SkypeFind is a new beta feature from the upcoming Skype 3.1 which is highly significant, although I haven’t seen anyone talking about it as such. They’re basically offering local listings search and user reviews of businesses in your area all done from the comfort of your Skype client. Yep, VoIP goes search.
It’s important because the consensus is that local search is going to be *huge* as the technology evolves, and so Skype is really entering an arena already populated by mega-corps such as Google, Yahoo! and Yellow Pages. It’s certainly a logical move though, and the idea of the massive Skype community actually becoming more sophisticated and collaborative should keep a few rival execs awake at night all right. Definitely a tech to watch.
There’s a cool trick you can use when you are not sure what you’re looking for exactly. Throughout the SkypeFind interface, you see the “Ask your friends” link. You can post a question to your friends there, such as “What’s a good hotel in London?” Your mood message is then automatically set to this question, but with a twist: there’s a link to a public chat that’s automatically created…Now, when your contacts see your mood message and click on it, they are automatically added to this public chat. You can then chat about hotels in London together.