One of the CallinSearch employees posted a comment on my Google click-to-call post pointing to their technology which is currently in beta. By the way, the Google "click to call" news certainly flew under the radar. I don't see Click-to-Call listed on Google Labs even, where Google often trials new features.
In any event, CallinSearch has interesting browser-specific plug-ins that work with most browsers to enable click-to-call access within search engine search results. According to CallinSearch, "Why a separate Podcast directory, phone directory or even yellow pages? We don't need it! Why not instead use the tools we already use on a daily basis? Use Google, MSN or Yahoo to make calls, listen to a Podcast or stream a video. All this is possible with our small browser plugins for search engines."
Here's a screenshot of their technology. Note the icons to the right of the search results. Each one represents either Skype presence, podcast, chat, or a video linked to the website.
Using their software apparently lets you get in contact (by using Skype) with websites and listen/view a Podcast or Video linked to the website. Pretty cool that it will display Skype user's next to the search results and even indicate their "presence" It's unclear exactly how their technology works, i.e. how they map search results with a specific Skype user ID or a podcast. What if a web domain has multiple Skype users? I'm not sure if they download a proprietary database to the user's PC that contains a listing of Skype users mapped to specific web domains or what. Most likely not, since Skype/eBay isn't going to let a third-party have access to that information.
Perhaps this plugin somehow uses the Skype API and queries the Skype database directly? (which I'm assuming is permitted by Skype) Does this mean that in order for the search results to be accurate, each Skype user would need to enter in their "web site" within their Skype profile in order for this plugin to work? If so, what if I enter in my personal web page on my profile but really want my VoIP blog to be match up with my Skype profile? Or what if I want multiple websites tied to my Skype username? I have so many questions! Still waiting to hear back from CallinSearch. I think it does handle multiple web domains since their website says "Download a plugin and the status indicator and domain manager now!" I'm assuming a domain manager handles multiple web domains.
According to CallinSearch, during December 2005 they will trial their service and basic and plus subscriptions will be for free. From January 2006 on they will charge for the plus subscription. During the trial period, the Plus subscription for your domain will also show in the search results with a Podcast URL and Video URL. From January 2006 on you have to pay a small subscription fee per registered Skype username per year. On one Skype username you can registered an unlimited amount of domains for one fee.
After reading this, it sounds like CallinSearch is building their own database from scratch, so it might take a long, long time to reach critical mass of enough users listed in their database for this plugin to be useful. I could be wrong though. Still researching... Stay tuned...
Update: 10 min from post
I did receive this response from Hans Blaauw from Skypeteer.com regarding how CallinSearch works:
We don't download any database to an endusers PC. We keep records of the domains and Skype user name's centrally. We do indeed live query.
We are not querying the Skype database but we use the API for the status indicator and API.
I'm related a little to Pamela because based on my idea they incorporated the Podcasting stuff. In Pamela it says 'Inspired by Hans Blaauw'.
We will not prevent Google or Microsoft from offering this. We are independent and they are never going to offer Skype in Google. They will always offer their own product.
We can add this very fast to other search engines because we use a small plugin. We also have live presence and we are working on deals to help people to create a Podcast or nice Video.
Skype does not charge us anything. We are going to charge a small fee to list the Podcat and Video. During december all testers can list the Podcast URL and video for free.
For the rest, i'm a Skype DAC member and i have done some more work that you can see on www.skypeteer.com
Hope you like it for now. Sure, we are still working on this.