Jason Calacanis has been on LinkedIn, asking users of the social network what he can do to improve Mahalo, his recently launched human-powered search engine. 

Search Engine Roundtable is reporting that Calcanis went on LinkedIn answers to get some free advice about the direction he should take with his search engine.

Announced last month, the service attempts to improve on traditional search engines by employing a team to edit results for a range of search terms.

Calacanis asked users of LinkedIn what they would do next if they were the CEO of Mahalo, and got some interesting feedback - one pointed out the obvious drawback of using a team to edit a search engine; not having comprehensive results:

"Until you have more human results on there - it's just a rebranded Google.

"500 pages a week isnt a lot - so i would probably see how this can be improved by a factor of ten, otherwise by the time you have nice results you will have lost all publicity. First impressions and all that... "

Another pointed out the advantages of human-powered search results:

"One thing that a human-powered engine can do that a computer cannot is identify "sides" of an issue. If someone enters a search for President Bush, a human can identify pros and cons."

Another suggested that Mahalo should differentiate itself from About.com and Wikipedia:

"Make your operators live. Build a chat window next to every query, and let people ask your operators narrowing queries. Get them to stay on the page and talk to other searchers, and promote the ones who offer good advice."

This is, of course, a great advert for LinkedIn Answers, showing how the service can be used to tap into the knowledge of other professionals.

Graham Charlton

Published 12 June, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (1)


Barry Schwartz

Nice find. ;-)

about 11 years ago

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