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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

MAHALO : Human powered search Engine

So.....I'm a guide at Mahalo.

I've been dying to say that for MONTHS.

I can't tell you how many people have asked me what my new job is, and I've had to bite my tongue.

Seriously....friends....family members...my neighbors...it was ridiculously hard to keep a secret.

A couple friends joked that I was working for the C.I.A., or on a reality television show or something.

I'm sure some friends even thought I was a spammer.

Actually, I'm the opposite.

Today is our launch day in the Alpha phase.

We debuted at the Wall Street Journal's D5 conference.

I've been working for the company since February.

My good friend Lon was able to introduce me to the company, and I've been working hard, and having a blast ever since.

I've never been around such a fun, interesting, hard working, and positive group of people in my life.

What exactly is Mahalo?

"Mahalo is the world's first human-powered search engine powered by an enthusiastic and energetic group of Guides. Our Guides spend their days searching, filtering out spam, and hand-crafting the best search results possible. If they haven't yet built a search result, you can request that search result. You can also suggest links for any of our search results."

What are the advantages of a hand crafted search result?

Well for one, hand crafting allows us to prioritize results.

Believe it or not, lots of times when one looks up a person on Google or Yahoo! their Official Site is not even on the first page.

That's because computers are only able to recognize the most popular results...and unfortunately sometimes those results are irrelevant to one's search or worse spam sites.

We are also able to categorize results.

If one takes a look at one of our search pages, one can see that we are able to break up our results into categories, like photos, videos, merchandise and news.

It's like having a personal secretary find the best sites for you....in two seconds.

Obviously the biggest advantage of hand crafting results are that we are able to filter out spam.

We try our best not to link to irrelevant, and fraudulent pages.

The internet is filled with pages designed to generate income at one's expense in time and unfortunately money.

We spend hours a day searching through those sites so one never has to deal with them.

Obviously there is going to be some criticism of the site.

The biggest critique being that we don't have every search result.

We're working on that.

Or initial goal is to hand craft the top 10,000 search results.

Also when we don't have something....we give you the top results from our friends at Google, so that one has at least something to work with.

The company is committed to service and excellence. Every day the focus is geared toward making the site user friendly, and productive.

This isn't some flash in the pan operation.

We have the backing of Roelf Botha, Mark Cuban, News Corporation and CBS.

My boss and the CEO is Jason Calacanis, who founded the successful Weblogs inc.

He's one of the most engaging, smartest and most driven people I've ever met.

He's also incredibly generous, and rewards all the employees here at MAHALO with incredible perks, benefits, and incentives.

The editorial director is C.K. Sample who worked as the director of Netscape.com.

He's also incredibly driven. He's also smart, funny, and really dedicated to the project.

It's hard not to work your ass off for these guys, they are both such great inspirations.

In a lot of ways, it's a dream job, and my family and I are incredibly grateful for this wonderful opportunity.

So hopefully this is the beginning of something special.

Please come by and lend your support.

Also.....Tell everyone you know.

-MAHALO

www.mahalo.com

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