Someone named “C.K. Sample III” emailed me with an invite to try something called Mahalo, which I gather is a hot subject among the A-listers. I was on a boring telecon, so I fired up Firefox and gave it a try. Hey, it said “Mahalo's search results only include great links.” The results are hilarious.

Mahalo is a Firefox thingie that adds both sidebar and toolbar clutter. It watches what you type in the search window and gives you its own version, so you can compare. I tried a few:

SearchMahalo Top 3
Tim BrayTom Brady
Gisele Bundchen
Bridget Moynahan
Atom Publishing ProtocolVoIP
Lauren WoodElijah Wood
The Lord of the Rings Film Series
Dominic Monaghan
Gidon KremerKrispy Kreme
Sun MicrosystemsJohn Doerr
Sumant Mandal
Rage Against The Machine

There’s some upside here: I’d never seen a picture of Gisele Bündchen before.

On the other hand, it did an OK job on “DRM”, “Stardust”, and “Vancouver”.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Justin Watt (Aug 27 2007, at 12:38)

Mahalo is Jason Calacanis' latest project, a human powered search engine. Think Yahoo, circa 1996.


From: Mark (Aug 27 2007, at 13:24)

I first heard of Mahalo from Rich Skrenta:

I found this paragraph particularly interesting:


The other structural challenge with human powered directories has always been maintenance. It's not just the labor effort to create the pages in the first place, you also have to revise them regularly to keep them up to date. Otherwise they rot. So there is an ongoing cost to keeping a site with N links to periodically revisit and re-evaluate each every M days. Wikipedia is more resiliant against rot because it is substantially a historical/reference site. But the topical/commercial queries Mahalo is targetting will require periodic review...



From: terry chay (Aug 27 2007, at 15:45)


You’ve been too far away from Valley Bubble (in more ways than one). Valleywag has been having a field day with Mahalo. Take this entry today which is oddly apropos:


From: Mark (Aug 27 2007, at 17:09)

If you've seen Apple's Get a Mac commercials, you've seen Gisele Bündchen: She plays Mac's movie made witih iMovie.

(Does anyone know who plays the Japanese iMovie movie?)


From: C.K. Sample III (Aug 27 2007, at 17:26)

Sorry about the unasked for email. We are trying out a new tool and evidently your email was somewhere in my address book from comments I left on your blog in the past. Thanks for trying out the site. We're currently in Beta with just over 10,000 terms built and working on filling out the index. Not having Sun was definitely an oversight that we're addressing right now. We have RSS ( and I know Atom is on the to do list. In any case, thanks for checking out Mahalo. I'd love to hear any other feedback you may have. Sorry again about the out-of-the-blue email. Cheers, C.K.


From: Vishal (Aug 27 2007, at 20:24)

I find Mahalo great for searching products where the results are great mainly because there is no SEO spam involved as in the case of Google.


From: C.K. Sample III (Aug 29 2007, at 18:06)

Just wanted to let you know that we added Sun Microsystems:



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