimnt will offer free and premium acc?

  • Steve Jobs

    Misguided fools, a dropped vowel doesnt make you good.It makes the brand suck.Why wont the start ups look for ubiquitous names? big brands are not about remembering/likening meaning to the brand.I know they would have wanted sentiment,but surely,good brands are not about likeable meanings,take for instance,what does Yahoo mean? Google? what about Amazon? is Amazon anywhere near books? Can you please grow up. What about Isuzu? Toyota? LG? Nokia? do they have any direct meaningful derivatives? are they great brand names?

  • Howard Yeend

    blimey, remind me to concentrate on getting a perfect URL instead of focusing on my product when I launch!

    At least, that’s the message the TC commenters seem to be pushing :/

    Ignoring the domain (because frankly, it doesn’t matter one bit), the idea is a good one. Not sure about the execution, but as Steve says, it’s a work in progress.

    I actually can’t get it to return anything at all. That’s because new “sources” (i.e. twitter, facebook) only seem to get indexed 30 minutes from when you add them. I guess it’s a queue thing, but as a user my expectation is that if I’ve just added facebook, I should be able to search for something someone’s posted to my wall and see it on sentimnt.

    I guess I’ll check back later once it’s indexed me. Or I might forget. IMO Sentimnt should seize that initial expression of interest and at least index *something* to show it’s working. Even “Thanks for adding facebook, we’re sheduled to index it fully in an hour, but for now we’ve gone ahead and examined the last 10 posts, so if you want to give us a whirl, try a search from your very recent activity.” would be good.

    • Howard Yeend

      PS: signup page doesn’t work in opera. Serves me right for using opera, I know, but still.

    • Steve O'Hear

      That’s a good point. I got indexed straight away so I expect their infrastructure is getting hammered right now.

    • Khash Sajadi

      Hi Howard,

      Thanks for your feedback. We try to index in real-time as many sources as possible but that’s limited to the resources available at that point in time (ie. being mentioned on TC!), so the indexing can get queued. I totally agree with your point about immediate index and promise to improve that part.

      I would love to hear your feedback about your experience with the site in the future.

      • Sean Turvey

        Do you share indexes which will be the same such as TechCrunch?

        I realize that this is a private beta and your servers are just starting to wake up & stretch but it is mind numbingly slow.

      • Khash Sajadi

        We only return results that are yours and have been added as part of your account.

        Sorry about the performance issues. We are working hard to solve them.

  • Spielen

    Damn, was too late – all invites are gone :(

    • Khash Sajadi

      Sorry! There will be more soon! Make sure we have your email address though. Thanks!

  • Fabian Siegel

    Check-out kikin is not only indexing your FB / Twitter / Google Reader feeds, but providing relevant results from these streams while you are browsing the web.

    For example when you check-out a movie on IMDB, kikin shows you if one of your friends mentioned that movie in your FB/Twitter stream or if one of your favorite blogs wrote about it.

    You can specifically search these streams, too ;-)

  • Michele Filannino

    How can I use it? Can you invite me? Thank you.

  • florin

    I follow you and i want to follow me back.Thanks

  • hyperlexic

    I have made the ‘final decision’ of which service i would use to store and organize my online info – about 100 times. i’m still spread out over delicious, reader, evernote, dropbox, google bookmarks, zoho notebook etc.

    i love each one too much to stop using them, but i need to develop my own custom integrated ‘knowledge management’ system – when i get time. i’ve been saying that for 2 years now.

    it’s hard when you need to collaborate with clients, outsourced resources, partners etc – and then to ask them to adopt whatever service you have decided on. i would love to just standardize on google and google docs/reader – but key clients will only use msft office, so i’m adding edits within word or excel and emailing them as attachments when it’s so much easier to make revisions online with google docs. but they just don’t use it. so in turn, i can’t standardize. i would love it if people would subscribe to certain delicious tags or reader tags – but many clients don’t have a clue as to what ‘subscribing’ to a syndicated feed means. i’m like ‘add it you your yahoo, or google or whatever startpage you use’. i get the reply ‘startpage? what’s that?’ ‘well, what’s the first page that opens up when you open your browser?’ by this point, i’ve lost them.

  • Gleb Esman

    I jst need to remembr which vowel to skeep to taip zees domaine naim corrctly

  • Gleb Esman

    PS: I mean:

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