An alpha version of Mahalo, which is Hawaiian for 'thank you', was launched with the internet's 4,000 most popular search terms completed.
The Santa Monica-based company hopes to reach 10,000 search terms by the end of the year, at which point it will enter beta and launch shortly afterwards.
"We are in month five of a five-year project, but we wanted to get some real-world feedback so we are launching it early here at D Conference," said Jason McCabe Calacanis, co-founder of Weblogs Inc.
The site is focused on the top English-language search terms in verticals such as travel, products, news, entertainment, sports, food and health.
"Google's mission is to index the world's information; our mission is to curate that wonderful index," explained Calacanis.
"It is my belief that humans can play a significant role in the development of search results, and we are going to figure out exactly what that role is over the next couple of years. I am looking forward to hearing what people think of the alpha."
However, some commentators are sceptical about the potential accuracy of the hand-crafted results.
Dominic Trigg, vice president at InfoSpace Europe, said: "Calacanis has the right idea in handing control of search back to the people and not in the hands of huge conglomerates.
"But his method will allow the same inaccuracies that Wiki sites have allowed to creep in. The only way to effectively remove subjectivity and manipulation is to verify information and sources.
"Very few people have the time, or the inclination, to conduct the same search across multiple search engines, which is why we are seeing the rise of meta-search engines."
If Mahalo does not yet have a result created for a search term, it offers results from Google, as well as the ability to receive an alert when Mahalo has completed the result.
Search engine claims the human touch
By Staff Writers on Jun 5, 2007 6:47AM