I saw on Lifehacker today a blurb about a new search engine called Mahalo. The current release of the site seems to be more proof-of-concept than anything, but it's getting there. The premise of the search engine: Mahalo employees hand-craft the search results for the 10,000 most popular search terms. Spam sites, sites with malware, and generally non-authoritative sites are filtered out entirely. Only the best sites are left, and users have an idea about what they will find on them.
For an example, see Barack Obama.
Admittedly, 10,000 search terms isn't very many, when you consider all the possible combinations in the English language. What they have is useful- especially for children or students doing a project. I could see using this to let someone else do the deciding on what is 'authoritative'- though even that is dangerous, and I wonder what kind of spin this one day might have. For example, right now there's a Religious Groups category with VERY meager offerings. Like I said, we can hope this is proof-of-concept and by no means a 'finished' database of topics.
Of course, the real reason the search engine caught my attention is that I am nostalgic for my growing-up years in Hawaii, where 'mahalo' means 'thank you'-- though not a few tourists might think it means 'trash', because it is the word that appears on all the trash cans, go figure. It means 'thank you', I promise. And a plumeria in the logo! These are the most beautiful smelling flowers that grow on a tree! We had a couple in our backyard, and I would pick one and put it behind my ear, to pretend I was a Hawaiian beauty instead of a tall, gangly haole. Now I'm searching the internet (on Google, not Mahalo) to figure out if I can grow plumeria in Indiana. That would be AWESOME. It'd bring a bit of aloha spirit to our home. And a very nice fragrance.