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Mahalo: Launch


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#1 Jozian

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:01 PM

TechCrunch reporting that Mahalo is launching :D Blog Entry

Human Guides, then Google results: I like this concept a lot. It's similar to 'The Mining Company' concept I liked in the pre- and bubble era, before it was converted to About.com and virtually destroyed.

In a welcome departure from the external paid guide model, Mahalo is apparently planning on actually employing their guides directly. Sweet, or at least a change that may lead to a more effective model.

Another Mahalo feature that will likely cause some trouble is user-submitted links <wince>:

Also in the right sidebar is a place for users who’ve registered with the site to submit links relevant to the query. The more users who’ve submitted a unique link, the higher it appears on the list. Mahalo will be looking for fraud in this area - if a guide determines a link to be spammy, they will ban the link, the user and the user’s IP address “forever.” However, if a link gets enough votes and is determined to be relevant by the guides, it will move over into the main search results area.


This will never rival Google, but it just may be a productive tool for the non-tech masses.

Anyone going to give this a ride?

-Jeff

#2 A.N.Onym

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:35 PM

First of all, I heard it is run by Jason Calacanis. This thing alone didn't make me want to digg the story or otherwise express enthusiasm.

Secondly, judging by the paragraph above, one can easily remove his competitors from the SERPs by spamming their links to all kinds of irrelevant queries from a dynamic IP or a proxy.

#3 dogbows

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 12:01 AM

I think you may be right in that Mahalo might not ever rival Google. However, many are finding Mahalo to be a refreshing change from other search engines and directories. Mahalo offers hand crafted search result pages. Never any spam, just high quality links on any given subject.

When I first heard about Mahalo, I was very skeptical. I didn't think it would be anything I would ever use. However, I am finding it an interesting and unique online experience. Having been a volunteer ODP editor for almost two years, I was intrigued by the concept of getting paid to edit online. I decided to give it a try. So far, Mahalo guides have created 8,000 search results pages in just a few months. It's immediate goal is to create the top 20,000 search terms. By my best estimate, it appears that approximately 200 pages per day on average are submitted for review. It seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.

For those of you who use Firefox, Mahalo now has a Firefox add-on called Mahalo Follow. It is a search box for Mahalo that generates a sidebar to compare Mahalo search results pages to Google search side by side. I have encouraged a few of my friends and family to give Mahalo Follow a try. So far I have received nothing but positive feedback. One said, "I never search Google anymore." Another said, "The more I use Mahalo the more I like it. It's like going to the mail box and receiving a letter from an old friend and no junk mail." Mahalo Follow is one of those things that has to have a little time to grow on you.

For anyone who is interested in trying the new Mahalo Firefox add-on, I have provided a link to install the Mahalo Follow in my signature. It is just as easy to uninstall as it is to install, if you find it's not for you. However, I would encourage anyone to try it for at least a week before deciding that you don't like it.

#4 bwelford

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:21 AM

That's intriguing, Dogbows. It seems to function pretty well. I've been very sceptical about Mahalo and it's ability to have sufficient content. However I'll see how it goes for a week.

One immediate irritation is that the Mahalo sidebar persists when I leave the search web page and go to some completely unrelated web page. It would be nice if it closed when not needed.

#5 dogbows

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 04:43 AM

One immediate irritation is that the Mahalo sidebar persists when I leave the search web page and go to some completely unrelated web page. It would be nice if it closed when not needed.


I am not surprised that the first reply is about the auto-generated sidebar. Personally, I really prefer not to use the sidebar comparison at all.

Try clicking on tools in Firefox, then click on Add-ons. Once in Add-ons, blue your Mahalo Follow and click on options. UNcheck the auto-generate. Then when you exit out of the side bar, it will not generate on it's on. You have to manually bring back the side bar if you want it. But I really don't use the sidebar at all. I first search in the Mahalo search box. If Mahalo has a page for that search term it takes me directly to that page in Mahalo. If it does not have a page, it will show a list of a few pages that could be related to your search. But if you scroll down a bit, you have Google search on the same page. Scroll on down a bit more, and click on more results, and it will take you directly to the Google search as though you actually searched Google in the first place. It's like having the best of both worlds.

It took me a little while to discover the best way for me to use it. But I like it much better without the sidebar. I think you might like it much better without the sidebar as well.

#6 saschaeh

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 12:30 AM

I went to go check it out. The site has a really good feel about it.

I did two searches:

A regional search for South Africa in an IT topic. It did not have the terms i search for. "We haven't written a result page for "south africa hosting" yet. Ill suggest my site and see what happens.

I did a travel related search and it did find a results. Search term:"South Africa accommodation"

Results where all of actual accommodation places or conglomerates. Nicely listed. Although there are some great local accommodation listing websites which are really useful. These guys have already done a lot of the work Mahalo is trying to do by listing all the accommodations - (talking about my search term in specific). Will these gets listed on request? Could 321.co.za, an accommodation directory, get listed for example? I would imagine these would be more useful to browsers then the actual accommodations.

With the individual keywords category is their a discussion what Mahalo will list or is it always literal?

Personally id love to see a new search engine take some wind out of Google's sails. Monopoly is never good.

Edited by saschaeh, 14 September 2007 - 12:40 AM.


#7 dogbows

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 01:11 AM

Saschaeh, I can't say whether those sites would be listed or not. I do know that in the blue area on the right of each page you can recommend sites that are relevant to that search term. I also know that each page is hand crafted by a guide according to a certain standard. A lot of work goes into each page. There is also a discussion page for each term similar to wikipedia. I looked at South Africa Hotels. Three sites have been recommended, but none have been added at this time. Also if you search a term that has not been created yet, you can request the page and they will notify you one time when the page is created. This would be what you need to do for South Africa Hosting. When you do suggest your site, make sure it is to a relevant page. It would not be to your benefit to suggest a site to Mahalo other than on a specific relevant search results page.

The category for Africa is located here: http://www.mahalo.co...an_Destinations

There are several pages created for Africa. But so far all are destination related at this point.

Edited by dogbows, 14 September 2007 - 01:13 AM.


#8 saschaeh

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 01:18 AM

Notify me when Mahalo creates a result page for "south africa hosting"


So i have notified them about adding the category.

Thank you! south africa hosting has been added to our list of result pages to write. We'll notify you via email as soon as we write a result page for south africa hosting.


But in actual fact i want to add my site not get notified when others get added. Hmm ill see how this goes and let ya know!

thanks for info :)

Edited by saschaeh, 14 September 2007 - 01:23 AM.


#9 dogbows

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 01:27 AM

But in actual fact i want to add my site not get notified when others get added. Hmm ill see how this goes thanks for info.


I understand, Saschaeh. However, there must first be the relevant page for you to recommend your site. So if there is no page yet created that your site would fit, you need to request the page. Once the page is created, they will notify you, and then you suggest the site to that newly created page.

#10 saschaeh

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 01:33 AM

Excellent it looks good! Its Been Bookmarked.

#11 dogbows

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 05:21 PM

Barry, I am curious as to whether you tried my suggestion about unchecking the auto-generate in the add-on? Those that came back and gave me the most positive feedback were using it in the manner in which I suggested to you.



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