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The search for people-powered search

Mahalo debuted yesterday, with some fanfare.
I approve of the flowers and the cute UI, but I'm still trying to decide what I think of the rest of the business plan.

Now, in my deservedly humble opinion using the power of crowd-sourcing for search is interesting, which is what the Wikipedia founder, Jimmy Wales is pursuing. On the other hand, I'm still mystified by the value proposition of Mahalo. I'm not sure why 40 to a 100 people building webpages manually (realistically they're probably using some automatically generated templates and tweaking them slightly: one for movies, another for organizatoins etc.) are going to produce really interesting results. According to the WSJ article, management think that because "some of them work as artists, musicians and artists" they'll be able to build better web pages. Maybe if they stick to their area of expertise...but then won't their pages will be biased by their interests?...unless they stick to a template?....but then can't anyone do that?.... especially a program?

I think the best they might end up doing is matching Wikipedia in the search results (and will probably link to the Wikipedia page.) Of course, they plan to make money off advertising...

More positive outlooks here, and Calacanis has an impressive track record, so maybe I just don't get it.


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