Jason Calacanis Gnomedex 2007 Internet’s Environmental Crisis

Remember when you used to get the e-mail with the five new sites on the Internet?  Yeah back in like 1994.

Now, spammers, phishers … essentially the dregs and scum of the Internet.  Now, how can we stop it?

Example of this … e-mail is lost to marketing.  Spam killed it.  Yeah sure, it’s better, but yeah e-mail newsletters are dead, and that’s too bad.

Jason contends that SEO is destroying the web.  Clearly this is a lead-in to Mahalo … the economic drive to rank higher and higher makes search less and less useful.

Fake blogs … YouTube videos that are really just ads, but not tagged or noted as such.

Okay we knew that Jason would talk about Mahalo … Dave Winer pipes up that Jason is spamming us with bringing up a Mahalo slide.  Frankly, if you don’t like what Jason is talking about…get the frack out of your chair and walk out!

Mahalo, as many of you know, is a human aggregated search engine.  People do the searches, but then cull them so there is no spam and only good (aka real) results.

Can it scale?  How can it grow?

Interesting (and I shall try in moment) … doohicky for Mahalo to compare Google to Mahalo (for example) and a “synchronous search” compare the page your on to a Mahalo search.

Is Jason making Mahalo out of the goodness of his heart?  Of course not, but I do think that search online has never really worked and it is getting more crowed and polluted with crap…

On Twitter there is a very vocal discussion about whether Jason spending time talking about Mahalo.  Frankly, this was predictable.  Of freakin’ course Jason was going to talk about Mahalo!  Do I like or even use Mahalo?  Nope.  Not enough results.  But … the issues, email spam, comment spam, splogs, scraping content from blogs and RSS.

Perfect … Aaron Brazell is calling out Jason on not having WordPress in Mahalo and it was promised that it would be.  Good shot at Jason Aaron!

Jason says that he has money for five years to run Mahalo.

Joe Thornley points how that Mahalo pretty much ignores Canada.  Again, the scale question.

What is spam vs advertising.  Spam is anonymous.  Can IPv6 do it?

Yes … bias.  Search engines cannot have bias (towards one opinion or another).  So does Mahalo do it right?  Hmm sounds like Jason is thinking about it, but you know there is always bias in a human decision.

While I don’t fault Jason for talking a lot about Mahalo, and I agree search is a problem, but I don’t think Mahalo isn’t the solution.  It can’t scale fast enough.  There is too much risk of bias and it can’t add new results in a time that makes sense.  It would probably take decades to get to the point where Mahalo gets to the point where Google is now.

Yep … the good, tough questions are being tossed at Jason.  Good.  Now, what is more interesting, is the twitter discussion.  Certainly more pointed, more cutting, and probably more accurate.

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  1. That was Dave Winer? LOL! He did have a point, but of course Jason’s going to get up and talk about what he’s up to. Why shouldn’t he?

    I think he’s doing something that adds value, so he’s justified in sharing it in his speech. It’s not as if he’s up there talking about how to order pharmaceuticals online.

  2. Yeah … interesting how that refrain kept getting brought up.

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