Mahalo Making Social Improvements

    January 8, 2008

Mahalo, everyone’s favorite human-powered search engine and Jason Calacanis venture, has announced a few more “socially” improvements to its site. One of the major updates leverages other social media sites; the other is frankly patterned after another.

Mahalo has expanded its Mahalo Follow tool to enable its users to post directly to several other social sites, including Delicious and Twitter. Also in the Mahalo Follow Sidebar are tips/tricks that accompany selected sites, including Gmail and Twitter. Vanessa Fox samples the sidebar’s suggestions and shares her results, which aren’t particularly helpful.

The second update is adding stub articles to Mahalo. If you’ll recall, Mahalo has always had articles and link lists for its most important subjects, created by its (supposedly vetted) editors. But now, admittedly patterned after Wikipedia, Mahalo has added the capability for anyone to add short articles and recommend links for terms that have not yet had full articles written on them.

Now I know what you’re thinking: this is the chance all the black hatters have been waiting for. now we can all start gaming Mahalo, the much-vaunted search engine that was supposed to kill SEO.

But before we all start our evil laughter, Jason Calacanis has already thought of this:

Now, you’re of course saying “won’t this lead to tons of spam?” and the answer to that is “yes it would *if* we didn’t have 50 full-time people watching the incoming links.”

Considering Mahalo’s current market reach, I’m not sure if that will be enough. As soon as someone figures out a bot for this, Mahalo may be inundated. My blog, which has far less traffic, still sees thousands of spam comments a month.

Then again, considering Mahalo’s current market reach, they probably won’t have that problem.