This artcle by Dan Farber of ZDNet introduces Mahalo, a search engine being developed by the developer of Weblogs Inc., now a part of AOL. That search engine, Mahalo (Hawaian for ‘thank you’), is based on the idea that the most common searches on the Internet can be captured, refined, and edited by humans.
Mahalo intentionally does not cover “everything” in its search results, leaving that to Google, Yahoo, MSN, and the other machine-intelligence-driven search engines. Instead the site will initially aim to cover about 24% of search terms. Users can also offer input on results to the editors of the site.
… Mahalo and a host of developing search tools in vertical markets such as law are based on the idea that people can do a better job with a limited amount of information than a program can with all the information in the universe – human-powered research over blind machine searches …
The Practice Management Blog discussed the idea of human-powered search and other alternative search methodology for the legal market last year. It will be interesting to see the field develop (and it will) as the Internet becomes more crowded and the results of a general, free-for-all search a la Google become so vast as to be rendered useless.