Mahalo: human powered search

Mahalo logo.pngI have known about Mahalo since about the time it launched and it hasn’t really appealed to me enough to use it seriously for anything. I think a human powered search engine feels a little inadequate compared to the raw processing power of a search engine like Google’s search and with new developments in the semantic search space, I wonder how Mahalo will fit into the search ecosystem.

Anyway, those meandering thoughts aside, I enjoyed this interview with Jason Calacanis (CEO of Mahalo) and one of his directors which Robert Scoble posted the other day:

Looking at Mahalo a second time it is clear that my initial thoughts about Mahalo were pretty limited. Sure Mahalo is not going to have all the search results that Google, Yahoo! Search or even Live will have but Mahalo is focussed on accumulating the top 50 000 search results and when you consider your personal search habits, do you go far beyond the first or second page of your Google search results when looking for something?

Aside from Mahalo’s focus, Mahalo will also serve up search results from other search engines and services so it will also function as a kind of meta search service too. Here are a couple searches I ran for “27 Dinner” on Mahalo. Mahalo doesn’t have any direct search results for local dinner/event series yet. In this first image you can see a direct search for “27 Dinner” on Mahalo:

27d 1

In this second image, you can see the Google search results under the Google tab:

27d 2

… and under the Flickr tab:

27d 3

What I also noticed is that if you scroll down in the Mahalo search results you will also see what seems to be an aggregated set of search results using the top search results from Google, Flickr, Technorati and the other services Mahalo plugs into.

Mahalo is a really interesting search engine and I think it warrants spending more time on it. There is a lot more to Mahalo I haven’t mentioned and which I probably don’t eve know about so be sure to go check it out. If you create an account, feel free to connect to me. My username is “pauljacobson” (without the quotation marks).

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5 responses to “Mahalo: human powered search”

  1. Dave Duarte avatar

    Congrats Chilibeansters!

  2. Paul avatar

    Thanks Dave and Aquila for the comments and link!

  3. rafiq avatar

    That was brilliant, the sound quality and content was awesome 🙂

  4. Carls avatar

    hi guys – sounding great. Love the way you link to other voices/people/blogs

    Hilary Clinton – great case study and yay for the cluetrain manifesto!

    Only thing – who is your audience? is this chilipod is aimed at the converted? Think a person who is out of the “new media” loop might be a little lost.

  5. Mike avatar

    Well done dudes, awesome to have you pushing the boundaries.

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