What do you love? I love breakfast. I love beaches. I love guitar. I love the Chicago Cubs and I am a fan of Dave Matthews. Love.com launched recently, somewhat under the radar, as a lightly branded AOL product, to help connect you with the topics you love. Love.com is not a dating site but a search engine with aggregated result pages looking to get you a snap-shot about any given topic.
Grant Cerny, VP, MediaGlow Entertainment Products with AOL's MediaGlow, had this to say about Love.com:
Looking to create the perfect page for whatever you love, Love.com aggregates items from a few different sources. In performing a search for Chicago Cubs and love.com pulled in basic news stories, YouTube videos, images, relates websites, Twitter messages and related items for sale. The news stories are pulled real-time via Relegence, a company that AOL acquired in November 2006. Love.com is built on top of the blogging platform Blogsmith, the same platform that powers a number of popular weblogs, with the ability to spin off infinite sub-domains based on the popularity of a topic. Since MediaGlow has a number of popular content properties, Love.com can help recirculate their content through these infinite topical blog pages via search engines.
Love.com also offered recommendations for related topics things I might like which included baseball, Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees. This makes sense since the Chicago Cubs are a baseball team. I assume it pulled in the Cincinnati Reds because the Cubs are currently playing the Reds and there are news stories that relate them. I am not sure why New York Yankees was also offered as a recommendation other than that they are another the baseball team.
I found that the basic topical searches performed better than the vanity search. When performing a search on my name, Frank Gruber, I found that it pulled back accurate results but they were different than what I am used to seeing via Google. Google search relates Frank Gruber to SOMEWHAT FRANK while Love.com did not go so far to do so. I don't know which is a better approach but it is just different. If you search on Love.com for SOMEWHAT FRANK you see a lot more items that I've written.
Love.com currently does not offer users the ability to login and create a profile but with time it probably would make sense to store a record of searches so it can start to offer recommendations. Love.com has some startup competition by DayMix, a Tsavo Media product (see my tour of Tsavos Media) as well as rival Evri, who has hooked up with WashingtonPost.com to offer some interesting widgets around related articles.
The aggregation and recommendations game is a tough nut to crack, as I know from my past experiences with Mgnet. It is great to see AOL experimenting with recommendations again and leveraging a past acquisition to do so. I like Love.com's design elements and it has a one heck of a domain name, one most people would love to have.