A new search engine Topsy launched today (27 May 2009) is building on Google's link-based pagerank system and putting power in the hands of the general public by creating an online currency out of retweets, blogs and user influence.
With pagerank, google's search results are scored and indexed depending on a number of dynamics including 'links in' and keywords, giving a value to each individual page.
Topsy uses this same idea, but instead scours social networks including twitter, blogs, flickr and others and assigns influence to users on those sites through retweets or blog comments.
When one twitter user retweets another, it acts as a vote of confidence for the latter user.
Could this be the next big thing in human-influenced search engines or will search spammers corrupt good intentions by creating false conversations for it to index?