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Friday, 15 June 2007

Clearing search pollution?

Now here's an interesting proposition ..

Today I'm thrilled to announce the Mahalo Greenhouse, a place where the public can build search results that-if accepted by our Guides-will be included in the Mahalo search index.

Oh yeah, if we accept your search result we will pay you $10 to $15 per search result (the range is based on how many search results you've completed: more here).

Now, if you're a disciple of Yochai and you absolutely will not work on a web-based project for money, we've got an amazing proposition for you: make the web better by writing spam-free search results and we'll donate your fees to the Wikimedia Foundation. So, you can make the world better 2x: first by making clean, spam- free search results and second by helping keep the Wikipedia running (those server bills ain't cheap!).

We've earmarked up to $250,000 in donations to the Wikipedia this year.

I love Wikipedia. They've got me already. Have lost several hours in Wikimapedia, which is brilliant and growing. I just tried 'Paradise garage' and got nowt though ... it'll grow..

Web Guru, Dan Gilmor, loves it. He blogs that Maholo founder Jason Calacanis, at the NMK event in London this week, called for wide efforts to rid the Net of the pollution he says threatens to choke off all of the value.

Calacanis hates SEO, calling them 'one of the worst polluters. (Click on his slide, left, to see a trajectory of decline.).

But, he says, blogs have so far responded fairly well with antibodies. (The “blogs” slide at right has a happier ending.) Naturally, he pitches his new company as an andidote for part of the problem.

There’s no question that the major Internet companies (read Google, Yahoo, Microsoft et al) have not done enough to curb the pollution. But do we really want to toss out the part of this that machines handle so well? I don’t think so.

Gilmor is reminded of the Open Directory Project, which ironically is a pillar of Google - "but this time with payments for the editors. Not a bad idea."

As I said, not a bad proposition ...

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