• http://www.resourceshelf.com gary price

    Just like to point out as I have in the past several excellent “non-commercial” directories coming from academia and the library world. Most offer a “collection” policy (what they will and will not add), excellent organization, and focuses on quality of the underlying resource vs. total size.

    Examples (general) include:
    + Librarians’ Internet Index
    Powered with tech from Siderean

    + Intute (from the UK)
    Note: Intute even offers complete web research tutorials for many disciplines.

    + IPL

    + Infomine

    Of course, directories that focus on specific topics exist.

    Here are three examples:
    International Business

    Resources for Educators
    Like LII, powered with tech from Siderean.

    “development gateway”

  • http://www.resourceshelf.com gary price

    Forgot one additional excellent example of a focused tool. This time for engineering, mathematics, and computing.

    From the site:

    TechXtra is a free service which can help you find articles, books, the best websites, the latest industry news, job announcements, technical reports, technical data, full text eprints, the latest research, thesis & dissertations, teaching and learning resources and more, in engineering, mathematics and computing.

  • http://blog.snipperoo.com Ivan Pope

    Well, warrabout dmoz – The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors

  • http://www.bessed.com AdamJusko

    Mahalo sounds almost exactly like Bessed.

    I’d say your analysis of the pros and cons of the human-powered search engine are apt.

  • http://sethf.com/ Seth Finkelstein

    This is an interesting exercise in “cream-skimming”. Since it’s outsourcing to Google for 99.9% of the terms, it’s not really a general search engine – more like a vertical search, with “popular terms” as the area of expertise.

    By the way:
    “Plenty of search start-ups have assumed word-of-mouth … Why does Calacanis think Mahalo will be different …”
    You missed the obvious answer: Because he’s an A-lister and is skilled in attention-baiting. It’s not an accident that Mahalo has A-list bloggers in its coverage area.

  • http://www.jehochman.com JEHochman

    If it develops a substantial following, Calacanis can sell Mahalo to Google (or Microsoft), and the search engine can fuse the handcrafted results with their algorithmic results.

  • http://blog.blendah.com BlendahTom

    @JEHochman … I think Google already has that covered w/ their CSE/CoOp program…Mahalo is a combo of ChaCha and Wikipedia… I think that Jason Plans to build robust results pages for the Big 3 search engines when a query is made..The problem that I see is that where this kind of service would excel is in the vertical markets not so much on the top 10,000..

    my .02

  • http://www.jehochman.com JEHochman

    I am underwhelmed with Google Coop. Mahalo seems much more useful.

  • http://www.luckylester.com Lucky Lester

    Did a quick test to see what turned up for the term Poker, arguably the most popular search term these days and what did I get… We haven’t created a hand written page for that one yet. Generic reason offered as to why there were no results yet; they want to hand write results pages for the top 10,000 search terms.

    Regardless of what anybody thinks about porn or gambling, these have always been among the most popular search terms and probably always will be. I don’t know, perhaps the good people at Mahola are starting at 10,000 and working their way backwards?

  • http://blog.vortexdna.com Kaila Colbin

    Hi Danny,

    I think Mahalo has an uphill battle ahead of them, although I do commend their efforts to bring human analysis to a technology that, like all technology, exists to serve its users.

    The truth is I don’t think there is any viable way for paid, controlled, human-powered processing to keep up with the exponential growth of content. Obviously, they can’t just create pages for 10,000 terms and be done—they’d need constant revisiting and updating.

    I’d be really interested to hear more about Mahalo’s long-term business model, to understand how Calacanis is handling scalability and maintenance.

    All the best,
    Kaila Colbin

  • rednikki

    I just wanted to let Lucky Lester know that he’s absolutely right – we did need a Poker search result. You’ll find it here:
    Thanks for pointing it out!
    If you want to find out what we’re working on right now, you can go to the Daily SeRP List and see our results being built live.
    Mahalo for your feedback!