Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.



Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)



It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)

Everyone's struggle is real... at the very least to them

A couple of weeks ago, while in line waiting to pick up some food I'd just ordered, I overheard two conversations - I don't make a habit of this, but it's hard to not hear things when you leave your phone behind. :-/
My first reactions as I heard both of these conversations was annoyance at the protagonist in one and admiration for the other. Both conversations stayed with me for a while, but it took me some time to realize that was unfair on my part to be annoyed at the person that I was annoyed at.

So about these conversations:
The first was between someone working there and a friend. She was sympathizing with her friend who'd be starting a new job leaving this place. "Oh, it's minimum wage again?", she said with concern in her voice. "Yes, but it's fine", said her friend. The job was closer to where she lived so she thought she'd make about the same and she might get home a little earlier to her daughter some evenings though the hours…