New search engine Blekko launches with aim to slash the web
“So this guy gave me his card and then I totally went and blekkoed him.”
“Oh yeah, and has he been slashtagged?”
Well, that might be what the founders of the latest new search engine, blekko (rhymes with ‘echo’), are hoping will be a comprehensible conversation one day in the not too distant future. (Actually, I doubt anyone’s going to be asking if people have been slashtagged).
So, yes, blekko is open and available for your search queries as I write (in beta for now).
What’s different? For web publishers, blekko is promising that its ranking system will be open – the data it uses won’t be kept secret and search results will involve people, not just algorithms. For users, the thing will make it better than Google is that it will cut out a lot of noise through its ‘slashtag’ feature.
What’s a slashtag? A good example would be if you went to blekko and wanted to know about Andy Warhol, you can use the /people slashtag. If you’re interested in buying one of his prints, or a book about him, you can use the /shop hashtag, and so on.
This video explains it:
Slashtags come built-in, but can also be created by users and shared with others, or not.
Will it take off? The slightly codey nature of slashtagging is going to appeal to the early adopter, tech-savvy crowd, I imagine — already this morning a quick look at Twitter shows a positive reception.
But a positive reception on the morning you launch in beta does not equal a mass transformation of the habits of millions of web users ingrained from years of repetition.
With Google, being criticised again over user privacy, blekko could be on to something with its promise that the ‘privacy of searchers shall not be violated’. Having said that, there are questions over whether or not the concept of privacy as we know it will even exist. Big issue for the over 30s, but maybe not so for someone born in 1998?
The other problem is that as far as results go, are you unhappy with Google? I felt that the biggest problem with Bing’s TV ads, for example, were that the problem they attempted to create (and then solve) just didn’t exist: i.e. that Google delivers a lot of irrelevant information.
So will you be taking up blekko’s invitation to make it your default engine? I think I’m going to try it for a few days, see what happens.