Mahalo To Curate Web Search

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Substantial buzz has accompanied Jason Calacanis’ startup debut of Mahalo, a search site with human editors refining the results for the currently 4,000 top search terms.

Mahalo To Curate Web Search
“Mahalo To Curate Web Search”
Mahalo To Curate Web Search

Those terms should be in the neighborhood of 10,000 by the end of 2007, Mahalo noted in a statement about their debut as an alpha test of the service. Calacanis opened his blog post about Mahalo with 32 straight ‘Alphas’.

"Mahalo.com is in ALPHA–that means not ready for users, but looking for feedback," he wrote.

We’ve seen human-powered search before, notably with PreFound, which taps its userbase to recommend the best results for queries. Mahalo employs editors directly, and Danny Sullivan reminds us that Ask Jeeves once worked this way too.

At first glance, Mahalo looks like a Hawaiian-themed Yahoo, circa 1997, with its two-column layout of categories. Doing a query for one of the terms they have indexed, like Star Wars, returns results starting with The Mahalo Top 7 for it.

Icons may appear next to certain results. The thumb-and-pinky icon indicates a Guide’s Choice, while a yellow triangle with an exclamation point is a warning about the destination, like a site having pop-ups.

Once Mahalo hits its 10,000 search terms, it will enter its beta phase and formally launch shortly thereafter.

Mahalo To Curate Web Search
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